Published On: Tue, Jan 16th, 2018

New Council of Ministers takes office

PM Leona Marlin-Romeo & Governor Holiday - 15 Jan 2018

PHILIPSBURG – The new Council of Ministers was sworn in by Governor Holiday on Monday and shortly afterwards presented itself at the traditional constituting meeting at the government building on pond island on Monday morning. Missing in the lineup are a minister for economic affairs and tourism and a minister plenipotentiary.

Minister Cornelius de Weever (Justice) will take on the role of Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication until a successor for Melissa Arrindell-Doncher has been found. Nothing has been said about the appointment of a successor for Minister Plenipotentiary Henrietta Doran-York. However, Hassani Ellis, has been appointed deputy minister plenipotentiary.

“We are living at a critical moment,” Governor drs. Eugène Holiday said in a brief address at the constituting meeting. “Irma has set us back in no small way and there is quite some work to do for the rebuilding of St. Maarten. We are in this together,” he said with a reference to the preamble of the country’s Constitution.

The Council of Ministers has “an awesome responsibility,” the Governor said, noting that the new team will have to deal with furthering recovery efforts, revisiting the budget, monitoring border control and the establishment of the Integrity Chamber and, last but not least, the February 26 elections.

Interim Prime Minister Leona Marlin-Romeo announced the replacement regulation. In her absence, the Prime Minister will be replaced by Minister Emil Lee (Public Health, Social Development and Labor); if both are absent, their replacement is the eldest member of the Council of Ministers – Minister of Finance Mike Ferrier.

Minister Jorien Wuite (Education, Culture, Youth and Sport) will replace Finance Minister Ferrier in his absence; Prime Minister Marlin-Romeo will replace Justice Minister Cornelius de Weever; Vromi-Minister Miklos Gitterson will replace Minister Wuite and Minister Ferrier will replace Minister Lee. Minister de Weever will replace Vromi-Minister Gitterson in his absence.

While the appointment of a minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication is still pending, Minister De Weever will fill that position for the time being; he will also replace the to be appointed minister in his or her absence.

Leona Marlin-Romeo 20180115 - HH

Photo caption: Interim Prime Minister Leona Marlin-Romeo. Photo Hilbert Haar.

Emil Lee and Cornelius de Weever 20180115 - HH

Photo caption: Brothers in arms: Ministers Emil Lee (l) and Cornelius de Weever at Monday’s constituting meeting. Photo Hilbert Haar.

Miklos Gitterson 20180115 - HH

Photo caption: Vromi-Minister Miklos Gitterson. Photo Hilbert Haar.

Mike Ferrier 20180115 - HH

Photo caption: Finance Minister Mike Ferrier. Photo Hilbert Haar.

Jorien Wuite 20180115 - HH

Photo caption: Minister of Education, Culture Youth and Sport Jorien Wuite. Photo Hilbert Haar.

Hassani Ellis 20180115 - HH

Photo caption: Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary Hassan Ellis. Photo Hilbert Haar.

Top photo caption: Prime Minister Leona Marlin-Romeo with Governor Eugene B. Holiday signing during the constituting meeting of the new Council of Ministers on Monday, January 15th, 2018, in the Government Administration Building on Pond Island. Photo by Roland Bryson.