PHILIPSBURG–Former Prime Minister William Marlin said on Sunday that he hopes the matter of postponing or cancelling the February 26 snap parliamentary election has been put to rest permanently.
Marlin was at the time responding to news that the Dutch Government has turned down the Leona Romeo-Marlin Cabinet’s request to handle the dissolution decree he had signed when he was Prime Minister, discussed in a Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting with the intention to have it annulled. The decision was turned down on the grounds that this will not speed up the holding of elections and result in an earlier convening of Parliament (see related story).
In a press release on Sunday, Marlin said the actions of Prime Minister Romeo-Marlin and the Council of Ministers to “run” to the Kingdom Council of Ministers for support to correct and hopefully chastise him on their behalf, came as no surprise. “If the present Council of Ministers had any respect for their own office and for our Constitution, they would have followed the proper procedures,” Marlin said in his release.
According to the release residents around the country were heard commenting that Marlin “had it correct and best understands governance” and that he had “yet again … shown that his choices were in the best interest of the people of St. Maarten.” Citizens were heard chiding “I told you William Marlin know the right thing,” it was stated in the release.
Marlin said “it was nothing more than shameful to actually hear our Interim Prime Minister Marlin-Romeo claim that she has taken an oath to uphold and defend our Constitution, but then show clearly through her actions that she does not understand our Constitution and probably never took the time to read it.”
Marlin said the Prime Minister saying that she has an obligation to uphold and defend the Constitution is simply empty rhetoric that she mouthed, but she clearly does not understand what it means. “When I said so, I meant it. Whenever I felt our Constitution was under attack, I stood up and fought for St. Maarten and its people, regardless the circumstances,” Marlin said.
“What is sacred for every Member of Parliament is the Oath or Promise, that he or she will always vote his or her conscience.” When the Dutch Government demanded that all seven Ministers and all 15 Members of Parliament accept their conditions and sign a document to that effect, Marlin said that he told them that that was wrong and unacceptable.
“That was against our Constitution and the free mandate Members of Parliament have, meaning that when they vote, they vote their conscience, they vote for what they believe is right or wrong, and not based on what someone else has forced them to do,” the former Prime Minister noted. “But before even seeing the content of the draft law they had to vote on, the majority of eight in Parliament was quick to pass a motion, saying they agree.”
He said Romeo-Marlin should have drafted a new National Decree to either amend the National Decree of November 12, 2017 or to annul that decree and submit it to Governor Eugene Holiday for signing. The Governor would have had two choices, either to sign or to send it to the Kingdom Government for annulment. “By going directly to The Hague, Marlin-Romeo showed that she either does not know, didn’t care to find out, or simply has no respect for proper procedures.” Marlin said that clearly a priority for the next Parliament and Government is the review of all Organic Laws and how they relate to each other and particularly to our Constitution.
He called on all voters to make use of their constitutional right and in a way, their obligation and go out on Monday, February 26, and cast their vote in favour of stability for the next four years.