Buncamper: Governor applying unconstitutional, unlawful norms in denying Emmanuel, Peterson – StMaartenNews.com – News Views Reviews & Interviews

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PHILIPSBURG — Deputy Leader of the Nation Opportunity Wealth (NOW) party Claudius Buncamper on Sunday said that Governor Ajamu Baly must substantiate that the appointment decisions regarding Raeyhon Peterson and MP Christophe Emmanuel represent a significant and structural violation of “the soundness of governance,” a matter primarily within the national jurisdiction of St. Maarten.

Buncamper was reacting to the Governor’s decision last week to send Peterson and Emmanuel’s decrees back to the Prime Minister to be retracted. The Governor, Buncamper said, should clarify which national regulation or Kingdom interest is allegedly violated by these appointment decrees, providing a formal basis for requesting the Prime Minister to revoke these decrees.

“If the Governor cannot justify his actions according to Article 33(sub 1) and Article 40 of the Statute, he risks committing an offence in office per Article 25(c) and (d) of the Governor’s Regulations, potentially leading to criminal proceedings,” Buncamper said.

“The Governor’s request to the Prime Minister to revoke the national appointment decrees could be interpreted as a refusal to execute those decrees, as per Article 3, paragraph 2 of the LAR. Peterson and Emmanuel may object to the Governor or appeal to the administrative court, requesting a preliminary injunction to compel the Governor to make a decision on their national appointments,” Buncamper further explained.

He pointed out that the regulations governing the role and powers of the Governor of Sint Maarten are established by Kingdom law, in accordance with Article 2, second and third paragraphs, of the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands. These regulations specifically pertain to the Governor’s responsibilities as an organ of the Kingdom, representing the King as the head of the government of the Kingdom.

A Kingdom Act, unlike a consensus Kingdom Act as outlined in Article 38, paragraph 2 of the Statute, exclusively regulates matters pertaining to the Kingdom. The primary matters of the Kingdom are enumerated in Article 3 of the Statute. Consequently, the powers vested in the Governor by the Statute and the corresponding regulations are strictly related to the Governor’s role as a representative of the Kingdom’s interests.

“The internal governance of the Kingdom countries, including the appointment of their ministers, is considered an autonomous matter as per Articles 41 and 42 of the Statute. These responsibilities must be regulated at the national level through the Constitution Law in the Netherlands and by National Ordinances or constitutions in Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten. Article 43 (sub1) of the Charter reinforces that sound administration, legal certainty, and human rights are primarily national concerns. Under the second paragraph of this article, these responsibilities can temporarily be elevated to Kingdom matters, but this should be an ultimum remedium, exercised with great restraint by the Kingdom,” Buncamper said.

The NOW Deputy Leader stressed that the Governor, must exercise caution in designating national affairs as matters for the Kingdom, especially regarding the appointment of ministers and ensuring good governance. He said invoking Article 21 of the Governor’s Regulations and Article 43, paragraph 2 of the Statute without adequate justification could involve other Kingdom bodies – the Kingdom Council of Ministers and the Council of State for the Kingdom – in making final judgments on autonomous national matters, potentially leaving affected parties without recourse.

“This situation is turning into a national embarrassment for the Governor who has yet to notify the King of his refusal to sign the national decrees, but instead chose to send them back to the Prime Minister. For what exactly? The law prohibits this. The Governor is acting unlawfully and an legal action against the Governor could be initiated in civil court, claiming damages for loss of income and reputational harm suffered by Peterson and Emmanuel. The Governor is not above the law. The Governor must stop this charade for the sake of St. Maarten and its governance as well as his reputation,” Buncamper said.