National Alliance may request St. Maarten Parliament denounce Minister’s actions

POSTED: 07/15/11 12:56 PM

St. Maarten – A motion denouncing actions taken by Finance Minister Hiro Shigemoto earlier this year may be tabled by the National Alliance faction when the St. Maarten Parliament returns from recess. The party’s faction leader William Marlin said Wednesday that a lack of resources in the Parliament Building – printers and photo copy machine – meant the motion could not be submitted during the second round of the debate on the 2011 budget.

The actions relate to a unilateral change in a parliamentary delegation to meetings of committees of the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino). The delegation was to comprise of six people, but after the Minister informed Parliament there was only enough financing for two people to travel, the faction leader of the United People’s (UP) Party Romain Laville and Deputy Secretary General advised the Minister to issue travel vouchers and per diem for Laville and a faction colleague.

“What the minister did was wrong, especially because it was the Minister of Finance. We could understand if it was another minister who did not fully understand or is required to follow the financial rules. We also think the Minister has opened a Pandora’s Box,” Marlin said.

The N.A. faction leader said the matter is still open because several critical questions have not been answered. Those questions include whether government recouped any of the money that was paid for the tickets, because the trip did not happen, whether the travel allowance cheques given to the two MPs were returned or if the allowance cheques were cashed and the money returned.

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