The pathetic attempts of the former Chair to throw shade at this new majority in Parliament is amazing but not at all surprising.
Parliament convened public meeting number 34 which had been originally called by the then members in opposition, on Thursday which was supposed to start at 2pm. It was noted that the parties, Minister Geerlings, NRPB representatives Claret Conner and Mr. Knotnerus were not present. MinFin Geerlings had informed Parliament via his cabinet on the 25th that he could not attend as the PM was absent as well as the MinTeatt. However, the meeting had been convened orginally with PM and MinFin and Parliament had been notified by the PM’s cabinet on Sept. 19th (1 week prior) that MinFin would represent her and that the NRPB would also be present.
The secretariat of Parliament immediately notified Min. Geerlings during the morning of the 26th that his presence was expected as it had been already verified on 19 Sept in a letter from the Cabinet of the Prime Minister. Again. Min Geerlings refused to honor this request as is expected by his function.
The blatant disrespect to Parliament shown by the Minister of Finance is what should be the focus here. Both him and the representatives of the NRPB were expected. Neither showed.
Upon request of the Chair, the acting Prime Minister was summoned to fill in as the answers were professed to be ready since Sept 19th from the PM’s office. To his credit Acting PM Smith did come, but without the answers or any knowledge of the subject. The minister was given the opportunity and agreed to return in an hour with the responses and the meeting was adjourned at 3 pm.
When OV 34 was reconvened at 4 pm, the Acting PM had not returned and had not forwarded any message to inform Parliament that he was indeed on his way, as such Parliament did not see fit to continue the fiasco of this demmissionaire government, intent on making a mockery of the people of St. Maarten.
As such the meeting was adjourned a few minutes past 4 and will be reconvened as soon as possible.
The actions of the Finance Minister is what caused the actual negativity surrounding this meeting. The new coalition, as members of Parliament who requested this meeting in the first place, several months ago, are very much interested in the responses prepared and the way forward with the recovery for St. Maarten and its Airport in order to make necessary upgrades and repairs in a timely manner.
As members of Parliament we are mandated to continue to hold government accountable, even those Ministers of Government who have received motions of non-confidence, and no longer see the need to answer to the people. The care-taker government remains wholly accountable for all actions currently being taken, and if any actions or decisions are taken outside of the prescribed limitations then they will be held personally accountable for such.
Leader of the National Alliance
NA Faction Leader in Parliament