PHILIPSBURG–No date has yet been set for the resumption of the plenary session of Parliament to handle the draft 2016 budget.
Parliament Chairwoman Sarah Wescot-Williams told The Daily HeraldMonday “no decision yet” has been made on the resumption of the session that was suspended until further notice on March 10, after the second and final round of debate and before the Council of Ministers (CoM) moved on answering questions posed and responding to remarks made by Members of Parliament (MPs)
Before closing the session, Wescot-Williams said that from her perspective, “not many questions” were posed by MPs, “but some serious allegations were made that Government needs to address.”
That perspective coupled with the three motions from National Alliance (NA) Parliamentarian Rodolphe Samuel and the “material proposals for amendments” to the budget made by independent MP Leona Marlin-Romeo tipped the scale to an indefinite suspension of the meeting.
Wescot-Williams also pointed out that Marlin-Romeo’s proposals for amendments were “not ready for deliberations” because they were not supported by any other MP.
The draft 2016 budget has been with Parliament since February, first going through the Central Committee meeting of Parliament and then on to the now suspended plenary session.
The plenary session started on February 29, with the second and final round of debate originally slated to start on March 2. However, the minimum required eight MPs did not sign for the session to start. Seven MPs forming the Coalition of Eight were present to sign in for the session. The eighth MP – Silvio Matser – was arrested on suspicion of election fraud (vote buying) earlier that morning. He is still in the National Detectives custody.