In Sint Maarten, party seeks clarification on proportional representation after two MPs declare themselves independent

By The Daily Herald, 14 December 2021
Flag of Sint Maarten (photo credit: Shutterstock)
Flag of Sint Maarten (photo credit: Shutterstock)
The board of the United St. Maarten Party (US Party) will be seeking further clarification into what it deems as a serious constitutional issue, after both of its Members of Parliament (MPs) Claudius Buncamper and Akeem Arrindell declared themselves independent, leaving the party with no representation in Parliament. [...]  The allocation of seats to the party list is based on the proportion of votes the party list receives. US Party received 1,762 votes in the 2020 Parliamentary Elections. [...] The US Party received two seats, “these individuals did not accumulate enough votes to represent half of seat. The US [Party] board questioned who holds the seat according to the Constitution, who are the independent Members of Parliament representing? What portions of the population are they representing, based on their numbers? Who holds the seat according to the Constitution? Is it the party or is it the individuals?” president of the US Party board Cecil Nicholas said.   “We also questioned how the Electoral Council recognises independent members of Parliament, given the fact that the electoral law that governs the electoral council only recognises or speaks to Party list, it does not recognise individuals. Parliament has recognised the individual MPs as factions, but the seat, according to the electoral laws, belongs to the party list, and if the party should be represented based on the seats awarded, then what does that say to the fact that the key principle of a parliamentary system is supposed to be the party,” Nicholas added.
Read the full article here: The Daily Herald


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