“Kingdom integrity-instruction to governor lacks legal basis”

POSTED: 09/19/13 11:54 AM

St. Maarten – There is no legal basis for the Kingdom Council of Ministers to give Governor Holiday an instruction to perform an integrity-assessment in St. Maarten. That is the position of the government. Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams said yesterday that the issue will be on the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting of the Kingdom Council of Ministers.

“We have spoken to the prime minister of the Netherlands about this proposal,” Wescot-Williams said. Firstly we believe that it is outside of the legal parameters of the relationship between the countries in the Kingdom. We have also informed the Kingdom Council of Ministers about what St. Maarten itself is doing. There is the integrity-assessment by Transparency International and there are also other proposals regarding the assessment of integrity and corruption.”

The prime minister said that therefore the government has at least two issues with the intention of the Kingdom Council of Ministers to instruct to governor to do an integrity-assessment. “There is no legal basis to come with such an instruction. Secondly, the government is taking actions that we believe are necessary. We will draft an official position on this issue and forward it to the Kingdom Council of Ministers for tomorrow’s meeting.”

The PM reiterated that there is no basis for an integrity-assessment through the cabinet of the governor. “If everything had collapsed on St. Maarten and there was no possibility for redress we could imagine such a measure. If this proposal is accepted it sets a very dangerous precedent for all the Caribbean countries in the Kingdom. I hope we will find understanding for our position.”

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