UPP being used as poster child when it comes to vote buying.
PHILIPSBURG:— Member of Parliament Franklin Meyers did not mingle with words on Monday when he asked the Minister of Justice Edison Kirindongo to give Parliament a clear definition of what is considered Vote Buying since in their (UPP) view it is very broad.
MP Meyers said the main reason they called for the meeting is because of the recent arrest of MP Silvio Meyers who was arrested and kept in custody for several days on the accusation of vote buying and after he was released the Prosecutors Office in a press release called on members of the community to contact them if they were approached to sell their votes. Meyers said that St. Maarten is a small community and people are being put to shame, and scandalized with the sudden arrests. He said based on what is going on there seems to be a “witch hunt” taking place on St. Maarten against politicians. He said that years ago this witch hunt took place but then it stopped but recently several persons including Maria Buncamper Molanus and Silvio Matser both persons who ran on the UPP slate in 2014.
Meyers further explained that if he commits a crime and is arrested by anyone he will stay quiet and do whatever time, but if he is wrongfully arrested after he is released he will then commit crimes.
He made clear that they know what is vote buying is but with the recent developments it appears as though that this topic is very broad.
MP Frans Richardson in his statements said that everyone knows exactly what is vote buying, but in parliament several MPs wants to play with the minds of the people by stating that vote buying could be interpreted in several ways for example when political parties give out political paraphernalia.
MP Rodolphe Samuel read the law out and he said that the prosecution should be called to parliament because the law is not very clear, he said based on what is in the law persons could be fined NAF. 25,000.00 or face a two year prison sentence. Samuel also mentioned the press release sent out after the arrest and release of MP Silvio Matster who is accused of vote buying.
MP Johan Janchi Leonard, and George Pantophlet also shared the same sentiments as MP Rodolphe Samuel who asked for clarity especially from the prosecutor’s office.
The Minister of Justice is scheduled to return to Parliament some time in the month of June to provide answers to the Members of Parliament.
Source: St. Martin News Network
MP Frankie Meyers passionate as he asked Minister of Justice to tell Parliament what is Vote Buying.