The parliament is the highest legislative body of country Sint Maarten and represents the entire population of the Dutch side of the island. The parliament consists of 15 members who are elected for a four-year period.
The session year of parliament commences on the second Tuesday of September. During this session, the Governor provides an explanation of the policy to be pursued by the government.
The parliament elects a President and Deputy President from its own numbers.
The President of Parliament shall open and close the session year of the Parliament.
Role and Function of Parliament
The two most important tasks of parliament is the realization of legislation for Sint Maarten, and secondly, to exercise control over Government’s policy. Under the first task, Parliament exercises this task together with Government, so Parliament is called the co-legislator.
In order to carry out the aforementioned, the Parliament has a number of powers that allows it to fulfill its two tasks:
- The right to approve and amend the budget;
- The right of interpellation where each Member of Parliament (MP) has the right to question ministers of government in the General Assembly of Parliament;
- The right of initiative allows MPs to submit draft laws on their own initiative;
- The right to amendment, allows MPs to amend legislation that has been submitted to Parliament;
- The right to ask questions, every MP can question a Minister orally or in writing;
- The right to instigate inquiries allows parliament to institute an inquiry into the state of affairs in an event in which Government is involved.