De Weever warns politicians about requests for “special assistance”POSTED: 07/31/14 10:45 PM
St. Maarten – Members of Parliament, their wives, and candidates in the upcoming elections have been approaching civil servants at the Labor Department to ask “special assistance for their potential voters,” Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor Cornelius de Weever said at yesterday’s Council of Ministers press briefing. “I am kindly asking these politicians and their wives not to play politics with the department and with government in general,” he said. Later he added that he was in fact issuing a stern warning, though he declined to provide names of politicians that have been harassing the department.
De Weever brought the issue to the attention of the media with a cynical introduction. “It has come to my attention that some Members of Parliament and their wives as well as new politicians have finally discovered where the Labor Department is. After 3.5 years of not knowing where it is, they suddenly stop by to visit and to get information about the department. After 3.5 years of not seeing any one of them they are now suddenly asking how they can assist. And then they are calling the department and civil servants on their cell phones to ask special assistance for their potential voters.”
De Weever said that the system is designed to work and help those who need it every day, not just around election time. “When everyone does his fair share every day, St. Maarten will be a better place. I am kindly asking these individuals to stop exploiting people, this ministry, and its well-meaning civil servants.”
The minister said that he cannot pick up the phone and call the Cadastre and the Vromi-ministry “to give land to young professionals who would like to own a piece of the paradise to begin their lives.”
“I cannot call and demand a business license, or a taxi or a bus permit. I cannot and do not force people in the Ministry of Finance to pay bills to businesses that are owed and I do not stop the tax collector from assessing businesses. We have to respect the boundaries of our system.”