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St. Maarten parliamentarians call for legal department


PHILIPSBURG–A legal affairs department is needed for parliament post haste in order for Members of Parliament to become more effective with drafting and passing legislation. This was the call from Democratic Party (DP) Member of Parliament Roy Marlin and United People’s (UP) party MP Sylvia Meyers-Olivacce.

The two MPs made their call to newly-elected President of Parliament Gracita Arrindell during Monday’s plenary session of parliament. Arrindell was voted in during that meeting.

“Legislation is important,” said Marlin. He reiterated his position stated months ago that parliament’s resources should be managed better, starting with cutting back on the travel budget for the Parliament of Latin America Parlatino. Cutting that budget is the “only way to get through this quagmire … we need to seriously think about cutting back the travels.”

Marlin questioned the amount of legislation Parliament has passed since it came into existence in October 2010. “We need some legal brains [or] four years will go by without us actually doing our job.”

Marlin has one initiative law pending handling by parliament. He pointed out that he did as much as he could with his knowledge and background, but the draft requires the input of some legal experts.

Meyers-Olivacce said while she understands Parliament’s financial constraints, such a department is very necessary. “We have to start working and legislating … a lot of our laws are outdated.”

MP Johan Leonard (UP) also wants to see a number of draft laws and amendments taken care of. He was very keen on seeing a law regulating smoking in public places as a way of safeguarding the health of the population.

Bron: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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