Rene Richardson nominated as chair of Socio-Economic Council

POSTED: 05/12/11 12:55 PM

St. Maarten – Former Commissioner Rene Richardson and Dwight Williams have been nominated to be Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively of the Socio-Economic Council (SER). Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams announced the nominations at Wednesday’s Council of Ministers press briefing. The announcement comes after the first meeting on Tuesday, which was chaired by the prime minister. The aim of the gathering was to install the members and get them to nominate the Chair and Vice-Chair. Richardson and Williams were the ones who got the nod from the majority for the positions of Chair and Vice Chair. With that done the prime minister has drafted a national resolution that will be co-signed by Governor Eugene Holiday that appoints the nine permanent members and the nine substitute members. Once appointed the nine members – three from the unions, three from the employers and three independent members – will be mandated to provide solicited and unsolicited advice to the government on any socio-economic issue. The nine permanent members are Willy Haize, Theophilus Thompson, William Reed, Junior Lake, Arthur Bute, Eveline Henriquez-Dijkhoffz, Dwight Williams, Elain Gumbs Vlaun and Richardson. The nine substitutes are Edwin Smit, Patricia Pantophlet, Denicio Conner, Hubert Pantophlet, Mark van der Bilt, Valya Pantophlet, Tadzio Bervoets, Suzy Kartokromo and Marcus Temmer. The set up of the Socio-Economic Council precedes October 10, 2010, when the island became a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but unlike other key advisory bodies – the Corporate Governance Council, the Council of State, the General Auditing Chamber and the Ombudsman – the members were not sworn in at the first ceremonial meeting of parliament as the nomination process had not been finalized. Much like some of those other councils though there is financial support from the Dutch government through the program on Institutional Strengthening (IVB) to assist with the body’s set up in the first year. “I’m happy that finally that council is in place and can start its work,” Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams said.

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