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Decision of the Minister of Justice establishing political campaigning guidelines

​The Minister of Justice:
Considering:

That Parliamentary elections will be held on January 9, 2020;

That political campaigning is inextricably linked to the freedoms of speech, association and assembly, which freedoms are protected by the constitution and treaties;

That from a public order and safety point of view all the registered political parties which and their candidates who are contesting the upcoming parliamentary elections should be aware of and follow uniform guidelines in executing their campaign activities: e.g. political manifestations, rallies, parades flagging, placing of billboards, poster signs, in the public domain or for the general public accessible areas;

That these guidelines are based on:
- The Constitution (Staatsregeling) of Sint Maarten;
- The General Police Ordinance (Algemene politiekeur);
- The National Ordinance on Public Manifestations (Landsverordening openbare manifestaties);
 
DECIDES:
 
To establish the following political campaigning guidelines:
A. Political Promotional Material
1. No permit is required for the placement of political billboards and banners or other political campaign material – e.g. flags, posters, signs - on, over or along the public roads, provided that these political billboards, banners and other political campaign material are not used for commercial purposes.
2. The political party and their candidates shall make sure that these objects are placed in such a way that no hinder or danger arises for traffic and pedestrians. Political campaign material may not be placed  on or unto traffic facilities – e.g. road signs, traffic lights, road blocks – and may at no time block the view of public order camera’s.
3. The political party and their candidates shall make sure that their political campaign material is removed no later than January 13, 2020, or will risk that it will be removed on the cost of the identified political party.
4. The political party and their candidates shall follow the instructions given by the police in the interest of public order, safety and security.

B. Political Public Events
1. The political party and their candidates intending to hold a political event at a public space must notify the Minister of Justice in writing prior to the public announcement of that event and at least 48 hours before it is held.
2. In notifying the minister the notification must state:
a. the name and address of the party holding the event;
b. the purpose of its event;
c. the date on which the event is to be held and the times of its commencement and closure;
d. the location and, where applicable, the route and the closure location;
e. where applicable, the composition;
f. measures that the party organizing the event will take to promote its orderly progress.

3. If the following situations occur, the event could be prohibited:
a. the required notification is not issued in time;
b. the required information has not been provided, or proves to be incorrect or incomplete.

4. Pursuant to the National Ordinance on Public Manifestations an event shall be prohibited:
a. for the protection of health;
b. in the interests of traffic; or
c. to prevent or control disorder.

5. The political event may not obstructs the operations of churches, courts, hospitals, schools and polling stations.

6. The political party and their candidates are responsible for the safety and well-being of the participants or visitors of their events and must take adequate measures to that end.

7. During the event no alcoholic beverages may be given or sold to persons in a state of intoxication and children under the age of 18;

8. The political party and their candidates must ensure that there are sufficient sanitary facilities at the location of his public event.

9. If the political party and their candidates make use of amplified sound, the volume thereof should be of such that the residential peace of local residents is not unacceptably restricted.

10. The political party and their candidates are responsible for cleaning the location of the event immediately after the end of its event.

11. The political party and their candidates shall follow the instructions given by the police in the interest of public order, safety and security.

12. the political parties must appoint a contact person for the police and other emergency services

This decision shall be effective retroactively to November 21, 2019 until January 15, 2020.

Philipsburg, November 27, 2019
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE