The Kingdom of the Netherlands is comprised of four countries: St. Maarten, Aruba, Curacao and the Netherlands since October 10, 2010. On that date, Sint Maarten acquired the status of country within the Kingdom. As a result, St. Maarten has its own Governor as of that day.

In accordance with the regulation of the Governor the authorities of the Governor are divided in powers assigned to him by law as an organ of the country St. Maarten and as an organ of the Kingdom (download PDF).

The Governor as organ of the country St. Maarten

As organ of the country of St. Maarten the Governor represents the King of the Netherlands, King Willem Alexander, on Sint Maarten and is as such the head of the government of St. Maarten. As head of government the Governor is immune and the ministers are responsible. The Governor together with  the ministers forms the Government of Sint Maarten and as such exercises executive powers.

The executive powers are related to:

  1. The establishment and promulgation of national ordinances and the signing of national decrees, containing general measures.
  2. The appointment, suspension and dismissal of civil servants  and the establishment of their remuneration;
  3. The management of the finances and domains (properties) of St. Maarten;
  4. The granting of remission of sentence and dispensations;
  5. Granting permission for military aircraft and vessels of a foreign power to enter airspace or territorial waters of St. Maarten.

Many high officials when accepting their official duties, take the oath or the declaration and affirmation in the hands of the Governor. This applies to, among others,  ministers, members of Parliament, members of the Council of Advise, members of the General Audit Chamber, the Attorney General, and judges. At the beginning of the new Parliamentary year, on the second Tuesday of September, the Governor delivers the Governors address in a meeting of Parliament convened for that purpose. The Governor's address is an outline of the envisaged plans and policies of the Government. The Prime-Minister is responsible for the contents of the address.

The Governor is also  the chairman of the Council of Advice. In that capacity he has an advisory function. The vice-chair is responsible for the daily management. The Council of Advice advices the Governement and Parliament on (draft) legislation.

The Governor also participates in the legislative branch of Government of St. Maarten. The Governor presents draft national ordinances for approval to the Parliament and enacts them, after approval is obtained. Subsequently, he sees to it that the enacted national ordinances are promulgated.

The Governor as organ of the Kingdom

As organ of the Kingdom the Governor represents the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Governor in this capacity is responsible to the Government of the Kingdom. The Governor is authorized, within the limits of the law, to act on behalf of the Kingdom government. As organ of the Kingdom the Governor, in regards to Sint Maarten, guards the general interest of the kingdom, is responsible for the implementation of Kingdom Laws, of General administrative measures and of international treaties and oversees compliance therewith. This applies to the following kingdom affairs:

  1. Maintaining the independence and the defense of the Kingdom (Commander of Armed Forces);
  2. Foreign relations;
  3. Dutch nationality;
  4. The regulation of the knighthoods (The Royal honors)
  5. Provide for the realization and supervision of the observance of kingdom laws, general administrative measures and international agreements.

In this regard citizens of St. Maarten mainly come in contact with the Governor through: the implementation of the Passport Law (issuing of travel documents), the implementation of the regulation issuing visas (Granting visas), the implementation of the Law on Dutch citizenship (naturalization and option), and the awarding of the annual Royal decorations on King's Day.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is provided for general information and is only intended as such. The information provided is not legally binding. The Office of the Governor of St. Maarten is not liable for any damage that may occur due to ambiguity or incompleteness of the data contained in this website.