Sarah Wescot: New hospital on gov’t’s agenda

POSTED: 07/20/16 6:56 PM

St. Maarten News —The construction of a new hospital is one of several projects in the pipeline for the current government, according to President of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams. At press conference yesterday, Mrs. Wescot-Williams explained that there will be an announcement of the names of the companies who have won the bid for the new hospital. “This is real progress as far as the realization of the new hospital for St. Maarten is concerned,” said Wescot-Williams. She mentioned that the time it took, demonstrates that putting up a picture of a hospital is not definitely the hospital that will be built. In her opinion this is an irreversible step to get the new hospital.

She explained that the process includes advices and evaluation of these advices towards the realization of the project.

Meanwhile, Wescot-Williams said the draft laws for the timeshare legislation is expected to be handled in the Central Committee meeting of the Parliament which will be handled after the recess of Parliament in early August. She explained that there are two drafts, one that pertains to timeshare ownership and the protection and the other is the timeshare authority.

It was explained that these two laws were brought to the floor by the Democratic Party in 2012 but was subsequently changed and was taken up by her when she came to the Parliament of St. Maarten. She pointed out, that these two laws were changed completely, by the Council of Advice.

“What we have on the table right now is two completely new drafts which is one for the Timeshare Authority and the other for the Timeshare Ordinance,” said Wescot-Williams. She hopes to post them on the website before it is being handled in Parliament and encouraged persons to take note of this development. She explained that they have the prerogative to offer comments or suggestions as it is handled in Parliament.

There was also a draft proposal to have an expansion of the task of the Constitutional Court. This is to be presented to the Parliament when it returns from recess. This comes in the wake of the recent ruling on the Integrity Chamber, triggered by the Ombudsman to the Constitutional Court. Wescot-Williams explained that in the event that there is a dispute by the different organs of government or dispute by the different factions of parliament it could be put forward to the Constitutional Court.

Her proposal is to have these types of conflicts addressed by the Constitutional Court for advice which needs to be done by a national law. This is expected to be handled as soon as possible, said Wescot- Williams. This law has to first meet the Council of Advice before Parliament could continue with the handling of this legislation. In the proposal there is also the possibility for private citizens via an attorney at law to ask the Ombudsman to bring forward a case which would be heard by the Constitutional Court, she said.

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