Arrindell continues stressing need for reengineering national institutions

POSTED: 11/9/11 1:01 AM

“Yes we have instituted them, but they’re not sacred cows.”

St. Maarten – President of Parliament drs. Gracita Arrindell has taken the position that even though there must be respect for the organizations that provide checks and balances in the country’s democracy, they must not become immovable “sacred cows.” The statement is an expansion of a section of her speech at the 25th Anniversary celebration of Aruba’s Parliament.

In that speech Arrindell pointed out that some of St. Maarten’s institutions needed reengineering, but a statement on the speech did not list which ones she thought needed a second look. In response to a question she said that she’d actually listed 13 institutions, including the media, that she believes need to be reengineered so they do not infringe on the role that parliament has as the legislative arm of governance. This thought also extends to other pillars of governance – the executive and the judiciary – though Arrindell did not wish to speak for them on how they experience these national institutions.

“If we look at the main ones: the Cft, the Council of Advice, the General Auditing Chamber, the Socio-Economic Council (SER), the corporate governance council and the ombudsman you will see that we are complying as much as we can, but it is very difficult to live up to all. In that speech the political scientist in me really came out and I needed to stress that the functioning of government should be functional,” Arrindell said.

The chair of parliament is not ready to get into the specifics of which institutions should be reengineered and to what extent. She sees her comments as a means of giving people food for thought.

Royal Visit

Arrindell also bluntly said Tuesday she has no idea why there was no official meeting between parliament and the royal party during their visit last week. Queen Beatrix, Crown Prince Willem Alexander and Princess Maxima met the members of the legislature on every other stop of their tour, but had no official meeting with the Parliament of St. Maarten.

“It is regrettable, but we attended those events that we were invited to,” Arrindell said.

POK meeting

Arrindell also announced that parliament will now use the opportunity of a full secretariat to begin planning the bi-annual meeting of the four parliaments of the Kingdom – The Netherlands, Curacao, Aruba and St. Maarten – that will be held here in January. Arrindell has already spoken with her counterpart from Curacao (Ivar Asjes) and her counterpart from Aruba (Pauldrick Croes) in an effort to begin preparations. She’s also clear that the Committee on Kingdom Relations will have to play its role in planning the meeting.

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