~ Portfolios to be decided on 'collectively' ~
PHILIPSBURG--The eight Members of Parliament (MPs)-elect forming the United People's (UP) party/De Weever coalition signed their 2014-2018 Governing Accord on Friday, October 3. This accord and its attached division of portfolios for the incoming cabinet were submitted to Governor Eugene Holiday by informateurs Joseph Richardson and Marcel Gumbs last week.
Formateur UP leader MP Theo Heyliger continues his work to formalise the incoming government.
Both the Governing Accord and the Division of Portfolios documents were signed by all eight coalition members – MPs-elect Heyliger, Cornelius de Weever, Franklin Meyers, Silvio Matser, Tamara E. Leonard, Maurice A. Lake, Dr. Lloyd Richardson and Johan E. "Janchi" Leonard.
The signatories have decided to nominate candidates "collectively" for the Presidium of Parliament, Council of Ministers (including the Minister Plenipotentiary and Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary in The Hague), and shareholder's representatives for all government-owned companies.
The Council of Ministers will be responsible for all matters related to decision-making regarding appointments, representation and functionaries of all government-owned companies, foundations and government entities.
For the execution of the decisions of the Council of Ministers, for the approval of the budget and financials of all government-owned companies, foundations and entities, the Council of Ministers shall appoint the Minister of Finance.
Attachés to the Dutch embassies/consulates and any other overseas entities also are to be agreed on collectively by the coalition partners.
The coalition partners have agreed in the governing accord that a governing programme will be established and ratified by Parliament as soon as it is completed. The incoming coalition plans to present the governing programme within 60 days of taking office.
The governing programme will include an action plan that will set forth the projects and programmes to be carried out as priorities of the incoming UP/De Weever Government.
In advance of the establishment of the governing programme, the eight MPs-elect agreed to give priority to the approval of the 2015 budget, arriving at decisions about the recommendations of the various integrity reports and the execution of those recommendations, establishment of the gaming control board, strengthening the National Detectives (Landsrechercheur), establishing a plan of action for the Tax Office, commencing operational audits of all government-owned companies, finalising and implementing the changes in the Civil Code that regulate short-term labour contracts and finalising the process related to execution of Article 10 of the "Uitvoeringsbesluit arbeid vreemdelingen" as approved by the Council of Ministers on August 12, 2014 (the "Counterpart Policy").
The eight MPs-elect have committed to putting all efforts, manpower and available recourse into the finalisation of the constitutional process whereby St. Maarten attained the status of country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands as to be set forth in the Kingdom Charter.
They have agreed to meet regularly to discuss any and all relevant matters that may be put on the agenda, as well as prepare decision-making of Parliament and the Council of Ministers.
Any difference of opinion among the signatories will be subjected/referred to an arbitration committee of three members of the coalition, who will be appointed collectively.