TODAY - The Newspaper for Country St. Maarten
Published On: Mon, Apr 10th, 2017

Integrity Chamber within a couple of months

Marlin and Doran-York 20170407 - cn phTHE HAGUE – The Netherlands is going to force St. Maarten to establish an Integrity Chamber within the next couple of months, John Samson reports on Caribisch Netwerk. This independent institute has to tackle corruption on the island. The Kingdom Council of Minister issued a General Measure of Kingdom Administration last Friday.

Minister Plasterk motivated the decision by stating that several integrity reports show that there is still a situation of “administrative corruption, bribery and nepotism” on the island. That puts good governance in St. Maarten at risk, the minister said.

The government of St. Maarten agreed in 2015 to the establishment of an Integrity Chamber, but the current government does not want to cooperate. Prime Minister Marlin said Friday that the situation is not untenable to the point that justifies intervention.

“St. Maarten has enough institutions, regulations and resources at its disposal,” Prime Minister Marlin said. As an example he mentioned the screening of ministers that prevents, according to Marlin that corrupt or dubious characters come into power.

Before the Netherlands is really allowed to intervene, the proposal for the general measure still; has to go through an advice-procedure at the Council of State. According to Minister Plasterk, this could take a couple of months.

St. Maarten will file an appeal against the decision through a so-called reinforced crown appeal. (For an explanation about this procedure, see our opinion page).

The Netherlands has had it with St. Maarten. According to Marlin, the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte crossly said before the meeting of the Kingdom Council of Ministers that the island should get out of the kingdom if it does not like the measure. “Instead of helping St. Maarten it was more like, we are going to impose things,” Marlin said.