Published On: Sat, Apr 25th, 2020

PFP faction sends Letter of Concern to President of Parliament

PFP Members of Parliament Melissa Gumbs Rayheon PetersonSays President’s comments regarding CBCS not reflection of Parliament’s position ~

PHILIPSBURG –- Members of Parliament for the Party for Progress (PFP) faction Melissa Gumbs and Raeyhon Peterson have sent a letter to President of Parliament MP Rolando Brison, regarding a press release concerning a letter Brison has sent to the Central Bank of Curacao & St. Maarten, via the Minister of Finance Ardwell Irion. The letter to Brison highlights the faction’s concern over the impressions given by the article’s tone and content.

“We are writing to you, as President of Parliament, to inform you of the reality that the perception in media circles within the Kingdom,” the faction states, “is that the letter, which we have not seen in our capacity as Members of Parliament, states the position of the Parliament of St. Maarten.”

The faction goes on to say that, while Brison himself stated that the article and letter were his own personal opinion, that it is not unusual to assume that he speaks for the entire Parliament of St. Maarten, considering he holds the position of President of Parliament. Gumbs and Peterson believe that this calls for enhanced discretion and discourse when making public statements.

“We feel it pertinent to state, for the record,” the MPs continue, “that we believe the proper procedure to express this opinion would have been to invite the Minister of Finance and the board and management of the CBCS to Parliament.”

This, the faction believes, would have been a transparent mechanism, involving all of Parliament, as they’re sure other members hold their own opinions on the CBCS and their response so far to COVID-19. As an example, PFP states that they are not necessarily in agreement with the contents of Brison’s letter, as mentioned in the article, but that they recognize that every Member of Parliament is entitled to their opinion.”

In an invited comment, Gumbs and Peterson stated that they are not stepping on the right of a Member of Parliament to question Government or express their personal opinion on matters. However, they stressed that the opinion of one MP cannot be seen to be the position of the entire Parliament.

… bold demands … caused serious rumbling … in Curacao

“Holding the most visible role in Parliament does mean that what is said may very well be taken as the ‘official stance’ of the Parliament,” the MPs explained in their comment. “The bold demands made in the article have caused serious rumbling within media and political circles within the Kingdom, most notably in Curacao, where they are being presented as the Parliament of St. Maarten’s demands to CBCS. We want to make it clear to the public that as of the time of this press release, the letter itself has not been seen by or discussed with any member of the PFP faction, so we cannot confirm if it was sent through official channels. This begs the further question of whether or not the Honorable Minister has received it himself.”

Both MPs said they would welcome any meeting to explore the role and response of the Central Bank of Curacao & St. Maarten during and after the COVID-19 crisis and recovery.

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Related links:
Article in The Daily Herald: “Brison gives CBCS 2-week ultimatum to take urgent action”
Letter of Concern PFP Faction to President of Parliament MP Rolando Brison