Caretaker PM Wycliffe Smith
~ Parliament will maintain 15 seats ~
PHILIPSBURG–A total of 61,750 persons were registered at the Department of Civil Registry at the close of the Voters Registry on Tuesday, of whom 23,130 are eligible to vote in the upcoming parliamentary election, caretaker Prime Minister Wycliffe Smith told reporters on Wednesday.
Asked whether the number of parliamentary seats will go up from the current 15 to 17 given Article 45 of the constitution, which states that Parliament shall consist of 17 members if the population amounts to more than 60,000 and no more than 70,000 persons, Smith said it will remain 15 seats as this will be a snap election.
“According to the Constitution, as the population increases, so can the number of seats in Parliament. For this election, which is what we call a snap election, it will not increase. The increase in seats will take place in a regular election. For this election, it will not take place,” Smith explained during the Council of Ministers press briefing.
Only persons 18 years and older with the Dutch nationality and registered in the electoral register no later than 30 days prior to the date of nomination are entitled to vote. Considering that the date of nomination is November 21, the Electoral Registry was closed on October 22. A total of 191 persons changed their addresses prior to the close of the Registry.
Now that the Electoral Register is closed, Smith said an instruction will go out to the printer to start the printing of polling cards (oproepingskaarten). In accordance with Article 43 of the Election Ordinance, at least eight days prior to voting every eligible voter shall receive a polling/voting card calling on them to vote.
The planning and agreement with Postal Services St. Maarten (PSS) is that these cards will be delivered to the Post Office at the latest on December 2.
If a voter has not received his or her voting card delivered to their home after January 2, 2020, then he or she can visit Civil Registry office to collect the voting card.
“As the election date draws near, the Department of Civil Registry will keep the public up to date as to what is going on,” Smith said.