The shake-up in the cabinet of Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs seems imminent, as indicated by the faction leader of the UP Party and de facto coalition leader, MP Franklin Meyers, during an interview with Oral Gibbes recently.
Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT), Claret Conner will have to make place for an appointee of independent member LMR.
Looking at the governing accord of the UPP/CdW coalition (later joined by LMR), ministerial appointments will be “done collectively”.
The faction of the DP is seriously concerned about the state of our tourism industry, for reasons which we have outlined on numerous occasions, such as lack of representation abroad, lack of funds, lack of direction, lack of real dialogue between partners and lack of investments in the tourism product in general.
We are facing critical times in our nation’s main industry. One only has to look at the unfolding events, as a result of the USA’s changing policies towards Cuba.
It there is one time, the coalition UP/CdW/LMR should put country above self, it should be in the appointment of the person to fill the position of Minister of TEATT.
Say what you may, the current minister of TEATT came from that sector.
In this critical minister’s post and at this juncture, we have no time for a prolonged learning curve.
While some will argue that the ministry staff will not change, fact remains that the ministry itself and related stakeholders need a clear and firm direction and this can only come from government and specifically the minister in charge.
We therefore make an urgent appeal to the government and the coalition members who support the government to give this matter serious thought and to stick to your own agreement that the person for the TEATT ministry will be decided on collectively. We are convinced that most coalition members understand that we can ill afford an appointment for appointment sake.
Our livelihood and that of our children depend on the economy and the way this is managed. Our next minister of TEATT should NOT be a candidate for the sake of the coalition, but a candidate for the sake of St. Maarten.
At the very least, the DP and with us, the entire St. Maarten would want to know the direction this government will take to secure this island’s economy and its tourism product; not at the completion of the National Economic Plan, but NOW.
On behalf of the Democratic Party,