~ For legalising medical marijuana ~
PHILIPSBURG–St. Maarten Christian Party (SMCP) officially launched its 2018 Rebuilding, Resetting, Recommitting Manifesto at party headquarters on Back Street on Thursday.
Party leader Wycliffe Smith said the manifesto is the party’s framework for the February 26 snap parliamentary election.
Candidates Perter J. Gittens and Benjamin Bell sat next to Smith as he outlined an overview of the problems and issues SMCP will be addressing if elected to Parliament.
“The manifesto will not be like the manifestos of the other political parties. The party Members of Parliament plan to propose a reduction of salaries for Members of Parliament by 15 per cent as well as their severance pay and period,” said Smith.
This means that even if the party is not part of the governing coalition, the proposal will be presented and, if not accepted by fellow members, they will voluntary give 15 per cent of their salary to a foundation that plans to deal with social issues in the community.
The party also plans to deal with the executive branch on the National Reconstruction Plan. This will be one of the biggest discussion points for SMCP party while negotiating with any other parties.
“We will not be writing our willingness to work together on a piece of napkin in the middle of the night right after elections. We want a proper sit-down and discuss how our party can work best with any political party that wants to join with us to form a coalition. This is why the role of a formateur is very important once appointed by the government,” said Smith.
The manifesto also addressed the party stance on same gender marriage, abortion, euthanasia, prostitution and casino and gambling.
“As far as same-sex marriage is concerned, the SMCP is in agreement with the country’s law that a marriage is between a man and woman. SMCP will not champion same-sex marriage in Parliament. The party does believe that sexual orientation and gender identity should never lead to discrimination or abuse,” according to the stance on controversial issues in the manifesto.
On euthanasia, SMCP is opposed to the withholding or withdrawal of care or treatment from people who are elderly, sick or disabled. SMCP will not be championing any laws related to euthanasia in Parliament.
The party also has in its manifesto that it is against to legalising prostitution.
The party is in favour of regulating marijuana for medicinal use and scientific purposes. However, SMCP is against legalising marijuana for recreation use.
The manifesto also addressed the party stance on Carnival. SMCP is not opposed to Carnival as a cultural event. What it opposes is the amount of nudity, drunkenness and vulgarity that takes place during the festival. The party would like to bring back the cultural aspect so that parents can take their children to watch and enjoy Carnival. They would like to work with the Carnival foundation to create more wholesome and cultural festivities.
The party manifesto will be made public in the coming days and the public is requested to follow the party on its social media page and website.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/73100-st-maarten-christian-party-presents-rebuilding-manifesto