Unbiased look at the Sint Maarten Elections

St Maarten Elections In The News Back to News Listing

Mp Wescot-Williams Shares Her Thoughts At The Closing Of The Parliamentary Year 2023-2024.

Source: 721 News 11 Sep 2023 08:25 PM

MP Wescot: On MoNDay, September 11, we close the 2022-2023 parliamentary year aND as customary, Members of Parliament are given the opportunity to reflect on the past 12 months aND provide some thoughts for the coming year. On Tuesday, Governor Ajamu Baly will present the Governments Statement for the coming year.

In MP Wescots view, this presentation comes at a peculiar time, with elections scheduled for January 2024; no bUDget for 2024 aND the usual behavior of the ministers towards parliament.

Of course the absence of an ameNDed 2023 bUDget aND the tardiness in submitting the 2024 draft bUDget do not faze this government one bit.

Nevertheless our constitution prescribes this presentation. With so many questions left uSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAnswered aND ministers acting opposite to one another, the question is what will be different this time arouND?, MP Wescot surmised.

MP Wescot posed a few rhetorical questions to illustrate her point:

Will we hear about governments solution for the refiSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAncing of the loans from the NetherlaNDs? Or is that topic secret too?

Will we hear about governments plan for the Economic Development Corporation aND its new maSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAgement? Or is that top secret too?

Will we fiSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAlly learn what is behiND the Grid market agreement? Will they sUPPly residents with solar panels aND a new metering system?

Will that agreement help the many persons who in one way or another are jeopardized by the situation at our utility company? AND do we have the whole picture of what the situation at GEBE is?

I have given up seeking answers through the appropriate channels, SPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAmely the parliamentary route. By the time answers are provided, new facts have surface aND answers are constantly given in a rouNDabout way.

This government is a living facade. BehiND that facade however is the reality of the St. Maarten people. The everyday hard working or retired persons aND the younSPArty/9/general-solidaire'>GSters, most of whom want better for St. Maarten. Lets admit that living, working or doing business on St. Maarten is not easy aND that a divisive aND openly contradictive government only exacerbates these challenges. That is the foremost picture of the past parliamentary year.

Its easy to say, get your hurricane sUPPlies, when for many getting their normal daily necessities is already a hardship. Its easy to say, pay up to GEBE, when a large percentage of our people live from month to month. Does the government uNDerstaND this?

Our democracy is one of coalition aND opposition. Yet, if you listen to some members of the coalition, one would think opposition members are to show up, sit down aND shut up, the MP stated with a clear reference to some of her colleagues in parliament.

In the past year, as the government aND its coalition members did everything to hold on to power, this ridicule against members of the opposition was especially evident. InueNDos aND insinuations with unproven statements are the order of the day.

MP Wescots solution for this behavior is the code of coNDuct for parliament, which has been on the books for some time. Where is Parliaments code of coNDuct? Why are we reluctant to hold each other accountable for the thinSPArty/9/general-solidaire'>GS we say aND do?

The dySPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAmics of our system are often misuNDerstood, the MP explained.

Unless there is a link with those in the executive branch (the ministers), opposition MPs are often lone voices. I have experienced this first haND with the law on Timeshare, the plastic bag ban, the changes to the Labor Law, the tax reform, banning the harmful vaping, electoral reform, healthcare reform, pension iNDexation aND others.

So what are this governments priorities aND what are their parties priorities? It is difficult to tell with the constant flip-flopping on critical issues. Therefore I have little HOPE that we will hear more than the usual wiNDow-dressing in the Governors presentation, the MP bluntly stated.

Everything is put on the country package. Yet, after more than 15 maSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAgement summaries by the body charged with the country package, only 5 reports have been commissioned aND even less executed. The country reform package is not working, regretfully.

On the topic of electoral reform, the MP stated: fiSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAlly it seems as if the Prime Minister has put in motion the change to the Election OrdiSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAnce to elimiSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAte the black curtains in voting booths, but in the meantime has put the electoral reform project in doubt with her sUDden statements regarding radio charges for political announcements aND voting by non-Dutch residents.

We see contradictions in the approach to utility company GEBE. Why must GEBEs assistance to the population, whether in payment schedules or senior relief be made political, when the government is the shareholder aND has a special representative in place at the company?

The Trust FuND, that is the achilles heel of this government, has sUDdenly become its most treasured achievement. SUDdenly, we must believe that the ills with the hospital aND with the airport, etc. have been righted by the very ones who were vehemently opposed to the entire Trust FuND to start with.

I have souNDed the alarm with regard to the SPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAtioSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAl health insurance which is on the books to be introduced in January 2024. It does not appear that actual consultation has taking place on the governments decisions regarding this SPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAtioSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAl health scheme. The concerns expressed have not been taken seriously. By the time, the package reaches parliament, it will be expected to be take it or leave it.

My advice to government will be to take it in stages aND not to lose the health aspect to the fiSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAncial aspect. The onus should be on healthcare for all.

As we close the 2022-2023 parliamentary year, more issues remain unsolved than have been solved, more questions remain uSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAnswered than have been answered aND answers given evoked more questions in the miNDs of the members of parliament aND of the people, MP Wescot conclUDed.

The post MP NDidate' href='/newspolitician/544/sarah-wescot-williams'>Wescot-Williams shares her thoughts at the closing of the parliamentary year 2023-2024. appeared first on | Sint Maarten News | SXM News.

Sarah Wescot-Williams mentioned 1 time

General Solidaire [GS] mentioned 2 times
National Alliance [NA] mentioned 17 times
St Maarten Patriotic Alliance [SPA] mentioned 4 times
United People's Party [UPP] mentioned 2 times
Helping Our People Excel Association [HOPE] mentioned 1 time
Hope Party [HOPE] mentioned 1 time
New Direction St. Martin [ND] mentioned 46 times
United Democrates 2018 [UD] mentioned 7 times Corner Stone Solutions NV