Sint Maarten is an island and a constituent country of the Netherlands. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea and covers the southern portion of the divided island of Saint Martin. Before 2010, it was known as the Territory of Sint Maarten and was also part of the five island territories that formed the Netherlands Antilles. Sint Maarten covers an area of about 13 square miles and has a population of approximately 33,600 people. Sint Maarten adopted a constitution on July 21, 2010, and the election for the new island council was held on September 17, 2010, with the newly elected island council becoming Estates of Sint Maarten in October.
The Government Of Sint Maarten
Sint Maarten is a parliamentary representative democratic country with a system of multi-party. The government of Sint Maarten is formed by the Monarch of the Kingdom of Netherlands. The monarch is represented on the island by the governor. The prime minister heads the cabinet while the executive power is with the government. Both the government and the parliament exercise the legislative powers. The judiciary functions independently of the other arms of government. The government of Sint Maarten is represented in Netherlands by the minister plenipotentiary. Sint Maarten has full autonomy on several matters except those ascribed in the Charter of the Kingdom of Netherlands.
The Executive Branch Of The Government Of Sint Maarten
The executive powers rest with the government of Sint Maarten. The executive branch is composed of the governor, the prime minister, and the cabinet ministers. The governor represents the monarch and has twofold duties; to head the government and to safeguard the interest of the kingdom. He is answerable to the Kingdom of Netherlands and exercises the executive powers under the responsibility of the ministers. The governor is appointed to a six-year term but he does not have a political responsibility. The prime minister and the deputy ministers are elected to a four-year term by the Staten. The current cabinet known as Second Marlin Cabinet was formed in October 2010. It is a coalition between three main political parties on the island including the National Alliance, the Democratic Party, and the United Saint Maarten Party.
The Legislative Branch Of The Government Of Sint Maarten
The legislative power rests with the government of Sint Maarten and the parliament. The government is composed of the governor, prime minister, and other cabinet ministers while the parliament or Staten is composed of fifteen legislators who are elected directly by the popular vote to a four-year term. The Staten elects the prime minister and his deputy. The legislatures also debate and pass bills into laws as well as approve the executive’s budget.
The Judicial Branch Of The Government Of Sint Maarten
The judicial system of Sint Maarten mainly resembles the Dutch judiciary system. The judiciary operates independently of the other arms of government. The jurisdiction of the judiciary including the appeal is with the Common Court of Justice which is shared by other Netherlands Antilles such as Curacao, Aruba, and Bonaire. Sint Maarten can evaluate laws against the constitution and the evaluation can only be carried out by the Constitutional Court upon the recommendation by the Ombudsman.