SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) – On Monday, November 18, 2019, Faction Leader of the Sint Maarten Christian Party (SMCP) and Member of Parliament (MP), Claude Chacho Peterson, sent a letter to President of Parliament informing him of his resignation as a Member of Parliament according to article 49, sub 2 of the Constitution of St. Maarten.
MP Peterson was quoted as saying: “Since the formation of Government process in 2018, I always told the Leader of SMCP, Mr. Wycliffe Smith, I would give back the seat to the party should Government fall and he would no longer be Minister. I became MP when Mr. Smith as the highest vote getter resigned to become Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports in the UD/SMCP Coalition. On numerous occasions, I have said it on the floor of Parliament and in the public. It is said that no man willingly gives up power, however, it is with no hesitation that I honor my word to return the seat to the party”.
The Party and Minister Smith has no qualms with MP Peterson staying on as the SMCP Member of Parliament.
On Monday, Peterson submitted a letter to Chairperson of Parliament William Marlin, informing him of his resignation as an MP in accordance with article 49, sub 2 of the Constitution.
In light of the resignation of MP Peterson, it is expected that Mr. Smith, when no longer Minister, will once more become the SMCP Member of Parliament as soon as his credentials are vetted and approved by the Voting Bureau and the Parliament of St. Maarten.
MP Peterson goes on to state: “This past year was a great learning experience. I learned a lot in my freshman year about the role of an MP, the functioning/shortcomings of Government but also, I was able to see first-hand the corruption which is creating instability and destroying our island.
As Faction Leader of Smcp, I fought for stability and upheld our word in the Coalition to be a team player and work together for the best interest of St. Maarten and its people.
During my time in parliament, I have seen first-hand how the seat of a parliamentarian can be used to manipulate and further promote instability. I have seen how MPs can be lured for months and ultimately convinced to ship jump. I have seen how the floor of parliament can be used to misguide and misinform the people at times. Yet, in closed door meetings, I have also seen when necessary how unification in parliament can produce or bring about positive changes for St. Maarten.
I would like to thank the SMCP Party Board, Membership, Leader of the Party and the candidates who won the seat in 2018, for the opportunity to serve since July 06, 2018 as the Smcp member of Parliament.
I would like to thank my Faction staff and the entire Secretariat of Parliament for all their assistance during this past year.
Last but surely not least, I would like to thank those who have guided me, my family and the people for their continued support.
It was an honor to represent the people of St. Maarten as a Member of Parliament. This position is one that should be held with the utmost respect and integrity. I have done so and will continue to do so should I be given the opportunity again.
I will be contesting the January 09, 2020 Snap elections as the number 2 candidate on the SMCP slate. I remain committed to fight for a St. Maarten where good governance and integrity will become the order of the day. I remain energized to serve my island in the best interest of my people. God bless St. Maarten”.