Published On: Tue, Aug 1st, 2017

Parliament meeting adjourned after MP Connor’s untimely departure

MP Claret ConnorGREAT BAY – A public meeting of parliament was aborted after barely twenty minutes yesterday morning while Finance Minister Gibson was in the middle of an explanation about the importance of adjusting legislation that regulates the supervision of a variety of financial institutions.

When the meeting began, there were just eight members present. MP Claret Connor (UP) reported the absence of UP-MPs Theo Heyliger and Franklin Meyers but shortly afterwards he left without further ado, leaving the meeting one short of a quorum.

President of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams noticed MP Connor’s absence shortly after Minister Gibson made his introductory statements. She interrupted the minister and asked for a roll call. When it appeared that there were only seven MPs present, she adjourned the meeting until further notice.

MPs Sidharth Bijlani, Perry Geerlings and Frans Richardson had given notice of absence; MP Connor reported the absence of MPs Theo Heyliger (off island) and Franklin Meyers (ill).

Present were MPs Tamara Leonard, Hyacinth Richardson, Drs. Rodolphe Samuel, George Pantophlet, Romeo Pantophlet, Chanel Brownbill, and chairlady Wescot-Williams.

MPs Ardwell Irion and Silvio Matser were absent without notice.

MP Wescot-Williams urges MPs before the adjournment to give notice of absence in writing at least half an hour before the beginning of a meeting.  This anticipates the adjusted rules of order that still have to be approved.

The subjects of the adjourned meeting were the national ordinance monitoring updating and harmonizing Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten and a national ordinance that regulates the supervision of money transfer offices.

The first ordinance sees to the update of several existing laws that regulate the supervision of banks and credit unions, insurance companies and brokers, stock exchanges, investment institutions and trust offices. The adjustments aim to satisfy requirements set by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

“We are running behind other countries in the Caribbean,” Minister Gibson said. “Curacao passed this legislation in 2015 and Aruba has adjusted its laws as well. There are only two countries that haven’t done so: St. Maarten and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Measures against money laundering are high on the agenda of the international community and not adjusting our legislation puts us at risk.”

The minister did not get the opportunity to elaborate further due to MP Connor’s untimely departure and the intervention of parliament’s president Wescot-Williams.

The meeting will continue this afternoon at 2 p.m.

 

 

Picture CaptionMP Claret Connor’s departure halted the progress of yesterday morning’s meeting of parliament. Photo contributed