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Is the Chair of Parliament a dictator?

Is the Parliament of St. Maarten being run by a Dictator? Is the chairlady the only person that was elected in 2018 to the parliament of St. Maarten? This chair of parliament is hell-bent on running the parliament the way she deems is right in her own eyes; she takes the elected members of the NA and the USP Parties for granted, and she adjourns meetings that are seemingly not going the way she thinks they should go. She interprets urgently called meetings by the elected members of the NA and USP as not really urgent and schedules and adjourns them at her own convenience if ever at all.

In the meeting called to discuss the Substitute Member of Parliament to replace MP Heyliger on Friday, March 29th, after not receiving a quorum in the prior two meetings, the chair was hell-bent on doing it her way. She assigned a committee consisting of three members all from the UD/SCMP, while there were 2 other elected MPs signed in to the public meeting of parliament. The chair did it her way.

When asked at the end of that exercise if a decision was taken, the chair told parliament and the people of St. Maarten no decision could have been taken, in agreement with the comments of NA S. Jacobs and USP R. Brison as it was stated in the constitution. Yet we heard later that the dictator made a decision to send up the report and credentials to the Governor in order that he invite the substitute to be sworn in anyway.

Is this chairlady serious? Was she trying to pull something on the Governor? Then she has the brass to go on radio and create the idea that Governor is not doing what he should be doing. The governor is not there to serve MP Sarah Westcott and her dictatorial behavior. His Excellency has a role as defined in our constitution to uphold the law of the land - nothing less and nothing more.

It is time that members of parliament stand up and let the chair know that we will no longer accept the way she is running the parliament of St. Maarten as if it is her private business, and everyone else must adhere to her wishes. Let me be clear when I speak of members of parliament I am speaking about the elected members of the UD and the SMCP. The situation is bigger than Sarah Westcott - this is about St. Maarten. If this continues as is, the shame will not be on the chair only but on the other 7 members of parliament who do not have the fortitude to stand up and let the Chairlady know that enough is enough. The 7 of you like the other 7 took an oath to vote their conscience unless you don't have a conscience because something got it.

This country is heading in a very bad direction because NO ONE supporting the government is willing to stand up and be counted. So we have created a Dictator in the Chair of Parliament.

That is my 2 cents

Harold Richardson

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