PM Wescot-Williams: “Royal decree gives special powers to the governor”

POSTED: 10/3/13 12:06 PM

St. Maarten – Allowing an integrity investigation in St. Maarten- as ordered by the Kingdom Council of Ministers to governor Holiday via a royal decree sets a dangerous precedent, Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams reiterated during yesterday’s weekly press briefing, adding that this would give the governor “special powers.”

The cabinet of the governor stated in an email sent to this newspaper that it would publish the text of the royal decree in the local media for scrutiny by citizens and media. The governor declined to comment on the situation.

Wescot-Williams repeated that using article 43 of the Kingdom Charter is not the proper instrument for issuing an instruction to the governor and that this should have been done via article 51 with a general kingdom decree. “There is a big difference between the two,” she said. “Issuing a general kingdom decree is a form of higher supervision and it requires a process of being heard and being scrutinized by the Council of State.”

The PM reiterated that she had not “discussed” the instruction with Rutte during his visit to St. Maarten in July, but that instead the Dutch PM simply told her that it was his intention to give an instruction to the governor.

Wescot-Williams wonder where the governor’s cabinet will find an independent international organization other than Transparency International to do an integrity-investigation. “There is more to this than meets the eye,” she said, with a reference to the ongoing dispute about the turnover tax St. Maarten levies on goods destined for Saba and Statia. “That seems to be a major issue, but we have explained that it is not St. Maarten that introduced new taxes on Saba and Statia after 10-10-10.”

Wescot-Williams labeled the Dutch approach as a “choking attitude” and said that there is no understanding whatsoever for St. Maarten in The Hague. “The government will not cooperate with any action based on tis royal decree,” she said.

Did you like this? Share it:
PM Wescot-Williams: “Royal decree gives special powers to the governor” by

Comments are closed.