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Motion of no confidence hindering PJIAE terminal building reconstruction, Geerlings. (UPDATED)

PHILIPSBURG:---Finance Minister Perry Geerlings informed parliament on Monday that there is money through the World Bank and the European Investment Bank (EIB) to continue with the reconstruction of the Princess Juliana International Airport terminal building.
Geerlings said that he was prepared to sign off on the agreements some two weeks ago but was prevented since parties requested more information and clarity from the Parliament of St. Maarten.
The Finance Minister said that due to the motion of no confidence passed against the current caretaker government on September 25th with special instructions, such and not signing off on third party agreements he as Minister of Finance could not sign off on the agreements. Geerlings called on Parliament to give him permission through a motion in order for him to signing on the agreements which include the bondholders. He made clear there is money for the reconstruction of the terminal building.
Geerlings also referred to the declaration made by the Governor of St. Maarten when he appointed the leader of the National Alliance Silveria Jacobs as formateur which he said was not contested by Jacobs when she accepted the mission of forming the interim government.

MP Frans Richardson told the Minister of Finance that if he cannot execute the mandate given to him in the budget that was passed earlier this year then he must pack up and go home and allow someone else that is willing to execute do the job.
Richardson made clear that he will not support any motion because parliament already gave the Council of Ministers the mandate in the 2019 budget where the loan was approved.
Richardson insisted that if this caretaker council of ministers cannot get the job done then the interim government will execute when they are appointed.
The USP leader pleaded with the CEO of PJIAE to allow locals to grow, just like he was given a chance when he left TELEM and appointed CEO PJIAE.
National Alliance MP Ardwell Irion asked the Minister of Finance to provide parliament with the communique he received from the bondholders.
Ardwell said he is of the opinion that this caretaker government is busy playing politics with the workers of PJIAE.
MP Jurendy Doran asked the Minister of Finance to inform parliament with the agreements that were signed that those that are not signed off. He said that the Minister is withholding information from parliament, yet he is asking parliament to give him the authority to execute.
He asked the Minister to provide the figures owed to the bondholders and the figures that the bondholders are holding as secured funds.
Doran asked the finance minister to provide parliament with a breakdown of the cost of the World Bank and EIB loan including that spent on consultants.
He asked if fees at PJIAE will be increased including the rates and charges. Asked if IATA was consulted on the fees and if they were not consulted then the Minister must inform parliament why they were not consulted. Doran also asked the Minister to inform parliament whether preclearance was included in the financial agreements because so far, the only thing parliament is hearing is the differences of opinion within the council of ministers.
MP Christopher Emmanuel also made clear that he will not approve anything because parliament neither the new majority did not cause the current situation. Emmanuel said he is prepared to wait until the interim government takes office because in his view the bondholders do not trust the caretaker government especially when they see and read what takes place within the caretaker council of ministers.
Emmanuel said so far, the parliament of St. Maarten has nothing on the loan agreement.

Caretaker Prime Minister Wycliffe Smith pleaded with members of parliament to provide the government with a statement or bypassing the motion presented by SMCP MP Claude Peterson since he is of the opinion that the bondholders do not understand the laws that govern St. Maarten. PM Smith said he does understand the sentiments expressed by several MPs especially Frans Richardson but he wants parliament to understand that while they approved the 2019 budget, it’s the same parliament that passed a motion on September 25th that has instructions regarding the signing of agreements with third parties.

Despite the plea, MP Richardson informed the Ministers that they should focus on executing the 2019 budget. Richardson said that the COM is busy executing everything in the same budget but is holding back on the part that deals with the loan. Richardson said he personally did not implode the government of UD/SMCP. He made clear he will not support any motion simply because he does not know what the loan agreement entails. MP Richardson further stated that parliament passed several motions and nothing was done about them when it came to executing. 

NA leader and formateur Silveria Jacobs also stated that the caretaker government has everything that needs to execute the loan agreement for PJIAE with the bondholders. MP Jacobs informed the caretaker government that the motion they submitted is redundant.

Members of Parliament from the current majority of 9 left the chamber of parliament when the time came to vote on the motion therefore the meeting was adjourned since the motion was not voted upon.

 

 

 

 

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