Connor calls on Govt. to bring laws to Parliament

PHILIPSBURG–The coalition Government should bring the laws related to electoral reform as soon as possible to Parliament, said United People’s (UP) party Member of Parliament Claret Connor in a press conference on Monday.

Connor said part of the mandate given to the current coalition prior to last year’s election was the drafting of electoral reform legislation to curb ship-jumping – the practice blamed for the falls of all coalition Governments since the attainment of country status in October 2010.

Asked what he and his opposition party have done to get legislation to this end onto the floor of Parliament, Connor said the coalition comprising the National Alliance (NA), United St. Maarten Party (US Party) and the Democratic Party (DP) controls the position of Parliament Chairperson and the Council of Ministers, therefore sets the agenda of the legislature.

The coalition members “use” the offices of Government and Parliament “to make promises,” but not to deliver on them, he said, urging those at the forefront “to come to the people and explain why nothing has been done” on topics such as electoral reform. The coalition “cannot make these promises and not live up to them,” he said.

Concern about the “hard date” set by the Dutch Government for adoption of the law to establish an integrity chamber for St. Maarten also has Connor’s attention. He said it was very telling that legislation could be sped up by Government to make deadlines imposed by the Dutch while those on electoral reform have not yet materialised.

Connor is also tackling the still-to-commence Pearl of China hotel and convention project. He expressed concern about the planned convention centre stifling existing businesses, especially if Chinese companies set up their base of operations at the site slated for Cay Hill.

“What will happen to our businesses … this is creating a second economy outside of our own,” he said.

The questions about the Chinese Government-backed project are to be raised with Government. Connor said his party will call the responsible Ministers to Parliament on the subject.

Source: The Daily Herald