James lashes out at closed door parliament meetings

POSTED: 09/14/12 3:03 PM

St. Maarten – United People’s party MP Jules James lashed out at the parliament about its taste for closed door meetings.

Public awareness is imperative! Why? Because this is how parliament and our governing institutions are held accountable. This is also how checks and balances are made against irregularities. So our question is why this sudden secrecy and calling of meetings behind closed doors now,” James stated in a press release he issued yesterday,

“It appears these days that the new modus operandi of parliament seems veiled with secrecy. Let it be known that we, the members of the UP faction, are against this and object to this practice of closed-door meetings. As an example we have a meeting called by “unnamed” members of parliament, for the minister of Vromi to report to parliament to present the new zoning plans that have already been presented to the Simpson Bay and Cole Bay and Cay Bay communities. We all know the meeting scheduled for Cay Hill/ and Belair was canceled without notice of any sort to the public or those who made the effort to attend.”
James said that his faction intends to be present at the meeting today and to inform Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Vromi William Marlin that “from now that we will be calling him to appear before parliament in a Central Committee meeting. The request has already been handed in. By the way aren’t these the same persons who used to say that the people have to know? I could not agree more.”
James wonders what happened to the transparency that used to be the norm under the previous president of parliament. “Was it a deliberate and willful intent to place such dark frosting on the parliament (on the windows of the meeting hall – ed.) where business ought to be conducted in the presence of the people. It is clear that the glass frosting hiding MPs from the public is indicative of the way parliament intends to operate – shrouded in secrecy. We object to this.”

James said that his faction demands that the frosting be removed from the windows and that the media are duly informed when parliament meetings are taking place – “with the agenda sent to them in a timely fashion.” Furthermore, the UP-MP demands that the names of the MPs that request a meeting are made known to other members of parliament.

“The last time I checked, parliament was still the house of the people,” James concluded his press release.”So let’s get on with the business of the people as it should be done.”

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