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No discussion on Code of Conduct for MPs

02 June 2017

PHILIPSBURG–Members of Parliament (MPs) did not get to the discussion on Thursday about the establishing of a Code of Conduct to regulate their behaviour by putting rules in place for, among other things, the acceptance of gifts and regulating jobs outside of parliamentary functions.

The Central Committee meeting to discuss the Code did not proceed due to no quorum. The session was missing one MP for the majority of eight to resume after a suspension to allow members of the St. Maarten Anti-Poverty Platform to exit the General Assembly Hall of Parliament House after their presentation.

When the session resumed, Parliament Chairwoman Sarah Wescot-Williams pointed out the deficit of MPs in the Hall and requested at least one MP to return for the session to proceed. She again suspended the session for a maximum of 30 minutes to see if anyone would adhere to the request. However, a quorum was not had and the session was called to be resumed at a later date.

Prior to the agenda point on the Code of Conduct, MPs heard from the Anti-Poverty Platform about the need for legislation to tackle poverty starting with the institution of a living wage and equality of social benefits with that of the Netherlands.

A living wage will not only tackle poverty and give residents a fighting chance to better themselves and their family, according to the Platform. The wage will lead to an end to voting buying and of politicians being targeted by residents for money to pay their bills or acquire other necessities.

The Platform asked MPs to seek ways to get the Committee for Financial Supervision (CFT) to allow the country to development without restraints.

MPs, as they did when they met with the Platform in the past, encouraged members to meet with the Council of Ministers to find ways to tackle poverty.

The need to sound statistics about the level of poverty and to establish a poverty line for the country was expounded by MPs and the Platform.

Source: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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