Independent MP: “Asjes had to go because of Asbestos gate”
WILLEMSTAD – The exact reason why the former Prime Minister of Curaçao, Ivar Asjes had to resign from his post last year August was never clear. According to the Independent MP, Omayra Leeflang, she now believes to know what the reason was. “I believe now that the public tender process for the cleanup of the asbestos on the oil refinery property was the reason for Asjes’ resignation,” said Leeflang.
Asjes’ first reaction after he resigned was that he did not know why his party wanted him gone, but that he had acted in good conscience. “If I had done something wrong, I would not have immediately gone into politics,” said Asjes.
“The departure of former Prime Minister Ivar Asjes is clearly linked, in my opinion, to the 'asbestos-gate', or the tendering process of Refineria di Kòrsou (Curaçao Refinery) to clean asbestos on the property, which, as now shown, has not gone according to the rules,” said Leeflang.
To support this conclusion, the MP refers to several documents, including the minutes of a meeting on September 30, 2015 of the Prime Minister, currently Ben Whiteman, who replaces Asjes on August 31 after he had submitted his resignation, with three of the Supervisory Board members of the RdK (CRU / BOO power).
“What is striking is that at this meeting Prime Minister Whiteman and all MPs of the Pueblo Soberano (PS) faction in parliament were present. The Prime Minister also stressed that it is not normal the presence of the members of parliament during such a meeting. It was felt that PS members had an observational role during the meeting. Central to this meeting were rumors circulated that the tender of the RdK project to eliminate asbestos were not conducted transparently,” said Leeflang.
The deliberate minutes also show that there were doubts about the implementation of the project, both the administrative implementation and the quality of the work performed.
According to Leeflang, one can deduct from the above that the PS faction, soon after the departure of Asjes had attempted to further investigate this practice. “The asbestos-gate was, in my opinion, the smoking gun for the PS to demand the departure of Asjes, who, after all, would not have the moral authority herein to address these abuses. Whiteman had to do it,” said the Independent MP.