“Departure Duncan did not solve everything” Plasterk remains concerned about integrity

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TSXM – St. Maarten – The legacy of former Justice Minister Roland Duncan keeps haunting St. Maarten. “The new government must do everything within its power to restore the confidence in the integrity of its ministers,” Kingdom Relations Minister Ronald Plasterk writes in a letter to members of the Second Chamber. “With the departure of Minister Roland Duncan not all problems of St. Maarten have been solved according to the Kingdom Council of Ministers.”

Plasterk’s letter fulfills a promise he made during the consultation with the parliamentary committee for Kingdom Relations on April 16.

“I have said during the general consultation that I have told the Prime Minister of St. Maarten that the Kingdom Council of Ministers shares the general feeling that the integrity problem in St. Maarten is bigger than the investigation the Public Prosecutor’s Office has initiated. I have said that the integrity problem damages the trust citizens and companies in St. Maarten as well as foreign governments must be able to have in the country’s administration and that this affects the image of the Kingdom as a whole,” Plasterk writes in his letter.

With Duncan’s departure “an important factor disappeared that was also the cause for the image of the integrity problem,” Plasterk writes. “But this does not mean the problems are solved. The integrity of the administration and the politicians in St. Maarten remains for the Kingdom Council of Ministers a continuous source of concern. With the formation of a new cabinet the Kingdom Council of Ministers hopes that a government will take office that is aware of this worrisome situation. That remains to be seen. A new government will have to make the necessary effort to regain the trust in the soundness of the country’s administration and to eradicate the negative image that has come into being about it.”

Plasterk concludes his letter with the statement that the Kingdom Council of Ministers is prepared to support the Wescot-Williams cabinet in these matters.