Reform to bar independents from nominating ministers

PHILIPSBURG–The days of Members of Parliament (MPs) going independent and forming a new coalition in return for the control of a ministerial portfolio may become a thing of the past, if the proposal of the Electoral Reform Committee is taken up by Parliament ahead of the September 26 snap elections.


The Committee, according to Prime Minister William Marlin, has made a proposal that would shut out independent MPs from nominating a minister candidate. Nomination would only be possible by the majority of MPs representing a political party.

This proposal for reform is coupled with several others, including an amendment to the legislation governing voting. The amendment seeks to give people with Dutch nationality who have lived in St. Maarten for at least a decade, but have moved away, the right to cast a vote in an election here. This follows a similar system that exists in the Netherlands, said Marlin.

As he only had time to browse the Committee’s report due to his schedule, Marlin said he was not sure if the amendment covered only people who are residing in other parts of the Dutch Kingdom or worldwide. The latter, he said, would pose “an organizational challenge.”

He added that while the amendment would also open up the possibility for students abroad to vote, if it only covered people who are residing within the Kingdom, students studying in the United States (US) and elsewhere would not receive the right.

Extending the right to vote to, especially students abroad, has been called for by students themselves who are eager to still be a part of the island’s developmental course and by a number of politicians who are eager to include students in the decision-making process

Source: The Daily Herald Reform to bar independents from nominating ministers