From left: Caretaker VROMI Minister Miklos Giterson, outgoing VSA Minister Emil Lee, Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin and a group of civil servants during Lee’s farewell get-together on Friday afternoon.
PHILIPSBURG–Following the resignation of Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI Miklos Giterson and the passing of the vote of non-confidence against Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA Emil Lee, the Council of Ministers has made some adjustments until two new ministers have been appointed.
Lee made his position available following the vote of non-confidence against him and as of July 11 no longer functioned as the VSA minister.
In his absence, Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin will take on the additional role of Acting VSA Minister until the minister-candidate has been appointed.
Following a preliminary consultation and speaking on behalf of the entire VSA Ministry, the management team has expressed their “100-per cent” commitment and dedication as civil servants to continue to serve the community as a collective. The ministry has pledged to maintain a “great working relationship” with the interim-minster as was established with former minister Lee.
Lee was treated to a farewell get-together on Friday afternoon, along with members of the Council of Ministers and a cross section of civil servants, mainly from “his” Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour.
The remaining members of the Council of Ministers expressed their gratitude to former minister Lee, who has been at the helm of the VSA Ministry over the past four years. The Council of Ministers thanked Lee and his family for their years of service and “sacrifice” to the community of St. Maarten, and wished Lee success in his future endeavours.
Giterson will continue in the role as caretaker minister for the VROMI Ministry until the prospective minister-candidate has been appointed.
The replacement protocol of the Council of Ministers will be as follows:
Prime Minister/Minister of General Affairs Leona Romeo-Marlin will be replaced during her absence by Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Wycliffe Smith.
Minister of Finance Perry Geerlings is replaced during his absence by Prime Minister Romeo-Marlin.
Minister of Justice Cornelius de Weever is replaced during his absence by Prime Minister Romeo-Marlin.
Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Smith will be replaced by Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Stuart Johnson.
The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, which position is currently vacant, will be replaced in his or her absence by the prime minister.
TEATT Minister Johnson will be replaced by Minister of Finance Geerlings. VROMI Minister Giterson will be replaced by Minister of Justice Cornelius de Weever.