PHILIPSBURG – The newly formed coalition of United Democrats and St. Maarten Christian Party is still negotiating the division of portfolios in the new government. On Thursday UD and SMCP-representatives met again to discuss the options but so far no announcement has become available about a possible solution.(*)
UD-leader and formateur MP Theo Heyliger said in a brief statement on Wednesday to stmaartennews.com: “No candidate ministers have started the vetting process as yet. Candidate ministers have to be discussed with both parties first.”
Earlier, SMCP-leader MP Wycliffe Smith, came with a similar statement. “The next step towards completing the government formation process are: assigning portfolios, selecting candidate-ministers and finalizing the governing program.”
Smith declined to comment on our question whether he aims to become the country’s next prime minister.
“The UD-SMCP coalition is currently in the process of assigning portfolios and selecting candidate-ministers. I know that there is a lot of speculation going around. However, I am sure that when this process is completed the formateur will make the necessary announcement.”
Photo caption: MPs Theo Heyliger (UD leader) and Wycliffe Smith (SMCP leader) continuing negotiations at the highest point in St. Maarten. Photo Milton Pieters.
(*) Update formation story:
Meeting was not between the two parties. UD-faction met on Thursday. “Preparing to start governing program discussions with SMCP,” Theo said.
Source: StMaartenNews http://stmaartennews.com/politics/ud-smcp-coalition-still-negotiating-portfolios/