~ Political turmoil over Dutch aid caused split in NA/USP/DP coalition government ~
PHILIPSBURG:— The political turmoil that started weeks ago over the financial assistance the Kingdom Government has caused a fracture in the current coalition whereby the National Alliance (NA) and the United St. Maarten Party (USP) have chosen to let go of the Democratic Party led by Sarah Wescot Williams.
SMN News has been reliably informed that while Channel Brownbill has issued a statement saying that he is ready to take a stand and vote his conscience, he chose to remain with the current coalition government. With the split, it means that Minister of VSA Emil Lee would have to willingly resign or he will face a motion of non-confidence.
SMN News learned that the USP and the NA met with Brownbill Sunday night to trash out their differences. Meanwhile, Leader of the DP Sarah Wescot Williams met with Governor Holiday based on an invitation from the Governor. Prime Minister Marlin also met with the Governor on Monday.
According to information provided to SMN News, the NA and USP chose to remain together as they strongly believe that the Dutch government is forcing its will on St. Maarten with regards to the Integrity Chamber and Border Control as conditions for financial aid but to date the Kingdom did not inform St. Maarten how much they intend to give St. Maarten as financial assistance to rebuild the country.
The political turmoil which basically boiled over last week in Parliament started quite some time now as the Democratic Party leader was clearly picking on her coalition partners during parliamentary meetings but failed to address the incompetence coming from the Minister of VSA. Wescot Williams has on numerous occasions chose to use the media to pose questions to her coalition partners while the coalition meets every Monday.
Even though the tension has built up and the DP leader said she was ready to take the high road last Friday, to date no confirmation was given on the current split.