Bending over backwards

Something had to give of course in the tense standoff between the Kingdom government and St. Maarten. And something did give, but one may well wonder why all this fuss was necessary.

In the end, the Council of Ministers removed an important obstacle. The members to be appointed to the Integrity Chamber will not be nominated by the Common Court of Justice, the General Audit Chamber and the Ombudsman, but by the Kingdom government, the Government of St. Maarten and – as chairman – someone nominated by the first two nominees.

That’s exactly what St. Maarten agreed to in a protocol former Vice Prime Minister Dennis Richardson signed with former Kingdom Relations Minister Ronald Plasterk on May 24, 2015.

The government suddenly also has no problem with adding more Marechaussees and Dutch Customs officers to border control duties “as long as the constitutional integrity remains intact.”

There are only two issues remaining. First: is this enough for the Kingdom government? Second: will the Parliament of St. Maarten blindly follow the draft legislation for the Integrity Chamber? Is there still going to be a fuss about appointing someone nominated by the Kingdom government?

We will learn all this later.

Prime Minister Marlin maintained on Monday that the government’s position had not changed. That’s his reality.

The truth is of course that the government bent over backwards for two reasons: to get those hundreds of millions of euros from the kingdom to rebuild the country and to prevent the coalition from falling apart.

But that’s okay. Anything – literally anything – beats that doomsday scenario of yet another fallen government.

Source: StMaartenNews