PHILIPSBURG–Parliament Chairwoman Sarah Wescot-Williams has declined to meet with the Dutch Government-appointed quartermaster for the yet-to-be-established Integrity Chamber.
Wescot-Williams, who also heads the Democratic Party (DP), announced on Tuesday that an invitation had been extended to her via the Representative of the Dutch Government in Philipsburg. “I politely, yet resolutely declined due to the fact that a few days before Mr. Leijtens came to St. Maarten I was co-signatory to a unanimous motion of Parliament condemning the way this appointment came about,” she said.
The motion also urged Government to “inform the Dutch Government that the Government is of the opinion that the protocol signed on May 24, 2015, is no longer executable.”
The request to meet came about one week following the Parliament meeting on January 30. “In my response to the request to meet with Mr. Leijtens, I pointed this fact out, as well as the fact that the parties to this protocol were the Dutch and St. Maarten Governments,” she stated.
The introduction of the quartermaster(s) should be on the strength of the two parties involved, “not unilaterally, and surely not with disregard for the position taken by the Parliament of St. Maarten. This too was communicated. Thus I left the door open for the St. Maarten Government to proceed, taking the position of Parliament into account,” she said.
St. Maarten has protested the appointment of the quartermaster. Local Government expects another meeting with the Dutch Government to plot the way forward.
There is no law yet in place to establish the Chamber. The law passed by Parliament more than a year ago was tossed out by the Constitutional Court for gross privacy infringement.
The only local leader who has indicated he was willing to meet with the quartermaster is United People’s (UP) party leader Theo Heyliger. He said two weeks ago that it was important to understand the thinking of the Dutch Government to be prepared to counter it.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/64353-sarah-declines-meeting-with-new-quartermaster