Great Bay, St. Martin (Thursday, January 25, 2007) – Although no new date has been set for the so-called “country status” for the island territory of St. Martin, Commissioner of Constitutional Affairs, Sarah Wescot-Williams, who had earlier declared that the target date of July 1, 2007 was unattainable and unrealistic, Wednesday clarified that the process would take at least 12 to 14 months.
Speaking at the weekly Executive Council press briefing, Wescot-Williams noted that two Kingdom Laws needed to be promulgated before St. Martin could become a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The first would change the current Kingdom Charter to allow for the island territory to become a “country”, while the second would regulate the transition period.
Said Wescot-Williams: “Country status for St. Martin cannot go into effect unless and until we have a Kingdom Law establishing that St. Martin will be a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.”
“That process alone,” she continued, “takes anywhere between some say 12, but realistically speaking you’re talking of a process of between 12 and 14 months.”
The Commissioner further added that she expects that more light would be shed by outgoing Dutch Minister for Kingdom Relations, Atzo Nicolai, when he visits the island again next month.