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Prof. van den Berg in favour of dissolving

1_Marcel_Gumbs_Prime_MinisterTHE HAGUE--Constitutional and parliamentary law professor Dr. Joop van den Berg has come to the defence of St. Maarten Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs in the Council of Ministers’ decision to dissolve the St. Maarten Parliament. He is the third Dutch professor to do so.

Van den Berg stated in a brief letter to Gumbs on Thursday that he fully supported the advices of his colleagues, Professors Arjen van Rijn and Constantijn Kortmann, in relation to the legality of the National Decree to dissolve Parliament following the termination of the Council’s majority support in Parliament.

Van den Berg stated that he had studied Van Rijn’s and Kortmann’s advices as well as a number of relevant documents in relation to the current political crisis. “I can only conclude that I completely agree with both advices,” he informed Gumbs. Gumbs had requested Van den Berg’s advice on October 6.

St. Maarten has been in a political crisis since last week after a majority in the St. Maarten Parliament adopted a motion of no confidence against the Council of Ministers. The Gumbs cabinet has refused to resign and instead approved a national decree to dissolve Parliament, as a result of which new elections would have to be called.

The Governor has refused to sign the decree, while consultations have started to form a new Government that would have the support of the National Alliance, the St. Maarten Democratic Party, the United St. Maarten Party and independent Members of Parliament Maurice Lake and Silvio Matser, formerly of the United People’s Party.

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