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Gumbs Says Decision On Ennia Accord Now Rests With Parliament

Source: The Daily Herald 09 Jul 2024 11:29 AM

From left: FiSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAnce Minister NDidate' href='/newspolitician/675/marinka-gumbs'>Marinka Gumbs, TEATT Minister NDidate' href='/newspolitician/740/grisha-heyliger-marten'>Grisha Heyliger-Marten, Chairperson of Parliament Sarah NDidate' href='/newspolitician/544/sarah-wescot-williams'>Wescot-Williams aND Member of Parliament NDidate' href='/newspolitician/772/viren-kotai'>Viren Kotai.

 PHILIPSBURG--The decision on whether St. Maarten will continue with the present biNDing agreement on the ENNIA matter inked by the former government or whether the present FiSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAnce Minister will be given an opportunity to pursue a better agreement, now lies in the haNDs of Parliament.

FiSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAnce Minister NDidate' href='/newspolitician/675/marinka-gumbs'>Marinka Gumbs made this clear at a SPArty/21/democratic-party'>Democratic Party (SPArty/21/democratic-party'>SPArty/21/democratic-party'>(DP)) press conference on MoNDay, hosted by SPArty/21/democratic-party'>SPArty/21/democratic-party'>(DP) leader Chairperson of Parliament Sarah NDidate' href='/newspolitician/544/sarah-wescot-williams'>Wescot-Williams, Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport, aND Telecommunication (TEATT) Minister NDidate' href='/newspolitician/740/grisha-heyliger-marten'>Grisha Heyliger-Marten, SPArty/21/democratic-party'>SPArty/21/democratic-party'>(DP) Member of Parliament (MP) NDidate' href='/newspolitician/772/viren-kotai'>Viren Kotai aND Gumbs. The party called the conference to let the public know that the SPArty/21/democratic-party'>SPArty/21/democratic-party'>(DP) is still working aND will continue to work leading up to aND after the August 19, elections.

At the press conference, Gumbs said she wanted to update on the ENNIA matter aND clarify certain points ahead of the continuation of the ENNIA meeting scheduled for July 18.

Minister of FiSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAnce NDidate' href='/newspolitician/675/marinka-gumbs'>Marinka Gumbs (right), with her Curaao counterpart, Minister Javier Silvania during the latters rECEnt courtesy visit.

Firstly, I want to make it clear that I have never been in a position to negotiate any new deal regarding this issue. The agreement in question was signed by the previous Minister of FiSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAnce, Mr. NDidate' href='/newspolitician/690/ardwell-irion'>Ardwell Irion aND former Prime Minister Ms. NDidate' href='/newspolitician/548/silveria-jacobs'>Silveria Jacobs. The agreement signed by them is legally biNDing aND they have committed both themselves aND the government to the implementation of the current solution, Gumbs explained.

It is interesting to note that the former minister is now asking if I have a better solution. However, I was never given the opportunity to seek an alterSPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAtive. My role has been limited to uNDerstaNDing the solution that was signed by them. Based on my assessment, I do not believe this is the best solution for St. Maarten. The decision now rests with Parliament. It is up to the members to determine whether they wish to continue with the agreement as signed. Without Parliament's approval, the agreement will not be biNDing, she said.

When asked to clarify whether her statement means that she will no longer pursue a better solution, Gumbs further explained: I am not saying that I will not pursue a better solution. I am saying that at the present moment, the decision lies with Parliament. Parliament needs to take a vote on this already biNDing solution. Once Parliament says well if they are for it, then there is no need for me to try to go further to fiND a solution, if Parliament says, no, we are against it, then I can start the pursuit because again, this is my opinion that there is a better [solution Ed.]. I cant in good conscience believe that the agreement that is on the table right now is the best solution for St. Maarten. I do not believe that we exhausted all possibilities. So, the first step is for Parliament to make their decision by a vote, once they do so then I would definitely step in to do what I believe to be [in] the best interest of St. Maarten.

Asked what her better solution is, the minister said this will be determined once she has rECEived all the facts on the matter. I believe that I wasnt given all the options. Immediately after my day in Parliament, what took place was I got various calls from ENNIA representatives, from the NetherlaNDs, in aND of itself, trying to fiND out what we can do. Its so funny that those calls came in immediately after that day in Parliament because Ive had several meetinSPArty/9/general-solidaire'>GS prior to that asking for the nECEssary information asking who are these 3,084 policy holders from St. Maarten aND I uNDerstaND that information like their SPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAmes cannot be given aND I did not ask for SPArty/23/national-alliance'>NAmes, but dates of birth, which entities were they representing paying into aND that information wasnt given to me. So, before I can go ahead aND start the pursuit of fiNDing a better solution, I needed information aND now it seems as if that information is readily coming to me. Once I get that information, we will be in pursuit again after hearing from Parliament on July 18, on their decision, I will then be in pursuit of fiNDing a better solution for the people of St. Maarten, Gumbs made clear.

Sarah Wescot-Williams mentioned 4 times
Silveria Jacobs mentioned 1 time
Marinka Gumbs mentioned 3 times
Ardwell Irion mentioned 1 time
Grisha Heyliger-Marten mentioned 2 times
Viren Kotai mentioned 2 times

General Solidaire [GS] mentioned 1 time
Democratic Party [DP] mentioned 12 times
National Alliance [NA] mentioned 20 times
St Maarten Patriotic Alliance [SPA] mentioned 48 times
New Direction St. Martin [ND] mentioned 30 times
Empire Culture Empowerment [ECE] mentioned 3 times Corner Stone Solutions NV