Motion to instruct Council of Ministers not to make decision that will affect the country passed.
PHILIPSBURG:— After some severe resistance from the now minority in Parliament the new majority managed to pass two motions that they presented on Wednesday.
MP William Marlin tabled a motion to annul the Landsbesluit sent by Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs to the Governor of St. Maarten to dissolve the parliament of St. Maarten and to call for new elections. Marlin said that the Parliament of St. Maarten invited Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs to Parliament to debate the issue while they also requested that the Prime Minister submit all documentation he received such as the LB he submitted to the Governor to dissolve the Parliament of St. Maarten, the advices he received from all the Dutch advisors and the correspondence between him and the Governor of St. Maarten. Marlin said that Parliament gave the Prime Minister ample time to appear in Parliament and to present the requested documentation but the Prime Minister refused to attend the meeting and he also refused to submit the documents parliament requested.
Marlin in his presentation describe the Gumbs cabinet as a rogue Council of Ministers whom he said have grossly violated the constitution of St. Maarten since September 30th 2015 when that cabinet received a motion of no confidence from a majority in Parliament. Marlin said the Prime Minister Gumbs and his cabinet deliberately created what they call a ‘constitutional crisis’ and have so far trampled on the constitution and pushed the Governor of St. Maarten in corner.
MP Frans Richardson presented a second motion which is demand that the Council of Ministers submit their resignations and the Gumbs cabinet who should have been a caretaker cabinet should not appoint persons to certain positions on Government owned companies, they should not issue new contracts such as contracts for garbage collection, no more T of B licenses should not be issued.
When the motions were presented an uproar began in Parliament, starting off with MP Cornelius de Weever who decided to ask that the meeting be suspended until he could get all information from the Prime Minister. MP De Weever argued and even interrupted speakers when they were speaking because he was told by the chair of parliament that the Prime Minister was invited to Parliament and they also requested the Prime Minister to submit the same documents he is asking for to Parliament. The chair told MP De Weever that he could put his questions in writing in order for Parliament to send it to the Prime Minister, the answer given to MP De Weever clearly did not appease him so he continued by stating that he is asking that the meeting be suspend based on article 43 of the rules of order all of which was shot down by the new majority as the proposal to suspend the meeting was put to a vote and it was voted down thereby allowing the meeting to continue in order for parliament to vote on the two motions presented.
MP Franklin Meyers requested more speakers time for the meeting but that too was voted down. Independent Member of Parliament Leona Marlin Romeo and MP Tamara Leonard also voted against the extension of the speakers’ time because they voted against it when they had the majority in parliament. It was clear that the now minority in parliament tried everything they know to try and stall the meeting called on Wednesday. MP De Weever called on the chair to follow the rules of order and the constitution, he even questioned how the chair of parliament was appointed because according to him procedures were not followed. At one point the Members of Parliament engaged in back-biting” especially those that lost the majority. While they kept saying that Parliament must respect the constitution of St. Maarten and the rules of order of Parliament they continue to defend the stance of the Gumbs cabinet who refused to tender their resignations.
MP Leona Marlin Romeo took offence of the contents of the second motion since it made mention that persons should not be appointed to any government entity by the caretaker government must be instructed not to issue any Bus and Taxi permits. Marlin Romeo said that the contents of the motion is reflecting on the Minister she appointed Minister Ernest Sams whom she said is a good man and is name should not be destroyed.
MP Marlin rebutted by calling on the MPs to read the motion properly as Marlin was speaking MP Leona Marlin began speaking back even though she did not have the floor, she was admonished by the chair who told her she is not allowed to interrupt another speaker.
It was clear on Wednesday that some Members of Parliament who gets contracts for their businesses or family businesses were peeved because the two motions clearly will stop them from getting certain contacts, such as garbage collection contracts.
When the meeting was over the chair of parliament brought forth clarity on several issues, one being the how Members of Parliament should conduct themselves, she also outlined the articles of the rules of order and the constitution that were mentioned during the meeting. Further to that the chairlady made clear to the Members of Parliament that when there is voting taking place in parliament Members of Parliament cannot use the word “abstain” from voting since that does not exists in parliament. She said it’s either a MP vote for or against whatever is tabled. The reasons for those clarifications came about when MP De Weever sat in his seat and when he was called upon to vote he remain silent while MP Leona Marlin Romeo said she will abstain.
Source: St. Martin News Network