UPDATE: NA, US Party, Mercelina, Brownbill form new nine-member coalition | THE DAILY HERALD


Independent MPs Chanel Brownbill and Dr. Luc Mercelina have formed a new nine-member majority coalition.


PHILIPSBURG–National Alliance (NA), United St. Maarten Party (US Party) and newly declared independent Members of Parliament (MPs) Dr. Luc Mercelina and Chanel Brownbill have formed a new nine-member majority coalition.

  Widespread reports that the Council of Ministers has moved to dissolve parliament, given the political developments, could not be confirmed.

  The formation of a new majority coalition was announced in a press statement issued Sunday evening. The new nine-member coalition leaves the United Democrats/St. Maarten Christian Party (UD/SMCP) coalition with five seats in the 15-seat parliament.

  “The NA and US [Party – Ed.] could no longer sit by and allow the country to go through the turmoil caused by the decision of the former faction leader of the United Democrats (UD) Franklin Meyers to pull his support from his own government, the UD/SMCP coalition. As such, a broader coalition has been formed with likeminded representatives of the people who are truly putting St. Maarten first,” NA and US Party said in a joint statement.

  The statement did not identify the “likeminded representatives” by name, but both Brownbill and Mercelina said in separate statements that they had declared themselves independent and could no longer support the UD/SMCP coalition (see related stories).

  “While the impasse was not of our making, we could not stand by and allow the country to be in a state of limbo or, as his Excellency the Governor Eugene Holiday recently stated in his address at the opening of the parliamentary year, ‘a cloud of uncertainty that is not in the best interest of the country.’”

  NA and US said that with the new coalition, a majority of nine, the country can look forward to a first major step in lifting that cloud of uncertainty.

  “We are hoping that the Governor will appoint a formateur as soon as possible to ensure the process of truly rebuilding St. Maarten can begin at last. The people of St. Maarten deserve better than infighting in their government and uncertainty about their future. The new majority is also looking forward to working with our kingdom partners on the basis of mutual respect and positive results for our people.”

  The UD/SMCP coalition was placed in limbo when UD faction leader MP Franklin Meyers announced during the closing of the parliamentary year that he was pulling his support from the coalition. He later declared himself independent, but said he was open to talks with the coalition he broke ties with. He later issued a lengthy statement outlining his reasons for leaving the coalition, but gave no clear indication about what his next step would have been.

  In the meantime, UD MP Sarah Wescot-Williams has since tendered her resignation as Chairperson of Parliament.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/91109-update-na-us-party-mercelina-brownbill-form-new-nine-member-coalition