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Electoral Council may soon consider penalty for party

Source: The Daily Herald 19 May 2015 06:23 AM

PHILIPSBURG--The Electoral Council may soon be forced to consider imposing a financial penalty on one of the eight political parties registered for the 2014 Parliamentary Election that has failed to submit its annual report to the Council.

All registered political parties had up to February 1 to submit all their donation registries and annual financial reports to the Council as required under the National Ordinance on the Registration and Financing of Political Parties. To date, one party is in default of its legal obligations.

Electoral Council Chairman Attorney Bert Hoffman told The Daily Herald the Council would inform the party via letter that it must get its financial business "in order or face penalties." The Council still has to decide on the exact amount of the penalty.

Hoffman declined to give the name of the defaulting party, only saying they know who they are. He also did not comment on the quality of the financial reports and annual reports received from the parties that have lived up to their legal obligations. "I will leave that to the Audit Chamber," he said.

By law, the General Audit Chamber has to review and comment on the political parties' reports.

Only three parties – Citizens for Positive Change (CPC), United People's (UP) party and Social Reform Party (SRP) – had submitted their donation registers and other statements by the February 1 deadline. National Alliance and United St. Maarten Party submitted their donation registers to the Electoral Council after the deadline.

The three parties were urged in a press statement issued early February to submit their donation registers to the Electoral Council "urgently" to avoid measures being taken against them as laid down in Article 44 of the National Ordinance. Two of the three parties have submitted the required information to the Council since then.

The Daily Herald contacted the three parties and received confirmation from two that their reports had been submitted to the Council.

Democratic Party leader Sarah Wescot-Williams and Concordia Political Alliance leader Jeffrey Richardson told this newspaper via e-mail that all had been submitted to the Council.

One St. Maarten People Party leader Lenny Priest did not respond to this newspaper's e-mail or calls.

Sarah Wescot-Williams mentioned 1 time

Democratic Party [DP] mentioned 1 time
National Alliance [NA] mentioned 1 time
United St Maarten Party [USP] mentioned 1 time
One St Maarten People Party [OSPP] mentioned 1 time
Concordia Political Alliance [CPA] mentioned 1 time
Social Reform Party [SRP] mentioned 2 times Corner Stone Solutions NV