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St. Maarten prime minister: ‘No need’ for governor to be mandated by the Netherlands to conduct integrity audit


PHILIPSBURG–There is “no need” for the Kingdom Council of Ministers to issue an instruction to Governor Eugene Holiday to carry out an integrity audit of government as recommended by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, says Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams.

“We believe it is outside the legal parameters of the relationships between the countries within the kingdom to start with … there is no legal basis in fact for the Kingdom Government to come with such an instruction to the governor as representative of the kingdom and the situation is not one where the government of

St. Maarten is not undertaking actions we believe are necessary,” the prime minister stated.

Government’s position on this pending instruction will be sent to the Kingdom Council of Ministers at the latest today, Thursday. “Basically, we will be objecting to the handling and the proposal that is apparently on the table.

St. Maarten’s position is “well-argued and motivated. I hope we can find understanding from them” based on the legal parameters and other considerations.

“Our position is strong and we really believe that while it might sound good in political circles in the Netherlands, it does not have a legal basis to happen. We hope to find understanding for our position,” she said.

Further, “If everything had collapsed on St. Maarten and there was no possibility for redress, you could imagine such a measure.”

If Rutte’s proposal is accepted by the Kingdom Council on Friday, it will set “a very dangerous precedent for all the Caribbean countries in the kingdom.”

She said Wednesday that government had spoken to Rutte about this proposal.

Government has also informed the Kingdom Council of its efforts to review the integrity situation in St. Maarten. This includes the pending national integrity system assessment by Transparency International (TI).

TI has agreed to carry out the national assessment, Wescot-Williams said.

Rutte had signalled his intention to recommend that such an audit be carried out in St. Maarten during his first visit here in July. His recommendation should be on the agenda of the Kingdom Council of Ministers for its Friday session in The Hague.

Source: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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