Agreement on 6-member board raises legal questions

POSTED: 10/6/11 12:52 PM

Curacao’s Renny Maduro appointed Central Bank Chairman

St. Maarten – The Finance Ministers of St. Maarten (Hiro Shigemoto) and Curacao (George Jamaloodin) have agreed to appoint Renny Maduro as the Chairman of Supervisory Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten. They have also decided to keep the number of board members at six, and Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams says that decision has already evoked some legal questions on whether the board can function with only six members.
“We needed an agreement on the Chairperson. The agreement made with regards to the Central Bank was that there would be a jointly appointed Chairperson. The issue of coming with a Chairman was a back and forth issue and eventually it was proposed by Curacao that the gentleman (Maduro) becomes the Chairperson and then we get out of the discussion about the four/three situation. Now some are raising a legal question about having the amount of board members, set at six, but it’s basically an agreement between the two. Curacao put forward the candidate and St. Maarten said sure, but I know that there are some people who are making it a discussion,” Wescot-Williams said.

The legal question stems from the fact that the Central Bank charter states that there are seven members of the supervisory board, including the chairman. Each country – Curacao and St. Maarten – each nominate three members and then jointly agree on the chairman’s appointment and termination. Board members serve four year terms and are then dismissed or submitted for reappointment.
Wescot-Williams believes Maduro’s appointment is the way to go at this stage and that no one will have a full understanding of whether it was a wise idea once it is in gear. The implementation will then feed an evaluation for future decision making. She used the agreement of November 2, 2006 – the Final Declaration – which led to the setup of the Board of Financial Supervision (Cft) as example of how that process should flow.
“I think given what we have now, and given what we know now I think that a discussion on that particular law, while I know particularly the Dutch government will not want to hear about it until we get five years passed and we can have an evaluation, but I think these things warrant further discussion. The building of Country St. Maarten, while officially established on the 10th of October, 2010 is an ongoing process and you realize how something works when you put it in gear. All the nice laws – organic and otherwise – that we have put in place and tried to formulate them as best as we could, but you will not know how they work and if they work until you put them into gear and that is what we’re seeing now,” the Prime Minister said.
The recent decision allows the supervisory board to begin guiding the process of building up the branches in both Curacao and St. Maarten, as major changes to the staffing of the Bank must be approved by a majority of the board before it can be implemented. St. Maarten and Curacao had jointly requested the Bank give attention to building up the branches on each island and to provide a report on dollarization. A first status report was tabled in Tuesday’s Council of Ministers meeting, but the Prime Minister said it contained “nothing earth shattering.”

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