Frans: Marlin’s ‘ousting’ should not be condoned

PHILIPSBURG–“Anyone rejoicing over the unprecedented moves by the Dutch Government to oust Prime Minister William Marlin is condoning a dangerous, self-defeating precedent that will be used again against St. Maarten,” stated United St. Maarten Party leader Member of Parliament (MP) Frans Richardson on Sunday.

“We sit back and we clap at what the Dutch are doing to us, dismantling our system through our acceptance while we allow precedent to be set that will be used against us again and again in the future.”

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Marlin announced on Friday afternoon that he would submit to Governor Eugene Holiday a national decree for his own immediate dismissal as prime minister. His decision followed an instruction issued to the Governor by the Kingdom Council of Ministers to execute Marlin’s dismissal in keeping with a motion passed by the St. Maarten Parliament on November 2.

“Even after the Marlin Cabinet had resigned, are caretaker ministers and awaiting the process of screening to be complete for the incoming government, that still wasn’t enough. Our democratic system is inadequate for the Dutch, who continue to meddle and make demands,” added Richardson, who is one of Marlin’s coalition partners.

“Why? For humanitarian aid that we still have no details about almost three months after Irma. This is not normal. This is not about our people. It is about control and power.

“The divide and conquer tactics of the Dutch is on full display, with Dutch Prime Minister Rutte boldly claiming that 90 per cent of the population wanted to see Marlin gone so they [the Dutch government – Ed.] had a right to force his departure. So here they are, using sentiments from God knows where to use our people to get rid of and destroy our people.”

St. Maarten has lost two opportunities to stand as one and present “a united front.” The first opportunity missed was when the Dutch tied the post-hurricane reconstruction aid to Government’s accepting the Integrity Chamber and increased border control. The second was that the aid was tied to Marlin immediately demitting office, Richardson said.

“I have said it over and over: it is a shame what power, aided by manipulation, has caused parties and politicians in St. Maarten to accept. We are rubber-stamping everything the Dutch want as long as the end result is power. No discussions in Parliament, no attempts at serious negotiations by holding one head. Nothing. But we rejoice when one of our own, despite the political colour, is targeted and taken out,” he added.

The Dutch will continue to make demands tied to the aid or any other form of assistance, Richardson predicted in his press statement. “When this type of treatment is inflicted upon others in the future, perhaps elected representatives you support, by rejoicing and giving your stamp of approval now, you accept what will happen to those you support in the future.”

Source: The Daily Herald