Sarah Wescot-Williams

PHILIPSBURG--United Democrats (UD) Member of Parliament ((MP) Sarah Wescot-Williams urges formateur National Alliance (NA) leader MP Silveria Jacobs to continue the work left by caretaker Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin.

“If you are even remotely serious about electoral reform as mandated … by the governor, you can take up where the caretaker Prime Minister left off and improve on this, and your coalition partner, the Chairman of Parliament [Willian Marlin – Ed.], can pick up the electoral reform committee in parliament and run with the draft ToR [terms of reference] to outsource the many pieces of legislation which have been identified as part of electoral reform.

“Electoral reform is not a single issue, it is the reformation of our system to better fit our political culture, ways and expectations,” Wescot-Williams said in a press release on Tuesday.

The former chairperson of parliament was responding at the time to statements made by Jacobs over the weekend regarding her accepting the task of formateur.

“I am of the opinion that if the nine MPs supporting the next interim government have been truthful with their opinions thus far on the Dutch reconstruction programme and other related matters, then a formation on the basis of the mandate by His Excellency Governor [Eugene] Holiday is impossible. This is my full right as Member of Parliament and, like I’ve stated before, I would gladly be proven wrong,” Wescot-Williams said.

“As formateur, one is expected to stay above the political fray and do his/her job as formateur. After all, a government by the coalition of nine is not yet a given. That nine MPs have signed an agreement to govern St. Maarten and presented this to H.E. the Governor is not a governing accord. The governing accord will be on the basis of the outcome of the formation talks and these talks will be on the basis of the mandate given to the formateur by H.E. the Governor.”

Wescot-Williams said it is clear at whom “the guns” of the coalition of nine are pointed, “as also evidenced by the spin on the electoral reform debate by this coalition. The formateur, rather than explain how she will reconcile the views of the individual members of her coalition into a programme that meets the governor’s mandate, went into the constitutional history of the country and wants to remind the people that ‘Sarah did not bring home 10/10/10, it was William.’ At the same time, ‘it was Sarah who did not ensure the proper legislation for 10/10/10.’”

Wescot-Williams said that in 2016 an election invoked by the then-Marcel Gumbs cabinet had been postponed by seven months “to effectuate electoral reform” on the “insistence” of then-incoming Prime Minister Marlin of the red, white and blue coalition, supported by Wescot-Williams.

“A coalition, by the way, that ended when the choice – agree or not with the Dutch conditions – was put to coalition partners. Again, we see the coalition of nine will commit to electoral reform only to then blame everyone else when nothing is done.

“Is electoral reform even on the radar of the coalition of nine?

“How convenient to skip parts of the political evolution of our country since October 10, 2010. Why has hardly anyone besides myself made any serious attempts to address electoral reform and integrity in parliament? Why were/are those the two most shunned committees of parliament? Exactly. Too many government changes with too many individual agendas,” Wescot-Williams said.