MP Gumbs: Birds of a Feather Cause Instability Together | SOUALIGA NEWSDAY

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - “Disgusting, petty and disrespectful” were just some of the words that Party for Progress leader and member of Parliament Melissa Gumbs used when expressing her feelings regarding Monday’s shenanigans in Parliament. Still, she said, the nasty objective by opposition members was achieved, even though it could be seen coming from a mile away. Gumbs is referring to two incidents that occurred on Monday: the poorly written motion of no confidence read by MP Francisco Lacroes and, following the adjournment of the meeting, the news that MP Kevin Maingrette had withdrawn his support of the coalition by way of a letter submitted by a member of the National Alliance faction staff. 

“No one in the public is surprised,” Gumbs stated, acknowledging that she and her faction were told by many that Maingrette was ‘the weakest link’ in the 2x4 coalition. “We gave him, as we would with anyone else, the benefit of the doubt. But the execution of what they have been planning since January 12, 2024, has only exposed the opposition as a clown brigade, where ‘stability’ and ‘country above self’ are simply alphabet soup for them. Let’s not even get started on their total lack of respect for the electorate.”

“The electorate spoke volumes in the January 11th elections,” Gumbs continued, “and in their commentary on call-in radio programs, on the street, on social media, the message was clear: get this NA/UPP government OUT. You’d think a party that lost 1000 votes over the course of four years would find some ability to be humble.”

Since January 12, 2024, the now-defunct National Alliance and UPP government have spared no effort in attempting to embarrass and upstage the new coalition. From press runs and sideways comments on the floor of Parliament to their constant meddling in attempts to form a ‘more stable’ coalition, mainly via their approach to Maingrette, as well as to other coalition members of Parliament. The latest attempt was the opposition’s refusal to sign in and sit for a meeting to approve the credentials of incoming members of Parliament Viren Kotai and Richnel Brug. The meeting, which finally took place on Monday, had suffered from a lack of quorum due to members of Parliament being absent or walking out.

“Coalition indeed was at a deficit for this meeting,” Gumbs admitted. “But when we see the backlash that the National Alliance and the United People’s Party received due to their own unwillingness to sign in and stay for the meeting, you realize that the public is onto your games. Not giving quorum for a meeting to satisfy what is required by the Constitution you swore to uphold, simply to play politics? When facing factions, especially this faction, that provided your lame duck 7-MP coalition for six months with quorum? Clearly, they not like us.”

When commenting on the withdrawal of Maingrette, who boasted via his Facebook profile on 21 January 2024 that he “is not going nowhere” from the coalition, Gumbs said it was unfortunate that persons would bow to influence from internal and external forces. 

“We know what they whisper in Sucker Garden and in Cupecoy,” she concluded. “Maingrette himself told us, so I find this move of his troubling. It started with ‘Raeyhon will never be Minister VROMI’ and now it is abundantly clear that the same former Prime Minister who spoke about stability for the country really meant ‘rules for you but not for me,’ in that stability is only important when she and her cronies are in the seat. That is what they are saying to the people of St. Maarten.”

When looking ahead, Gumbs said that PFP remains dedicated to serving the people of St. Maarten, in the face of blatant political interference by many external bodies and that she would await the next update from Prime Minister Mercelina, regarding his intentions.