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Gumbs cabinet seeking to dissolve Parliament and call new elections

page1a116~Gumbs: NAf. 150,000 available for new elections~

PHILIPSBURG--One day after Parliament passed a motion of no-confidence against the Gumbs Cabinet, the Council of Ministers is seeking to dissolve parliament and have new elections called on Tuesday, December 8.

  Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs announced at a press conference on Thursday that based on several legal advices received last night, the Council made a decision to use Article 59 of the constitution to dissolve parliament. A National Decree (landsbesluit) to dissolve parliament and to call elections was prepared and submitted to Governor Eugene Holiday with a request for him to sign it. The Prime Minister said the Council is now awaiting a response from the Governor on the request.

  The Prime Minister, who said he and the other members of the Council were shocked with the vote of no confidence, said the cabinet believes that the country has undergone a lot in the past five years with multiple changes in government, which have been short lived, not lasting for more than a year. “And the people of St. Maarten and this country do not deserve this treatment. I am convinced that the time has come to go back to the public and give them an opportunity to go to the polls and elect a new set of people to take a decision to represent the people. We have become the laughing stock of the world,” Gumbs told reporters.

  He said if elections were to be called, an amount of NAf. 150,000 can be made available for elections from government’s coffers.

  The National Decree sent to the Governor, recommends that elections would be called on December 8, and the new parliament would convene on December 30.

  Also attending Thursday’s press conference were ministers Rafael Boasman, Rita Bourne-Gumbs, Dennis Richardson, Claret Connor and Martin Hassink. Minister Ernest Sams was off island on a tourism related matter and could not be present.  

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