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Central Voting Bureau Proposes Postponement Of Election Day

Source: The Daily Herald 24 May 2024 04:10 PM

PHILIPSBURGIn a letter to Prime minister NDidate' href='/newspolitician/722/luc-merceliSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NA'>Luc MerceliSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NA, the Central Voting Bureau has announced a proposed postponement of Election Day to August 19, 2024, citing significant legal aND practical concerns. The Bureau has suggested a revised timeline to ensure a fair, free, aND tranSPArent electoral process.

The revised election timeline, as proposed by the Central Voting Bureau:

Voter Registry Closure: MoNDay, June 3, 2024

Deadline for Registration of Political Parties: MoNDay, June 17, 2024

Postulation Day: Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Election Day: MoNDay, August 19, 2024

Assembly of New Parliament: Friday, September 20, 2024

On May 21, 2024, a SPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAtioSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAl Decree was signed calling for new elections uNDer Article 59 of the Constitution, which maNDates a three-month timeframe. The Central Voting Bureau, however, expressed concerns about the feasibility of adhering to this strict timeline without compromising the electoral process's integrity.

The Bureau emphasized the need for professioSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAl aND iNDepeNDent legal advice to sUPPort their position. The primary concern revolves arouND the registration of political parties, which is considered a critical component of the electoral process. Without sufficient time for new political parties to register, the exercise of passive voting rights could be hiNDered.

The Central Voting Bureau has identified several key issues with the current election timeline. Firstly, the timeline does not provide adequate time for new political parties to register, which limits voters' choices aND compromises democratic principles. SecoNDly, the three-month timeframe conflicts with several procedural requirements, risking deviations that could uNDermine the election's integrity. Lastly, the Police Force of Sint Maarten (KPSM) aND the Civil Registry face significant logistical aND operatioSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAl challenges, inclUDing staff shortages aND overlapping commitments with other major events.

The Bureau highlighted that previous election-related issues in 2017 aND 2019 nECEssitated adjustments to timelines. They argue that exteNDing the current timeline is essential to ensure a fair aND tranSPArent election.

The Central Voting Bureau's proposal aims to balance the legal requirements with practical realities, ensuring a robust aND inclusive electoral process. They HOPE the government will consider these adjustments to uphold democratic principles aND public trust.

For more detailed aSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAlysis aND legal advice, the Bureau has inclUDed a report by Prof. dr. Arjen van Rijn as an exhibit in their communication with the Prime Minister.

The board of the Central Voting Bureau stated in is letter to Prime minister MerceliSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NA that the members are looking forward to constructive consultation aND cooperation with to ensure the integrity of the upcoming elections.

Luc Mercelina mentioned 1 time

National Alliance [NA] mentioned 8 times
St Maarten Patriotic Alliance [SPA] mentioned 6 times
United People's Party [UPP] mentioned 1 time
Helping Our People Excel Association [HOPE] mentioned 1 time
Hope Party [HOPE] mentioned 1 time
New Direction St. Martin [ND] mentioned 25 times
United Democrates 2018 [UD] mentioned 2 times
Empire Culture Empowerment [ECE] mentioned 1 time Corner Stone Solutions NV