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St Maarten Elections Postponed Until January

The parliamentary elections in St Maarten are postponed for a month and a half to 9 January. Governor Eugene Holiday had to decide to do so on Thursday because of the departure of the members of the central electoral committee. They left earlier this week because they felt they had too little time to organize the elections.

The members of the central electoral committee have left because they were unable to fulfill their legal duties, President Jason Rogers told the government. Due to the tight planning, it would be impossible, among other things, to register new parties and to announce in time that candidates can register. Voters were also unable to register on time. “All kinds of legal deadlines are in the past,” he wrote, according to local media in the letter in which the electoral office announced its departure.

St Maarten must go to the polls early because of the fall of the cabinet last week. Prime Minister Leona Marlin-Romeo lost her majority after the departure of two parliamentarians, partly due to the poor reconstruction after the devastating hurricane Irma. Due to the storm in 2017, the previous elections also had to be postponed.

The island of Sint Maarten consists of a Dutch and a French part. The Dutch part is an independent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Governor Holiday has been appointed by King Willem-Alexander and is not a member of the cabinet.

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