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PHILIPSBURG – The elections on Sint Maarten have been postponed till January 9th, 2020. The new date allows new parties to register for the elections.

The revised decree has moved the date on which Parliament will be dissolved to February 10th, 2020. This happened after all of the members of the head polling station tendered their resignations due to objections against November 25th as the election date.

Extraordinary circumstances
Governor, Drs. Eugène Holiday, postulates in a press release that after elections have been called, that these cannot be retracted and that amendments to the decree can only be made under extraordinary circumstances.

The extraordinary circumstance in this case was the resignation of all the members of the head polling station.

The members of the head polling station decided to resign because elections on the 25th of November would violate article 23 of the constitution. This article states that all Dutch citizens who live on Sint Maarten have the right to choose elected members of public entities and that they are also entitled to run for those offices.

New parties

Elections on the 25th of November would have made it impossible to register new parties seeing as this needs to happen at least six weeks before the candidacy announcements. The revised decree leaves enough time for new poltical parties to register themselves.

Parliament met on Thursday to discuss the situation; deputy prime minister Wycliffe Smith surprised parliamentarians with the announcement that the governor had signed the revised decree – which moved the elections to January 9th, 2020 – a few hours earlier.