The new members in the public tribune of Parliament on Wednesday: From left are: Wycliffe Smith, Anna Richardson, Ludmila Duncan and Rodolphe Samuel.
PHILIPSBUG–Parliament on Wednesday approved the credentials of four new members, who are expected to be sworn in soon as Members of Parliament (MPs).
The four new members are former caretaker Prime Minister Wycliffe Smith (St. Maarten Christian Party), former Chairperson of Parliament Rodolphe Samuel (National Alliance), Anna Richardson (NA) and Ludmila Duncan (NA).
The four openings were created in Parliament due to three NA MPs taking up positions as ministers (Silveria Jacobs, Ardwell Irion and Egbert Jurendy Doran) and due to the resignation of SMCP MP Claude “Chacho” Peterson to pave way for Smith to return to Parliament.
At the start of the meeting Chairperson of Parliament William Marlin said as of Monday, November 18, Parliament only had 11 members. This meant that the Parliament had been incomplete, with four vacancies, for two days. To remedy this situation as soon as possible, it was considered urgent to call Wednesday’s meeting.
On November 18, Parliament received letters from then MPs Jacobs, Irion and Doran tendering their resignations as MPs effective Monday, November 18, in connection with their appointments as Ministers in the new Council of Ministers.
On November 18, Parliament also received a letter from Peterson, tendering his resignation as an MP effective immediately. The resignation of the four MPs has made available four seats in Parliament for the next four elected candidates in line for the respective seats to be sworn in.
On November 19 and 20, Parliament received the credentials from the four MPs accompanied by a letter indicating whether or not they have a public function. In addition to that the elected MPs submitted a letter indicating that they have not acted in contravention with the national ordinance registration and finances of political parties. Duncan and Richardson also submitted an extract from the Census Office seeing that, contrary to Samuel and Smith, they had not been an MP in the past.
During Wednesday’s meeting, a committee was formed to review the credentials of the four and after this was done, Parliament approved the credentials.
MPs present at the meeting congratulated the incoming members and many said they looked forward to working with them.
Marlin said he will immediately notify the Governor, Chairman of the Central Voting Bureau and the persons admitted of the approval. He added that the admitted members have to submit a request to the Governor to administer the oath or declaration as prescribed by law.