Peterson still awaiting answers to questions on permits, land | THE DAILY HERALD

MP Raeyhon Peterson.

PHILIPSBURG–Party For Progress (PFP) Member of Parliament (MP) Raeyhon Peterson said on Monday that he is still awaiting answers to the questions he sent to VROMI Minister Christopher Wever on February 26, related to permits and long-lease land.

Peterson said he had asked the questions in the interest of transparency. The questions are related to the actions of the Minister during his tenure as a caretaker Minister. The questions included what instructions have been given to the Department of Domain Affairs in the last four months, and the reasoning behind these instructions.

“In light of transparency, the answers to these questions are very important for us and the people of St. Maarten to know,” Peterson said in a press statement. “It’s customary that the actions of Ministers throughout the last weeks of their tenure are ironically forgotten and this comes in the way of holding them accountable. This is a key component in the nepotism that has taken place in the past, especially in this specific Ministry of VROMI.”

The MP said in the midst of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, it should be noted that most of the ministries and the relevant departments continue their work (some from home) and following instructions from Ministers.

“The Ministry of VROMI is no different. It is imperative to know what actions are being undertaken by the caretaker Minister, because these actions will also have their effects on the incoming Minister of VROMI,” Peterson said.

“Coming from the civil service and this particular Ministry, I know for a fact that the information that I requested in my questions is not difficult to ascertain. It takes one day, two days tops to get the relevant information from the relevant departments. This is why a wide period of two weeks was given, as this surely was enough time to gather the information.”

He said almost a month has passed and the new Ministers will hopefully be sworn in soon. “That theoretically will mean that the answers to these questions will not be delivered. The Minister’s responsibility and accountability does not stop at the end of their tenure. The Party for Progress has been very vocal on the accountability that comes with assuming a minister’s position and will continue to do so in light of full transparency for the people of St Maarten.”

Source: The Daily Herald