PHILIPSBURG–It’s been almost half a year since Parliament passed the timeshare protection law, giving extensive protection to timeshare buyers by offering safety and comfort in one of the largest money-generating sectors of the country. However, the law has not yet entered into force.
Member of Parliament (MP) Sarah Wescot-Williams, who was the initiator of the law, told the press on Wednesday she has written to Tourism and Economic Affairs Minister Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher asking for an explanation why the law has not yet been signed. Her hope is to get an answer very soon.
All laws by Parliament must be co-signed by Government. In regular cases, the laws are presented by Government to Parliament, but the timeshare protection law was different. It was the first initiative law in the history of the country to be tabled by an MP. This, therefore, reversed the process and calls for Government to co-sign the legislation before it can come into force.
Wescot-Williams hopes to get her second draft initiative law before Parliament. This law is somewhat a twin of the timeshare protection law, and has at its core the set-up of a timeshare authority to regulate and oversee the sector. She is awaiting the recommendations/comments from St. Maarten Timeshare Association.
Wescot-Williams, who serves as chairwoman of parliament, also outlined at her press conference, this week’s agenda which includes a meeting on Wednesday of Parliament’s Ad Hoc Committee on the construction of a new parliament building. The committee will meet in a closed-door session to discuss the location for the new building with Minister of General Affairs Prime Minister William Marlin and Minister of Spatial Development and Infrastructure VROMI Christophe Emmanuel.
Parliament will continue its deliberations on the amendments to the civil code related to labour reform with Labour Minister Emil Lee on Wednesday, starting at 2:00pm.
The central committee meeting of Parliament on the Kingdom Government’s instruction for the establishment of an integrity chamber will resume on Thursday, at 2:00pm. Wescot-Williams pointed out that in the time the meeting was suspended, and now agreement has been reached on the chamber between the local and kingdom governments.
Parliament’s Committee on Inter-Parliamentary Affairs and Kingdom Relations will meet on Friday morning, followed by a central committee meeting with the Ombudsman. The latter meeting will deal with the 2016 Year Report of the Bureau Ombudsman.
In the week of August 14, Wescot-Williams intends to convene a meeting of Parliament to review the 2017 half-year financial report of Finance Minister Richard Gibson, Sr. The meeting was requested by National Alliance MPs Ardwell Irion, Rodolphe Samuel and Romeo Pantophlet.
A meeting of a petit committee of Parliament to review the recommendations for a new ombudsman to take up the reins when the term of current Ombudsman Nilda Arduin ends in October is also expected on the agenda for the week of August 14.
No recommendation for a new ombudsman has been submitted to Parliament by the committee comprising of the vice president of the Council of Advice, the chairman of the General Audit Chamber and the head of the Joint Court of Justice. These three officials are tasked by law to review and select candidates for the post and submit two potential candidates for Parliament to choose from for the post.
Outgoing Dutch Minister for Internal Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk is expected to pay Wescot-Williams a farewell visit on August 15.
Justice Minister Rafael “Raffie” Boasman will be in Parliament on August 16 to continue his discussion with MPs on the draft ordinance on administrative enforcement.
Government’s proposal to amend the voting regulations to expand the voter base to include, among others, students living aboard and the continuation of the session with Arrindell-Doncher on the state of affairs at Princess Juliana International Airport are expected to on the agenda for the week of August 28.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/68116-timeshare-ordinance-still-not-signed-by-teatt-min