New NA-led Cabinet to be sworn in today

HARBOUR VIEW–Five of the seven Ministers and the Minister Plenipotentiary of the soon-to-be William Marlin Cabinet will be sworn in by Governor Eugene Holiday in the Governor’s Office today, Thursday, at 3:00pm.

Holiday received the final report on the Cabinet formation from formateur Member of Parliament (MP) and soon-to-be Prime Minister William Marlin on Wednesday, allowing for the swearing-in ceremony today.

The swearing in of the new cabinet effectively brings to an end the term of the current Marcel Gumbs Cabinet, which has been in office for exactly 11 months as of today. The Gumbs Cabinet was supported by the United People’s (UP) party-led coalition that collapsed on September 30, the same day the Cabinet received a vote of no confidence from the new Coalition of Eight.

No separate Minister will be sworn in for the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI. Marlin, who is also leader of the National Alliance (NA), will take the oath as acting Minister of that portfolio along with his duties as Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs.

It is understood that some issues were encountered with the screening of the Minister candidate, said to be related to a complaint filed at the Prosecutor’s Office about possible leaking of confidential information from the Ministry to third parties.

Joining Marlin in the Cabinet are attorney Richard Gibson Sr. as Minister of Finance and acting Minister of Justice. It also is understood that there have been some screening issues with the Justice Minister candidate.

MP Silveria Jacobs will take up the post as Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, a position she held in 2012. Like Marlin, Jacobs will be able to combine her post as minister and that of MP for up to three months should she so desire.

Hotelier Emil Lee will serve as Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour.

Irania I. Arrindell will be the new Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication.

Henrietta Doran-York will head to The Hague as Minister Plenipotentiary.

The vetting of the Minister candidates and Minister Plenipotentiary candidate did not produce any data that could impede their appointment, according to the Governor’s Office.

Following the oath-taking, the Governor and the newly appointed Ministers will hold a constituting meeting in Dr. A.C. Wathey Legislative Hall.

According to the Governor, “The new government consists of Ministers who are committed to the promotion of the wellbeing of Sint Maarten, who will amongst others give priority to the amendment of the 2015 budget as well as to the preparation of the 2016 budget in line with the recently adopted Kingdom decree, who will prepare the planned elections, who will take steps to introduce electoral reforms, and who are dedicated to jointly executing their governing responsibilities.”

The Coalition of Eight that supports the incoming Cabinet comprises NA, Democratic Party (DP), United St. Maarten Party (USP), and independent MPs Silvio Matser and Maurice Lake.

Source: The Daily Herald New NA-led Cabinet to be sworn in today