Heyliger: NA-led coalition stalled generator purchase via motion

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PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – The National Alliance (NA)-led coalition stalled the purchase of a new generator by Utilities Company GEBE via its motion passed in Parliament on October 28, says United People’s (UP) party leader Member of Parliament (MP) Theo Heyliger.

The motion of the Coalition of Eight was very clear. It states that the Marcel Gumbs Cabinet should not bind the country into any agreement, including the conversion of GEBE generators from using heavy fuel to generators that run on liquid natural gas LNG, said Heyliger.

GEBE submitted a request on October 27 to the then Marcel Gumbs Cabinet for permission to go ahead with the generator purchase. And, guess what, the very next day the Coalition of Eight pulled the plug with its motion and to date this new cabinet of six ministers still has not gotten the project moving, said Heyliger.

The UP leader said NA leader William Marlin seems to have forgotten the motion he signed on to and voted for when he claimed in the press Wednesday that his government stalled nothing and did not hamper the generator purchase.

Had it not been for the October 28 motion the purchase of the generator would have been on the way. The process to acquire the kind of generator GEBE needs takes about nine months to a year for it to be built, shipped and installed. However, thanks to the short-sightedness of the NA and its coalition partners, the people may well be left sitting in the dark again next year when the need for the new generator becomes severe and acute, Heyliger said.

It was astonishing to hear the NA leader’s sad attempt to say it was all a lie about the stalling of the generator purchase. Perhaps, we can excuse him for having a bout of forgetfulness, but like he loves to say ‘papier is geduld.’ The motion signed by the NA members and coalition partners MPs Sarah Wescot-Williams of the Democratic Party, and independent MPs Maurice Lake and Silvio Matser, is indeed patience and duly recorded in Parliament, said the UP leader. The NA leader should take note of the slogan of his DP coalition partner which is give light and the people will move on.

Perhaps, the NA leader did not meet with GEBE’s board or management since taking office as he has been busy with other things he deems more important than the basic need of electricity. Maybe this purchase is not a top priority because it has no construction component so no extra benefit. Maybe this is why the NA leader and his fellow ministers have not looked into allowing GEBE to get its generator. Study or no study, the lights keep going off and the people are left in the dark, Heyliger said.