Independence for St. Martin group welcomes Dutch MPs comments

PHILIPSBURG–The Independence for St. Martin Foundation said they welcomed the statement from members of the Dutch Second Chamber Andre Bosman (VVD) and Ronald van Raak (SP) about the Foundation’s intention to approach the United Nations (UN) to facilitate the exit of Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten from the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The Foundation sees this as a welcome development and agrees with the position of both Dutch legislators that the current constitutional arrangement within the Kingdom is not final.

The Foundation referred to a report in De Antilliaans Dagblad newspaper of July 12, 2017, in which Bosman was quoted as saying: “The Kingdom Charter is not final but an intermediate solution to be seen as a transfer phase. The Netherlands is obligated by the UN charter to develop a system of self-government which would lead the countries into full independence.”

“This has been our position since we were established in 1994,” the Foundation said.

The Foundation further expressed the hope that the Dutch Government’s promise to take the “pulse” of the people of St. Maarten would not mean just talking to a few politicians and public office holders but actually “finding out the wishes of the people of St. Martin via a constitutional referendum.”

The Foundation recalled that it has been pushing for a referendum on independence for the last three years, arguing that the last constitutional referendum in the territory was held 17 years ago.

“We have met on several occasions with the Parliament of St. Martin which has the constitutional authority to convene a new referendum, and remain confident that Parliament will do so as soon as possible,” the Foundation stated.

The Foundation said it is ready and willing to work with Bosman, Van Raak and all people of good will, both here on St. Maarten and in the wider Dutch Kingdom and beyond, to achieve the goal of full political independence for St. Maarten in a responsible and democratic way.

Source: The Daily Herald