St. Maarten’s justice Minister Richardson announces resistance to Kingdom Council of Ministers

POSTED: 08/22/14 12:17 AM

St. Maarten – Justice Minister Dennis Richardson called on the Governments of Aruba and Curacao yesterday to join St. Maarten on its position not to execute any more decisions by the Kingdom Council of Ministers that violate the law.

“The discussion about the abuse of power by the Kingdom Council of Ministers did not get the attention it needed in the integrity-report,” the minister said at yesterday’s press briefing. “The impression was that St. Maarten is against integrity investigations but we can put that notion to rest now. In the meantime we have four integrity investigations – from the General Audit Chamber, Transparency International, the Wit-Committee and the investigation commissioned by the governor.”

Minister Richardson said that the government “is in no way putting up any blockade for these investigations to continue. Now we can focus on the question of the Kingdom government that is supposed to be an example of integrity, but it is abusing its power. That should be addressed.”

The way Richardson intends to do this is like this: “We are appealing to Aruba and Curacao to join us in resisting any decision by the Kingdom Council of Ministers that is in conflict with the law. We are drawing a line in the sand. We will resist with any legal means possible any decision taken by the Kingdom Council of Ministers that is in conflict with the law.”

Minister Richardson added that he will also appeal to the governors of the three countries not to execute any decisions by the Kingdom Council of Ministers that violate the law.

“We feel that they have the right to do that. We will support each governor who does that and we will not accept that they are being threatened by the Kingdom Council of Ministers.”

The minister supports the decision taken in the Tripartite meeting of the presidents of the three Parliaments and their respective committees for Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations earlier this week. “As long as there is no organization as stipulated in the Charter and the Dutch government does not cooperate with the establishment of an independent institution to decide about conflicts between the countries, we will resist in this fashion.”

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