PHILIPSBURG–Parliament Chairwoman Sarah Wescot-Williams wants all Members of Parliament (MPs) to meet soon for discussions about the hurricane-ravaged country, including the state of emergency imposed by government.
“I just want to have the members of Parliament together so we can have a discussion on all of the matters that are of interest of the people,” Wescot-Williams told The Daily Herald.
On the functioning of Parliament, she pointed to the need to assess the damage to Parliament House. The upper floor is completely gone; ripped away by monster Hurricane Irma. “However, we need to do an assessment of the damage to the building.”
The opening of the 2017-2018 parliamentary year on September 12 has created the possibility now for Parliament to have meetings. “There are several things I will be tabling shortly and convening meetings of parliament. I think that part of normal operation of government must get up and running as soon as possible,” Wescot-Williams said.
She expects an emergency budget to come to Parliament from government “within short”.
Parliament will also have to give its input on the state of emergency declared by government since the passing of Irma almost two weeks ago. “It is their constitutional right to do so. Parliament has a role to play in deciding whether it should be continued or not,” Wescot-Williams said.
MPs have not been very visible on the forefront since the passing of Irma. Asked what comfort people can take from their elected representatives, Wescot-Williams said, “the only assurance that the people always have is that the Members of Parliament who they elected have to appoint a government they believe can do what Members of Parliament would like them to do for the people.”
Commenting on the lines residents have had to join for basic food supplies, Wescot-Williams said, “It is hard for me to accept that that is the reality on St. Maarten. I have helped in these lines. I have seen these lines and it hurts.”
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/69498-sarah-wants-mps-to-meet-as-soon-as-possible