PHILIPSBURG:--- Prime Minister William Marlin in his remarks on Wednesday at the Council of Ministers press briefing announced that the government of St. Maarten does not agree with the proposal sent to him by the Kingdom Government on the formation of a ‘dispute committee”. Marlin said while the government of St. Maarten cannot agree with the proposal simply because it states that despite any advices the Kingdom is the one that will have the last word on any matters of dispute. Marlin said even if the Council of State is sought for an advice that according to the Kingdom will remain an advice and the Kingdom could ignore the advice if they if they have motivated reasons to deviate from that advice. Marlin said he does not see the proposal sent by Minister Plasterk as a solution, instead he sees the document where the Kingdom is taking the countries for a ‘nice ride around the park” but at the end of the day they “the Dutch government/Kingdom are in charge and whatever they say goes. The Prime Minister said in his view it does not make any sense with the dispute committee, because it makes absolutely no sense having a dispute between two parties, while only one party will have the last word.
Prime Minister peeved about documents from Government owned companies being leaked and published.
Prime Minister William Marlin expressed his dissatisfaction on Wednesday when asked if government is addressing the ciaos at GEBE. Marlin said he does not believe that documents from government or government owned companies should be leaked and published on blogs because in his view, this create confusion while in his opinion it is intended to destabilize the company. He said publication of such information affects the trust of the company, while it also creates some distrust.
One example he made was the lunch receipts and confidential reports were leaked and published.
Marlin said that everyone knows that the company is under stress for some time now and that the government is dealing with the matter. He said the situation has the full attention of government, therefore he is assuring the people as well as the employees of GEBE that Government is dealing with the situation at GEBE. Marlin said there are proposals to appoint board members and there is a discussion ongoing for a manager or CEO of the company. He however said that the way GEBE is structured a CEO, COO and CFO has to be on the managerial board. He said government has to take into consideration the ongoing legal process involving the former CFO and GEBE. Marlin said currently there are discussions taking place between the board and the legal representative of the CFO. “All of these things have to be placed in the proper equation before appointing persons.”
As for the appointments, government has to deal with the Corporate Governance Council while those persons that wants to take up senior positions on the managerial board has to go through the screening process that is conducted by VDSM.
Asked if the shareholder, or the Supervisory Board requested that the Temporary Manager William Brooks to resign, Marlin said that Brooks applied for the position as CEO of the company and he felt that if he will be evaluated based on his performance as a temporary manager, then he “Brooks” preferred to step aside and wait until government takes a decision on his application.
Clem Labega Square will soon be opened.
Marlin further updated the media on the opening of the Clem Labega Square parking which is yet to open. Marlin said that there are some more work that has to be done in order to have the parking lot open and when it does it will be fully automated. He said in the beginning he had to ensure the huge boulders that were placed by one of the entrance removed because it defaces the area. He said the only work that is being done now is creating a parking line for vehicles to wait if the parking lot is full. He said when the parking lot is open, security will be placed at the location to direct traffic for the first two days.
Marlin praised Audit Chamber for a job well done.
The Prime Minister also announced that he met with the Council of Advice where he update the council on the 2016 budget, and the electoral reform that has to take place prior to the September 26th parliamentary elections.
Marlin said one of the issues that is constantly raised is that government has to get a two third majority in order to get a legislation passed. He said in his view the parliament of St. Maarten has a three third majority and one must remember that the it is the former government who wanted to dissolve the parliament of St. Maarten because they felt that would solve the problems of ‘ship jumping.’ Marlin said while the former government used article 59 to dissolve parliament to curb ship jumping but those that were in government did not have anything in place for electoral reform.
Marlin said he also met with the Audit Chamber on Tuesday and he had to tip his hat to the employees of that department since they started off from scratch when St. Maarten became a country and so far they submitted a number of reports. He said that he is hopeful that the Parliament of St. Maarten would make good use of the reports that were prepared by the Audit Chamber.