PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – The UD faction queried these meetings, as they have been pending amongst the meetings of Parliament yet to be called and or to be continued. MP Wescot-Williams explains, “While they all require the presence of ministers, some urgency should be given to meetings requested by members of parliament. Furthermore, while the initial requests date back some time and we can appreciate that there are many matters on the table of the Council of Ministers, the topics listed are very current and urgent”.
It is one thing for ministers to address matters of their respective portfolios as they see fit or opportune, whether via press releases or press conferences, it’s another thing to give account to Parliament for decisions taken by Government. This task of holding Government accountable for the management of the country is one of the core responsibilities of Parliament and counts for every Member of Parliament.
Parliament is also entitled to hear consistently from government what the real time status is of matters that greatly affect the population, such as:
The reopening of the country.
The continuation of education.
The financial situation of the country.
The negotiations with the Dutch/Kingdom government.
The health challenges of the population, including the Covid-19 pandemic.
The management of the Covid-19 pandemic itself.
And then of course, the constant alertness for any threats of hurricane during this hurricane season.
Due to the interwovenness of these matters and their importance to the entire population, it is also paramount that the ministers speak clearly and with one voice.
“Granted, in the current state of flux and rapidly changing dynamics, what is feasible today, could be detrimental tomorrow, so quick adjustments might be the order of the day. That however can never supercede the transparency and communication government should at all times observe. This goes for informing the parliament as well as the population at large”, MP Wescot opined.
And government has to guard against taking decisions that lack the proper legislative basis or parliamentary approval where applicable.
The MP concluded by stating that “since our queries on the status of mentioned meetings, we have taken note of the convocations for this week, So far, these convocations include the meeting on the reopening of the country and the continuation of the meeting regarding the SSRP, called for respectively Wednesday and Friday”.