Parliament hosts information sessions for candidates of political parties contesting the upcoming Parliamentary elections

December 12, 2023  -PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – On Wednesday, December 6, and Thursday, December 7, 2023, the Secretariat of the Parliament of Sint Maarten organized and hosted three information sessions for all candidates of the political parties contesting the parliamentary elections on January 11, 2024. Candidates of all eight parties contesting the upcoming elections made use of this opportunity to learn more about Parliament.

The sessions were provided by the Secretary-General of the Parliament, Mr. Garrick J. Richardson, LL.M, ML, and Advisor to the Secretary-General, Mrs. Ann A. Groen-Gumbs, LL.M.

During the presentation, the Secretary-General gave insight into Sint Maarten’s political history that made way for our current constitutional framework and our Parliamentary democracy.

The presentation also covered the tasks of Members of Parliament, namely to represent the entire population of Sint Maarten, to act as co-legislator, and to exercise control over and supervise the Government’s policies.

During the presentation, the legislative process was also discussed in detail, from the start of a legislative piece to the entry into force of the legislation. The candidates were also briefed on the Rules of Order for Parliament that regulates how Parliament functions.

The Advisor to the Secretary-General presented on the different formats of meetings that the Parliament has, the requirements of the meetings, and what takes place in those meetings. The candidates were informed about the Committee for Petitions, as regulated by the Constitution, the Permanent Committees of Parliament, and the Ad Hoc (temporary) Committees of Parliament. Time was also spent on why Sint Maarten implemented a Question Hour.

After that, an explanation was given on the role of the President of Parliament, the Presidium, and the Secretariat of Parliament in the organization of Parliament.

At the end of the presentation, the candidates attending the sessions were given the opportunity to pose questions related to the presentation to the presenters.

At the start of every Parliamentary Term, the Secretariat of Parliament organizes an Orientation Week for all the Members of Parliament, in which intensive training into the role of a Member of Parliament and presentations by the High Councils of State and other Advisory Bodies of Sint Maarten are given. The information sessions held on December 6 and 7, 2023, served as an introduction to the Parliament of Sint Maarten and a stepping stone towards further and continuous learning about Parliament and the role of Members of Parliament in our democracy.

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