St. Maarten Prime Minister berates MP Frans RichardsonPOSTED: 09/5/13 2:18 PM
St. Maarten – “Acting on behalf of the parliament has as far as I know not been mandated to any individual Member of Parliament,” Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams said at yesterday’s press briefing. The PM reacted to a letter Independent MP Frans Richardson sent to her office on August 27 in which he summons her to comply with a motion parliament passed on April 13. The motion asks the government to submit within 60 days an “updated schedule of investment” and an “elaborate elucidation with respect to the completion and occupation of the new government building.” The motion also asked the government to begin construction of Block D and the building of the parking garage on Pond Island.
“In the closing of his letter he (MP Richardson – ed.) uses the word “we,” Wescot-Williams said. “In my humble opinion such a request is the prerogative of the chairlady of parliament.”
The PM said that government past and present have taken notice of the motion. “The government is called to observe and respect parliament’s right to express its opinion on any issue it desires. For the execution of a motion, the government has to observe the laws of the land. This includes the Kingdom law on financial supervision, the government accounting ordinance and the penal code.”
The PM referred in this context to the individual responsibility of ministers, and she furthermore pointed out budget-related issues. “It is no secret that since 10-10-10 we must have a balanced budget. As long as that challenge remains financing whatever project through whatever means will remain elusive.”
Wescot-Williams said that financing for the construction of Block D near the new government administration building – or any other project – ties in with the approval of the budget.
“When I respond to this letter through the chairlady of parliament I will provide information about the state of affairs with the new government building.”