Groen-Gumbs to become acting secretary-general

POSTED: 02/29/16 6:04 PM

St. Maarten News – The central committee of parliament will advise the parliament in a plenary session at a later date to appoint Ann Groen-Gumbs as its first acting secretary-general.

Yesterday, the central committee briefly revisited the issue, after it had already addressed the appointment in a meeting on January 26. That meeting was adjourned to give the presidium the opportunity to answer questions.

The presidium sent those answers last week Thursday to all Members of Parliament, but independent MP Leona Marlin-Romeo said yesterday she had not received the email. President Sarah Wescot-Williams briefly adjourned the meeting to resend the answers and to provide hard copies to MPs.

Independent MP Cornelius de Weever said that he was “a little taken aback” by some of the answers. He noted that there was no second round of interviews held during the selection process, that the candidate “does not have the prerequisites” and that she has “five years left before retirement and that there is no indication how long training will take,”

De Weever furthermore noted that parliament will not hire another legislation jurist. “If this is the direction the presidium wants to go, I wish you good luck,” he said.

Marlin-Romeo stated that she had not referred to the UP in a statement she made in the meeting of January 26.

However, our report of that meeting shows that Marlin-Romeo “referred without specifics to a candidate proposed by the United People’s party.”

UP-faction leader Franklin Meyers even corrected that statement in the same meeting: “It is a rumor. No candidate has ever been proposed by the UP. The political spin is that now the UP is against locals, but it is in fact about competence and the functioning of the office.”

MP Frans Richardson (USp) noted that there is still room for the parliament to hire an additional legislation jurist.

MPs George Pantophlet and De Weever made remarks about the importance of training and thereby giving in-house candidates the opportunity to improve. In this context, MP De Weever labeled Finance Minister Richard Gibson’s plan for a law faculty “a great initiative.”

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