Gracita Arrindell resigns as Parliament President St. Maarten


PHILIPSBURG--President of Parliament Gracita Arrindell (United People's UP party) has submitted her resignation as President of Parliament, effective in September, when the new Parliamentary Year begins. She submitted her letter, addressed to fellow Members of Parliament (MPs) on Wednesday, with copies to Governor Eugene Holiday and the Council of Ministers.

Arrindell will also discuss her resignation letter in a meeting of the Presidium of Parliament at 9:00am today, Thursday expected to be attended by recently-elected Deputy President of Parliament MP Romain Laville (independent) and Second Deputy President of Parliament Leroy de Weever (DP).

In her letter, Arrindell cited the "recent political changes" as the reason "for making the position available" to Parliament. She also stated, "It was an honour to service Parliament in the capacity as President of Parliament."
Arrindell has already discussed her decision to resign with Governor Holiday.

Her decision to make her resignation effective when the new Parliamentary Year starts has to do with her wanting to complete her task for the year. This would provide a "transition in a smooth way" from one parliament head to another, Arrindell told The Daily Herald. She is busy compiling the Parliamentary Year Report for the 2011/2012 year that will be presented during the first week of September.

The National Alliance (NA)/Democratic Party (DP)/Independent 3 coalition MPs had requested a meeting to elect a new president of parliament, tipped to be MP Rodolphe Samuel. That meeting is scheduled for Friday at 2:00pm in Parliament House.

Friday, based on the official schedule, should be the final day of parliamentary meetings before the annual summer recess.

Arrindell, who has held the post since St. Maarten became a country within the Dutch Kingdom on October 10, 2010, is the last member of the UP still in a top position after the UP/DP coalition collapsed in May.

Following the presidium meeting, Arrindell is expected to chair a Central Committee meeting on proposals to end abuse of short-term labour contracts based on a draft initiative law tabled by the National Alliance, and a discussion about the situation at the Pointe Blanche prison. The latter point was requested by UP.

Justice Minister Roland Duncan will be present for both agenda points.