Proposed Election Date July 18: Governor Ratifies Decree to Dissolve Parliament

PHILIPSBURG – In a significant political development, Governor Ajamu Baly has ratified a draft decree to dissolve the Parliament of St. Maarten, with plans for new elections to be held on July 18. This decision comes in the wake of a recent shift in parliamentary support that has undermined the stability of the current coalition government.

The political shift began on May 20 when Member of Parliament (MP) Kevin Maingrette of the NOW party withdrew his support from the ruling URSM/PFP/DP/NOW coalition and declared himself an independent MP. This move effectively deprived the coalition government of its majority in Parliament.

In response to this development, Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs Dr. Luc Mercelina informed Governor Baly that the government had lost its majority support and expressed the intention to dissolve Parliament and call for snap elections. Following this, Mercelina presented a draft national decree to dissolve Parliament by August 2024, with elections scheduled for July 18.

Governor Baly, adhering to constitutional procedures, reviewed and ratified the dissolution decree. He has commenced consultations to evaluate the feasibility of forming a new government. The consultations began on May 21 and are aimed at ensuring a smooth transition and maintaining governmental stability until the elections.

A key document in these proceedings is a governing accord received by Governor Baly from MP Maingrette, dated May 20. This accord outlines an agreement in principle for the formation of the next government of St. Maarten and is signed by eight MPs, including members of the NA and UP factions and Maingrette himself. The accord has been disseminated to the chairperson of Parliament, the current government, and the leaders of the URSM, PFP, DP, and NOW parties for their review.

Governor Baly has urged the current ministers, including the minister plenipotentiary and the deputy minister plenipotentiary, to continue their duties in the best interests of St. Maarten while their resignation requests are under consideration. He emphasized the importance of maintaining government functions and working collaboratively until a clear decision is reached regarding their roles.

As the consultations proceed, the political landscape in St. Maarten is poised for significant changes, with the upcoming elections on July 18 serving as a pivotal moment for the nation’s future governance.

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