US Party to meet with Brownbill this week | THE DAILY HERALD

PHILIPSBURG–The board and the leader of United St. Maarten Party (US Party) are scheduled to meet with its candidate Chanel Brownbill this week.

  With 221 votes in the 2020 Parliamentary elections, Brownbill has the highest number of votes after suspended Member of Parliament (MP) Claudius “Toontje” Buncamper, who recently received a custodial sentence for committing a crime as referred to in article 50, first paragraph, of the Constitution of St. Maarten.

  Buncamper ran on the US Party slate and initially took his seat as an MP representing the party, but later declared himself an independent MP.

  “The party, as it did when both its seats were declared independent on the floor of Parliament, questions the legitimacy of Parliament to accept and acknowledge declarations of independence while now having to await an instruction from the [Central Voting Bureau – Ed.] on the appointment of the United St. Maarten party representative,” US Party board President Cecil Nicholas said in an invited comment on Sunday.

  Nicholas was asked whether the party has already reached out to the candidate who is next in line on the party’s slate to see whether that candidate would be available and willing to take up the substitute post for Buncamper if requested to do so by the Central Voting Bureau. Given the issues with US Party’s previous MPs in Parliament who both went independent, Nicholas was also asked who was the party’s preferred candidate as a substitute.

 “The fact that MP Buncamper cannot appoint his own substitute after declaring and being accepted by Parliament as an independent, brings into question the legitimacy of independent Members of Parliament and their legal binding to the seat that is now automatically being reverted back to the party,” Nicholas said. “We stand fast on our position that independent members of parliament do not meet the criteria for proportional representation.”

  Nicholas said a press release would be issued after the meeting with Brownbill.

Source: The Daily Herald