Prime Minister gives clarification on screening process



PHILIPSBURG – On Wednesday, November 2, Prime Minister William Marlin gave clarifications on the screenings for the candidate of ministers, and reasons for the current delay.

The Prime Minister made clear that at no point did he make mention that there was a “green light” for the swearing-in of the Council of Ministers. “Supposedly it has been reported that all was set for the swearing in of the Council of Ministers on Tuesday. I don’t know where that information came from. Seemingly, I was off-island and I don’t know if it was indeed so, but someone told me it was reported in the media outlets that I said that all was set and that the swearing-in would take on Tuesday. However, that is incorrect,” PM Marlin stated.

Marlin felt it was only fair that the public be informed when it came to the screening of the candidate ministers. He mentioned the criteria for the screening process. The first part is the integrity and judicial screening of the candidate. The second part is a factual check, where each candidate is required to answer a questionnaire containing an integrity declaration and to declare financial standings, etc. He also made clear the importance of each candidate to submit all relevant information to protect the individual, and the integrity of the office of a minister.

According to PM Marlin, some of the candidates’ files are more complex than others, which require more time and information, therefore causing a delay in the overall process. “There are some candidates who are involved in businesses and [they] have to distance themselves from those businesses. Proper provisions are to be made. You don’t just shut down the business,” Marlin said.

The Prime Minister also said the target date for the swearing-in of the Council of Ministers is Monday, November 7, contingent on the progress of the screening.