Published On: Tue, Apr 2nd, 2013

‘Clean sweep’ before Royal visit

Dutch ParliamentTHE HAGUE — The Lower Chamber wants to limit the number of tricky matters in the Caribbean area as much as possible before the Royal visit, which is scheduled for November. The committee Kingdom Relations therefore wants a general consultation within one month with Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Ronald Plasterk on the investigation into bribery on St. Maarten and the current financial situation of Curaçao and St. Maarten.

“Things must be straightened out though if the new king intends to visit all islands in November. I therefore want to speak to the minister as soon as possible”, said Lower Chamber member Pierre Heijnen (PvdA). Lower Chamber member André Bosman (VVD) stated he especially wants a more detailed answer on the alleged bribery of independent parliamentarian Patrick Illidge of St. Maarten.

Earlier on together with Heijnen and Lower Chamber member Ronald van Raak (SP) he presented written questions on the matter but the minister had replied it was the responsibility of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of St. Maarten to investigate the matter. “That reply was not satisfactory”, said Bosman. In an explanation later on he stated he mostly wants to know on which basis Plasterk trusts the matter can be solved locally. The VVD-member doubts this because Ronald Duncan is the minister of Justice and at the same time is a witness in the investigation.

The general consultation, which was actually planned in the first half of the year, has now been moved to the period before the May recess that starts at the end of April. Apart from the investigation into alleged bribery and the report from the Council financial supervision on the second half of 2012, the results of the Interparliamentary Kingdoms Consultation are on the agenda.

Lower Chamber member Wasila Hachchi (D66), who was also displeased with the minister’s answer yesterday, requested a review from Plasterk on the agreements regarding the Isla-refinery. “The minister indicated he would inform the Lower Chamber if there was a reason to, but he had made agreements with the premier of Curaçao. I would like to see those in writing, as agreed.” Hachchi received insufficient support for her request for a separate letter because Plasterk indicated earlier to need more time and that this subject would likely come up during the general consultation.

Source: Dutch Caribbean Business

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