Wednesday, January 19, 2022

November 19, 2019 Chair of Parliament, Members of Parliament Prime-Minister, Ministers, Distinguished Guests, Good Morning,

On September 22, 2019, a shift in the majority in Parliament took place resulting in the request to form a new government and in the decision of the outgoing government to dissolve parliament and call new elections on January 9, 2019.

Based on the request of the new majority to form a new government, I consulted with various persons and on September 30, 2019 named Ms. Silveria Jacobs as formateur to form an interim government. Ms. Jacobs accepted the formation assignment and presented her final report on November 16, 2019. To all who gave their input to the transition and formation process and, in particular to formateur, Ms. Silveria Jacobs, I hereby express my appreciation, also on behalf of the people of Sint Maarten.

Ladies and Gentlemen

You have, as a result of the formation process, just witnessed the transfer of executive responsibility for the governance of our country to a new team of Ministers supported by the new majority in Parliament.

Prime Minister, Ministers,

As you assume your mandate to govern our country in these difficult and challenging times, I shall share a few thoughts with you.

Accepting the position of Minister through the taking of the oath today, is a solemn expression of your commitment to perform your duties with integrity. It is your pledge of allegiance to the King and to the Charter of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  It is your individual declaration to always uphold the Constitution of Sint Maarten and it is your solemn affirmation to always dedicate yourself to foster the wellbeing of the People of Sint Maarten. Through your oath, you have accepted the obligation to serve all the people of Sint Maarten. I therefore hereby advise you to use your oath as a guide in the fulfillment of duties.

Having such a guide and anchor is important under normal circumstances and even more so during challenging times. During the formation process I emphasized, and now that the formation process is concluded I wish to reemphasize, that our country faces several pressing challenges for its future development. Considering the interim nature of this government it was agreed that you will give priority to:

  • concluding the legislation regarding the combating of money laundering and financing of terrorism;
  • the execution of the agreements made with The Netherlands regarding the financing of the national recovery of Sint Maarten, including the financing of the rehabilitation of the airport;
  • concluding the budget for 2020;
  • furthering the preparation of the execution of the scheduled elections; and
  • realizing electoral reform by bringing the Ordinance for the Registration and Finances of Political Parties and the Election Ordinance in accordance with the Constitution.

Your giving priority to and following through on existing government commitments on these issues will provide for needed continuity to effectively address the challenges we face despite the political developments.

With regard to mentioned challenges I must stress that the level of urgency in two cases demand that you must act immediately:

  • The first pressing course of action is the handling of the amendment to the penal procedural code as part of our international commitment to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism. This is necessary to reduce the risk of being blacklisted; and
  • The second urgent course of action is the signing of the pending loan agreements for the financing of the rehabilitation of our airport as part of our commitments with the bondholders, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank and the Netherlands. This is necessary to help secure our airport and our country’s long term economic recovery.

Acting immediately means ensuring that Parliament and government take and execute decisions regarding the amendment of the penal code and regarding the airport financing by the end of this week. Not doing so can come at a high price which we cannot afford. To achieve any of these urgent objectives we will have to work together at home and with others. It is as such in our interest to take the lead in that regard. To do so I refer you to and encourage you to apply the guiding principle as outlined in the preamble to our own constitution, which states that:

WE THE PEOPLE OF SINT MAARTEN ……” are “ …determined to work with each other, with our partners in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, ….. and with all peoples of the world ….”.

Thus, as you assume the responsibility to govern our country, I urge you and trust that you will apply our guiding principle of cooperation which underpins our constitution in your handling of these urgent matters for our country’s future.

Prime Minister, Ministers,

Today, almost two months since the previous team of Ministers made their positions available, you come before the people of Sint Maarten as a new team of ministers to further the ongoing recovery process aimed at meeting the urgent needs of our people.

In that regard, there rests on you, individually as Ministers, and jointly as Council of Ministers a great responsibility. Your decisions will have lasting influences on the lives of the people of Sint Maarten. Thus, as you deliberate on taking action on the matters before you during your governing period, I wish you wisdom, individually and jointly, in the conduct of your responsibilities as you seek to meet your constitutional responsibility to the people of Sint Maarten. 

With that in mind, I hereby congratulate the people of Sint Maarten with the installation of this interim government and similarly congratulate each of you and your families with your appointments as Prime-Minister and Ministers.

Thank you,

God bless you and

May God Bless Sint Maarten and protect its coast.

SXM Radio Online

Entertainment

September 7, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Michael K. Williams, who as the rogue robber of drug dealers Omar Little on “The Wire” created one of the most beloved and enduring characters in a prime era of television, died Monday. Williams was found dead Monday afternoon by family members in his Brooklyn penthouse apartment, New York City police said. He was 54. His death was being investigated as a possible drug overdose, the NYPD said. The medical examiner was investigating the cause of death. Little, a “stick-up boy” based on real figures from Baltimore, was probably the most popular character among the devoted fans of “The Wire,” the HBO show that ran from 2002 to 2008 and is re-watched constantly in streaming.

September 8, 2021 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Britney Spears’ father filed Tuesday to end the court conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s life and money for 13 years. James Spears filed his petition to terminate the conservatorship in Los Angeles Superior Court. “As Mr. Spears has said, again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter,” the document says. “If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance.” Judge Brenda Penny, who oversees the case, will need to approve the move. Britney Spears attorney Matthew Rosengart said in an email the filing “represents another legal victory for Britney Spears — a massive one — as well as vindication for Ms. Spears.”

September 8, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — With Katie Holmes and Lil’ Kim on his front row and singer Marina on the mic high above his runway, Christian Siriano helped kicked off New York Fashion Week’s first big pandemic round of in-person shows Tuesday with a flurry of neon and lace-inspired in part by all the Italian women in his life. From ornate Gotham Hall, beneath a stained-glass skylight 70 feet up, Siriano’s commitment to size inclusivity was never stronger as he opened and closed the show with plus-size breakout model Precious Lee. She first walked in a stunning yellow trouser suit with wide loose pants and an asymmetrical jacket, a matching crossover bralette underneath.

September 7, 2021  VENICE, Italy (AP) — Paul Schrader knows he has a limited number of films left, so whatever he does from here on out is going to be for himself. At 75 years old, the writer of “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull” and director of “American Gigolo” and “Mishima” was even somewhat prepared to call it a day after his 2018 film “First Reformed,” for which he got his first Oscar nomination. He didn’t want to. He just knew it might be the reality. “I thought I would go back to this character again for about the fifth time,” Schrader said in a recent interview. By “this character” he means “the man in the room.” It’s Travis Bickle. It’s John LeTour. It’s Julian Kay. And it’s a formula he’s been working with for 45 years.

Business News

September 8, 2021  -Stocks were mostly lower in Asia on Wednesday after a lackluster session on Wall Street, where weak jobs data and pandemic concerns weighed on sentiment. Shares rose in Tokyo after economic growth for the April-June quarter was revised upward to an annualized 1.9% from an earlier estimate of 1.3%. “Any feel-good factor was ignored, though, given the climb was less than half of the 4.20% fall in Q1,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a commentary. “Japan will be lucky to break even this year as the current Covid-19 wave will almost certainly have weighed on domestic consumption,” he said.

September 8, 2021 NEW YORK (AP) — There will be something missing at two Whole Foods stores opening next year: the rows of cashiers. Amazon, which owns the grocery chain, said Wednesday that it will bring its cashier-less technology to two Whole Foods stores for the first time, letting shoppers grab what they need and leave without having to open their wallets. Cameras and sensors track what’s taken off shelves. Items are charged to an Amazon account after customers leave the store with them. But there will be an option for those who want to shop the old-fashioned way: Self-checkout lanes will be available that take cash, gift cards and other types of payment. Amazon first unveiled the cashier-less technology in 2018 at an Amazon Go convenience store and has expanded it to larger Amazon supermarkets. But it will be the first time it has appeared at Whole Foods, a chain of more than 500 grocery stores Amazon bought four years ago.

September 8, 2021  BEIJING (AP) — An avalanche of changes launched by China’s ruling Communist Party has jolted everyone from tech billionaires to school kids. Behind them: President Xi Jinping’s vision of making a more powerful, prosperous country by reviving revolutionary ideals, with more economic equality and tighter party control over society and entrepreneurs. Since taking power in 2012, Xi has called for the party to return to its “original mission” as China’s economic, social and cultural leader and carry out the “ rejuvenation of the great Chinese nation.” The party has spent the decade since then silencing dissent and tightening political control. Now, after 40 years of growth that transformed China into the world’s factory but left a gulf between a wealthy elite and the poor majority, the party is promising to spread prosperity more evenly and is pressing private companies to pay for social welfare and back Beijing’s ambition to become a global technology competitor.

Fashion News

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