Michael J. Ferrier writes: 8 is more than 7

Dear Editor,

I read the Prime Ministers opinion about the political turmoil and would like to comment.

In 2013 the UP wanted to come into government and (rightfully so) proclaimed 8 parliamentary seats to be more than 7. The battle between proponents of Article 33-2 and Article 59 ensued. Article 59 was invoked by the National Alliance led Wescot-Williams II cabinet, but lost. The UP-led Wescot-Williams III cabinet was sworn in and William’s NA was out.

Fast forward to 2015: The NA wants to come into government and (again rightfully so) proclaims 8 parliamentary seats are more than 7. Again the battle between proponents of Article 33-2 and Article 59 is raging. This time Article 59 is being invoked by the UP-led Gumbs cabinet except, now the UP-led Gumbs Cabinet (shoe-on-other-foot) refuses to practice what the then UP-led coalition of 8 preached in 2013! So what is the difference between 2013 and 2015? UP was out then and wanted to come in, while now, UP is in and refuses to come out.

Mind you, if there were snap elections called now, most, if not (hopefully) all the jumpers would see an expedited end to their political career, which, according to me, would be a good thing. Another issue to consider is the fact that in case no snap elections are called, it is not nice to have a government supported by a parliamentary majority of one single seat (which could be any of the 8 supporting parliamentarians), of which one that has a criminal conviction hanging over his head. Which begs the question: What happens with this new 8 seat coalition if in 2016 the Appeals Court upholds the decision of the Court in First Instance in the Silvio Matser case and the good gentleman has to vacate his parliamentary seat? That seat will then be filled by the next UP candidate up and government will fall again, as then also: 8 remains more than 7.

To conclude: 8 is always more than 7 and therefore this non-legal-scholar maintains that as long as there is a majority in parliament, Article 33-2 must be applied before Article 59 can be considered.

The Gumbs UP cabinet must follow the lead of the Wescot-Williams II UP-cabinet and let go. William is up next.

Michael J. Ferrier

Source: Today SXM Opinion