The Parliament of Sint Maarten will be represented at Parlatino committee meetings this week in Oranjestad, Aruba.

Members of Parliament (MP) Romain Laville, and MP William Marlin are scheduled to leave the island on Wednesday and until September 24.

The MPs will be attending committee meetings on Gender Equity, Childhood and Youth; Economic Affairs, Social Debt and Regional Development; and Labor, Social and Legal Affairs.

The Parliament of Sint Maarten joined the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino), a regional, permanent and unicameral organization, comprising the National Latin American Parliaments elected democratically upon popular vote. Parlatino was created on December 7, 1964.

The purpose of Parlatino is to promote, human rights, and economic and social development; to maintain and foster relations with other geographic parliaments, as well as international organizations; and to defend against imperialism and colonialism.


President of Parliament Hon. drs. Gracita Arrindell, expresses her sympathy to the Pantophlet family on the passing of Member of Parliament (MP) Hon. George Pantophlet’s father.

“On behalf of the Parliament of Sint Maarten, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to National Alliance (NA) MP Hon. George Pantophlet on the passing of his father George R. Pantophlet (81).

“Our prayers and thoughts go out to him and his family during this difficult time as they mourn the loss of their love one,” Hon. President of Parliament Gracita Arrindell stated on Sunday.


Activities surrounding the ceremonial opening of the new parliamentary year 2011-2012 will start at 9.30am, Tuesday, September 13 when guests start to arrive at the House of Parliament.

Between 9.30am and 9.55am, His Excellency Governor Eugene Holiday and entourage will arrive. The Governor will inspect the uniform troops comprising of the St. Maarten Police, the St. Maarten Voluntary Corps and the Marines.

At 9.55am President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell will enter the House of Parliament followed by the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers.

At 10.00am the President of Parliament will open the ceremonial meeting and welcome everybody in attendance. After observing a moment of silence, the President will appoint a Reception and Departure Committee. Thereafter the meeting will be adjourned.

Members of the Reception/Departure Committee will proceed to the entrance of the House of Parliament and wait for the arrival of His Excellency Governor Eugene Holiday and his entourage.

After the Governor and his entourage enter the House of Parliament’s General Assembly Chamber, the President of Parliament welcomes His Excellency.

Governor Eugene Holiday then proceeds to deliver the annual state of the nation address which is the Governments Governing Program for the new parliamentary year.

After a national address of approximately 30 minutes, the President thanks His Excellency the Governor and declares the new parliamentary year 2011-2012 officially open.

The Governor and his entourage leave the General Assembly Chamber under the escort of the Reception/Departure Committee.

Upon the return of the Reception/Departure Committee to the General Assembly Chamber, the President of Parliament formally closes the ceremonial opening of the new parliamentary year.

The President of Parliament and the Prime Minister join the Governor and his entourage and proceed to the Wilhelmina Straat to view the military parade along with Members of Parliament, the Council of Ministers and invited guests.

After the parade, the invitees proceed to Sheer Restaurant for a reception party hosted by the President of Parliament on the occasion of the ceremonial opening of the new parliamentary year.

The opening ceremony of the new parliamentary year will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 20 from 9.30am on Tuesday. It will also be carried live on radio and via the internet on parliament’s website: www.sxmparliament.org

The Clem Labega Square paid-parking lot will be closed early on Tuesday morning until 2.00pm. The lot will be used to provide parking for the dignitaries who will be attending the ceremonial opening of the new parliament year.


The 2010-2011 parliamentary year will close on Monday afternoon, September 12. A special ceremony of parliament will be held for this occasion at 2.00pm.

The parliamentary session was planned for 10.00am on Monday, however, due to unforeseen circumstances, this had to be rescheduled.

President of Parliament Hon. drs. Gracita Arrindell will deliver her annual report to members of parliament for the country’s first parliamentary year.

The four faction leaders will also make addresses to the nation with respect to the closing of the 2010-2011 parliamentary year.

The faction leaders are United Peoples party (UP) Honourable Romain Laville, Member of Parliament (MP), Democratic Party (DP) Hon. Roy Marlin (MP), Independent Hon. Patrick Illidge (MP), and National Alliance (NA) Hon. William Marlin (MP).

The meeting will take place in the General Assembly Chamber on Monday at 2.00pm. This special closing session of parliament will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 20.

On Monday the final preparations for the opening ceremony of the new parliamentary year 2011-2012 will be completed. The opening ceremony will take place from 9.30am on Tuesday, September 13.

Insight into the ceremony and preparations for September 13 can be viewed in a press briefing by President of Parliament to be aired on Monday, St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 15 at 7.00pm.

The opening ceremony of the new parliamentary year will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 20 from 9.30am on Tuesday. It will also be carried live on radio and via the internet on parliament’s website: www.sxmparliament.org


The Central Committee of Parliament meeting of Wednesday about the Penal Code has been rescheduled until Thursday.

The Central Committee of Parliament will meet with Professor H. den Doelder in the General Assembly Chamber at 2.00pm.

Central Committee meetings are public and are carried live by St. Maarten Cable TV on Channel 20.


{images/Parliament-Faction-Meets-Dutch-Rep-Wulp-004.jpg|462|298|Second from left seated around the table Independent Member of Parliament (MP) Hon. Patrick Illidge, Hon. MP Roy Marlin (Democratic Party), and Hon. MP William Marlin (National Alliance); foreground, left to right, Dutch Representation in Philipsburg M. Jonkers and new Dutch representative Chief Gerard van der Wulp (back to camera). A representative of the United Peoples party faction was unable to attend.|left}

Faction leaders represented in Parliament met with the new Dutch representative Gerard van der Wulp from the Dutch Ministry of Interior & Kingdom Relations, who is replacing Rob van Maas at the Dutch Head Representation Office in Willemstad, Curacao. Faction leaders were able to discuss exchange views on a host of issues with Wulp. The meeting took place in the House of Parliament’s conference room.


The Ad Hoc Committee of the Rules of Order of Parliament met on Wednesday and the meeting is set to continue on Thursday, September 1.

The Ad Hoc Committee Rules of Order will meet in the General Assembly Chamber at 2.00pm.

Committee members are Members of Parliament (MPs) Hon. Dr. Lloyd Richardson, MP Hon. Patrick Illidge, MP Hon. Roy Marlin, and MP Hon. Sylvia Olivacce-Meyers.


The Central Committee of Parliament will meet three times this week.

The first meeting will be with Professor De Boer concerning the Civil Law Code in the General Assembly Chamber in the House of Parliament on Monday, August 22 at 10.00am.

The second Central Committee meeting of Parliament is for 2.00pm on Monday in the General Assembly Chamber. The meeting is related to certain amendments to the Turn over Tax legislation 1997 and two financial specialists will be present for the meeting.

On Wednesday, August 24, the Central Committee of Parliament will meet with Professor H. den Doelder concerning the Penal Code. This meeting will take place in the General Assembly Chamber at 10.00am.

The meetings on the Civil and Penal Codes are related to 13 laws that were passed over from the former Parliament of the Netherlands Antilles to be finalized by the Parliament of St. Maarten before October 10, 2011.

Central Committee meetings are public and are carried live by St. Maarten Cable TV on Channel 20.


Advisory-Council-presents-report-to-ParliamentPresident of Parliament Hon. drs. Gracita Arrindell recently received from the Vice Chairlady of the State Council of Advice (AC) Hon. Mavis Brooks-Salmon the Council’s 2010 Annual Report.

Arrindell said during the meeting that a number of issues were discussed, including the difficulty in finding staff and the procedural process to submit initiative laws. Regular meetings will take place between the Vice Chair of the AC and President of Parliament.

“I believe formal as well as informal communication is very essential between the new high councils of state of the new country, especially at the infant stage of getting these institutions off the ground and up and running. There is a lot of work to be done and everyone has their role to play. Both bodies are in the process of putting personnel in place.

“The AC just as Parliament is looking to hire legal advisors and it’s basically fishing in the same pond for that expertise. The AC is presently working with guidelines from the Advisory Councils of State of Curacao, Aruba and the Kingdom Council.    

“Parliament has also sent its first draft initiative law change to the AC according to article 85, paragraph three of the Constitution. According to that article, Parliament presents a draft law to the AC before Parliament takes it into discussion. I was pleased to have met with Brooks-Salmon and her legal advisor,” President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell said.

The 24-page report covers the first three months of the Council’s operations.

The AC is an independent organ of Government which is anchored in the Constitution of St. Maarten. According to the Constitution, the task of the Advisory Council is to advise the Government and Parliament, when it presents an initiative bill, about proposals of legislation and regulation of or with regard to the country.

The AC comprises of five members including the vice-chair and five extra ordinary members.


Today, Friday August 12, marks International Youth Day (IYD) under the slogan “Change Our World.” The focus has been placed on the role young people are playing and have played during the past eight months in overthrowing non-democratic elected governments.

This year’s International Youth Day also represented the culmination of the International Year of Youth, designated by the United Nations (UN) to comprise the 12-month period between IYD-2010 and IYD-2011, and the 25th anniversary of the first International Year of Youth.

“On this day I would like to wish them much success for the future. We must work more diligently with them by providing the tools and the right framework for our young people to succeed in life.

“The new school year will be opening on Monday, August 15 and I also use this opportunity to wish them, as well as the teachers, school management and staff all the best for the 2011-2012 school year.

“Young people have very good ideas and are often the leading proponents of sustainability and green lifestyles. We need to continue to work with young people on the local level, but also regionally and internationally in expanding their horizons of opportunity and providing for their legitimate demands in various areas of their development.

“Investments in young people today will pay great dividends in a better future for our country. There is much for our young people to be proud of.

“They have the opportunity when compared to many others around the world, to go to school, study abroad, sports facilities, afterschool programs etc.

“However, there continues to be challenges, and as parliamentarians and as government, we must continue to address those challenges, but parents also have their role and responsibilities as well.

“We all need to continue to work together in providing everything that young people need in order for them to be able to continue to blossom in our community and grow together in making St. Maarten what we want it to be together,” President of President Hon. Gracita Arrindell said on Friday in her message on International Youth Day.

On 17 December 1999, the UN General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers responsible for Youth which was held in Portugal, that 12 August be declared International Youth Day.


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