Published On: Fri, Oct 13th, 2017


Kingdom Relations Minister Plasterk has put his cards on the table. Financial aid for the reconstruction of St. Maarten is now linked to two demands: the establishment of an integrity chamber and putting the Royal Marechaussee and Dutch Customs in charge of border control.

The second condition should not be a headache because, according to Plasterk’s letter to the government of St. Maarten, these forces would operate under the formal responsibility of our Minister of Justice. That’s no skin of our nose.

The first demand is however impossible and Minister Plasterk should be well aware of this. Even if the parliament sprang into action and rushed a national ordinance about the integrity chamber through its system, Governor Holiday will never be able to sign it into law by October 31.

This is because after the parliament approves legislation, the Ombudsman has a period of six weeks to review it; and this institution could decide to send it to the Constitutional Court for review. We all know how that ended the last time around. And we all know how to read a calendar: the time between now and October 31 is at the time of this writing exactly 18 days.

Could somebody please explain this to Minister Plasterk and his successor?

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