DP wants disclosure  of Zebec settlement

POSTED: 09/16/15 10:04 PM


St. Maarten – The Democratic Party is “adamant” that the people have the right to know details about the settlement the harbor reached with developer Zebec over the stalled Harbor village project, DP-MP Sarah Wescot-Williams said in a press release this weekend. The Daily Herald reported on Saturday that parties have reached an out-of-court settlement under a nondisclosure agreement.

Earlier, Zebec took the harbor to court demanding $100 million in damages. According to Wescot-Williams the accusations Zebec leveled against the harbor include “repeated failure to adhere to contractual obligations, failure of the harbor director to comply with terms of the agreement, frivolous lawsuits and serious misconduct.”

“Given the seriousness of the accusations and the sizable financial consequences to the harbor, the DP believes that the details of the settlement should be made public. If the harbor has to pay serious penalties for the mayor failures, the people have a right to know,” Wescot-Williams stated.

The opposition-MP points out that the harbor “is an asset that belongs to the people” and that in case of a financial crisis “the burden will fall on the back of the people of St. Maarten.”

Wescot-Williams wonders why there is a need for secrecy if the settlement is in the best interest of the people. “The question can be rightfully asked whether this settlement has anything to do with the administrative investigation, initiated by the prosecutor’s office.”

The Democratic Party has campaigned for open government and will continue at every opportunity to advocate for an inclusive government with integrity, one that is transparent, accountable and fiscally responsible, Wescot-Williams stated.  “It is a well-established fact that the citizens of a country that have an open government are more prosperous and happier.”

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