Emmanuel: Coalition not holding their own accountable, meeting requested

MP Christopher Emmanuel


PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — MP Christopher Emmanuel on Friday said a request has been submitted for an urgent Central Committee meeting with Minister of VSA Omar Ottley regarding COVID-19 protocols, their enforcement by the authorities and circumventing by members of the UP/NA coalition at their discretion for personal pleasure.

The MP said he has listened to Ottley’s explanation of what transpired last weekend at Lotus Night Club, but as the Minister of VSA and Interim Minister of TEATT at the time, he did not address pertinent questions that specifically focused on breaching protocols.
“The Minister used the opportunity to defend himself and take a target off of his back, but in doing so he either forgot or willfully did not answer important questions,” MP Emmanuel said.

“The question is, did the event, the same event the Minister said had ‘just’ 100 people, carry on past 11pm and past 2am in the morning? If yes, who gave the permission to the club owners to continue their party later than the stipulated closing time of 11pm and have they been fined? Simple questions, yet all we get is dancing from the Minister who is obviously only concerned with protecting himself,” the MP said.

He said the coalition also has yet to answer for the behavior of the Chairman of Parliament Rolando Brison, who used the medical situation of a fellow MP (MP Buncamper) as an excuse not to travel to Bonaire to attend IPKO, but instead spent a weekend partying. “The President of Parliament, who apparently is not vaccinated, disregarded CPS established protocols and did what he wanted to,” Emmanuel said.

“This is unbecoming of a public servant of that stature who should be helping the government get the message across about adhering to protocols so we can successfully fight this pandemic. Government officials must be held accountable for their actions because many people do as they do. They are leaders. And when people see you circumventing the rules for your own pleasure, you create chaos in the country. This is not acceptable behavior and as usual the coalition says nothing,” MP Emmanuel concluded.

The MP also wants the government to explain what their plans of action are regarding COVID-19 protocols and the upcoming high season.