Third decree with new election dates to be sent to governor for signing  | THE DAILY HERALD


PHILIPSBURG–A third national decree (landsbesluit) with a new election date will be sent to Governor Eugene Holiday for signing.

  This will be the third decree in nine days to be prepared by the Council of Ministers and sent to the Governor amidst the current “confusion” surrounding snap elections.

  Caretaker Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin declined to give an indication as to what the new dates will be during the Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday noting that she preferred to wait until it has been signed by the Governor.

  She stressed that the Council of Ministers conducted its due diligence initially and in consultation with stakeholders, had different dates than those originally announced publicly. “The Council of Ministers did do our due diligence. We did consult with Electoral Council. We did consult with the (Central) Voting Bureau. We had other dates. Those dates were changed after consultation. Those were not the Council’s original dates. And I will leave it as that. We will not be in this confusion if we had stuck with the discussions that we had with the Electoral Council and the (Central) Voting Bureau. But we did do our due diligence and I will stick with that.”

  She said on Wednesday that given that all members of the Central Voting Bureau made their positions available on October 1, and as a result the Council of Ministers took the decision to postpone Nomination Day that had been scheduled for Wednesday, October 2.

  In an effort to “further clarify maters with facts,” the caretaker PM explained that on September 23, the Council of Ministers submitted its first “landsbesluit” (decree) to the governor invoking Article 59 of the constitution to dissolve parliament and call for new elections.

  “This landsbesluit #1, was carefully prepared and motivated after due consultation with the Electoral Council and the Central Voting Bureau to determine the dates.  The Governor takes landsbesluit #1 into consideration and advises the Council of Ministers. On the same day, September 23, taking into account the counsel of the Governor, a new landsbesluit #2 is submitted to the governor. This is the landsbesluit that the governor referred to in his press release (announcing the election dates).  Ladsbesluit #2 is forwarded to the Central Voting Bureau on September 25. By letter the same day, the Voting Bureau raises objections against the dates in landsbesluit #2 – both on legal violation of the Electoral Ordinance, of Article 23 of the constitution and international rights and (on) logistical organizational grounds.”

  She said that on September 25, the Council of Ministers received a letter from new political group – Party for Progress (PFF), which due to the deadline set in landsbesluit #2 would not have been able to contest the election and indicated that that this was a violation of the European Union convention of human rights.

  “The Council of Ministers took these letters seriously and considers how a compromise can be reached to ensure the requirements of the constitution can be met in such a way that the violation of the treaty can be avoided. Various alternatives had been considered – consultation with the governor and other stakeholders. A solution was sought.  We thought of making an exception as we have done earlier in occasions where landsbesluit #2 changed either to amend landsbesluit #2 in accordance with the dates set out in landsbesluit #1, as these were based on consultations with the Central Voting Bureau thus postponing the current deadlines or amend landsbesluit #2 to respect the 90-day term stated in Article 59, but to set deadlines for postulation (nomination) which respects the right to choose and to be chosen. In both cases it should be clearly acknowledged that this is an exception pending urgent reparations needed to the laws regulating the electoral process.”

  This, the caretaker Prime Minister noted, resulted in the drafting of a third landsbesluit to amend the dates in landsbesluit #2. “I am happy to inform that the Electoral Council and the Central Voting Bureau met with the government legal team and new dates will be set and sent to the governor for signature. Once received, the public will be duly informed of the new dates.”

  The caretaker PM said she is aware of the sentiments being expressed in the community on the matter. “As you may have noticed over the years, this is the time when many of our seasoned politicians, movers and shakers flourish. In a state of confusion, these persons in our communities sees the moment to add to the melee and disorder. There is a saying or strategy that many of these persons operate by which is – order through chaos.”    

  “Therefore, to those of you in the community who are confused, disgruntled and fed up with the way things are going in this country, I only ask that you follow the legal process. Yes, we are at an impasse as there is a lack of alignment between the electoral law and the constitution. But hopefully in due time, this will be finally fixed.”

  She said the decision on the dismissal of parliament will remain in place while the dates for Nomination Day, election day and the new sitting of parliament will be amended for the proper execution of elections. “The execution of a fair legal and proper election has always been the objective of the Council of Ministers. The issue in this matter is the interpretation and application of Article 59,” she said. 




Source: The Daily Herald