Government Hiding Behind Corporate Governance and Shunning Its Role as Sole Shareholder.

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Philipsburg, St. Maarten, –  The letter by the Director for Latin America and the Caribbean Region of the World Bank, regarding  PJIA Holding Board’s alleged intention to dismiss PJIA’s Managing Director, Brian Mingo does not come as a surprise. In fact, had nothing been said by those involved in the reconstruction and financing of the Princess Juliana International Airport when the Holding’s intention was made public, that would have been worrisome, said MP Sarah Wescot-Williams in a recent statement.

“I have publicly questioned the motives of the Government and the Holding Board of the Airport on this matter and I cautioned that this could have an adverse effect, especially given the manner in which this affair played out in  public. It would appear that the Government got the Holding Board to carry out its wishes, because this Government’s hang-up with the airport’s reconstruction agreement is public knowledge. In fact, let it be recalled that the airport was one of the issues, some of the current ministers used as Members of Parliament to beat up on their predecessors, notably the Leona Marlin cabinet Ministers.”

MP Wescot-Williams has questioned the wisdom of the move by the Holding Board of the Airport to dismiss its Managing Director and even more so to do it in the way it was done. Her questions were posed to both the Prime Minister and the Minister of TEATT.

“Since this Government has developed a habit of selectivity when it comes to answering questions and consenting to meetings of Parliament, I grasped the opportunity of the meeting regarding the law to cut the salaries of (semi) public entities and Government-owned companies, to again question this matter between the Airport’s Holding and the Managing Director”, she said.

The MP stated that the written answer she eventually received from the Prime Minister did not in the least convince her of Government’s hands-off in this entire affair. “To the contrary, I believe the Government orchestrated it. Now with the communique from the World Bank, the government  has to explain its part in this affair. Did the Holding board really act of its own accord? And if so, what is the government’s response to all of this?”