MPs react to Dutch on right of initiative law

PHILIPSBURG–Members of Parliament (MPs) on Friday approved a letter that will be sent to the Dutch Second Chamber as their official reaction to the advice of the Kingdom Council of State regarding granting the right of initiative to the laws to the parliaments of St. Maarten, Curaçao and Aruba.

The reaction also addresses the response of Dutch Minister of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk to the above-mentioned advice. The Committee of Kingdom Relations of the Dutch Second Chamber had requested an official reaction from St. Maarten’s Parliament.

In its advice, the Kingdom Council of State suggested that the respective parliaments of St. Maarten, Curaçao and Aruba have a right to present initiative laws to the Second Chamber. It disagreed that such a right should be in the hands of individual MPs. Plasterk had some reservations about parliaments having this right.

During a meeting of the Central Committee on Friday, St. Maarten MPs approved the content of a letter to be dispatched as their official reaction to this advice. The letter was first discussed in the meeting of the Permanent Committee of Kingdom Affairs and Inter-Parliamentary Relations, which met on Friday before the Central Committee meeting.

In the response letter, the Parliament of St. Maarten said it would have loved for individual MPs in St. Maarten, Curaçao and Aruba to have the authority to prepare draft initiative kingdom laws to send for handling in the Dutch Second Chamber. Parliament said also while the Council of State did not see this as a feasible proposal, it is happy to take note of the alternative that had been presented.

The St. Maarten Parliament is not in agreement with Plasterk’s position because parliament wants the right to make initiative laws granted to individual parliaments of St. Maarten, Curaçao and Aruba. Parliament also expressed hope that based on the advice of Council of State, the process will be started to make it possible for the parliaments of Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten to present draft kingdom laws.

Chairperson of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams said the letter approved by MPs will be sent to the Dutch Parliament.

Source: The Daily Herald