PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Independent Member of Parliament Christophe Emmanuel on Sunday said that the Prime Minister of St. Maarten cannot and should not treat her office as a mere formality of governing and once again respectfully called on her to explain to the public if she is in a compromising legal position due to alleged actions of others.
The MP was reacting to the Prime Minister’s statement in the Council of Ministers Press Briefing that she is recusing herself from matters having to do with the dismissal of airport COO Michel “Mikey” Hyman.
The MP used the opportunity to recall that it was in October 2021 that he respectfully called on the PM to address circulating reports that allege that she is in compromising legal positions. At the time the PM responded in another COM press briefing that “others” were playing politics with the situation and did not admit to any involvement nor did she recuse herself then. Now six months later, following the dismissal of Hyman as airport COO and the criticisms it has received since, “the Prime Minister recused herself from this issue,” the MP said.
“But what does this mean? Why are you recusing yourself? Is it only for this case or airport matters in general? Will the PM participate in meetings regarding the airport in COM and in Parliament? Is the Prime Minister admitting a conflict of interest? If yes, to what extent? Has the Prime Minister been questioned in any ongoing investigation? It is irresponsible and disrespectful to the office of the Prime Minister to treat it like some lower level administration point. The Prime Minister may not respect those who are asking questions, but she should at least respect the office,” MP Emmanuel said.
The MP went on to say that St. Maarten is not a banana republic and all over the world elected leaders and/or their representatives are called upon to explain their positions and their sudden declarations such as recusing oneself. “St. Maarten is a special place because nowhere else in the world would such a thing slide without questions,” he said, adding that the media is again failing in its duties to ask relevant questions. “Imagine the PM of a country says in a press briefing that she is recusing herself and not a single press person asked why.”
Emmanuel explained that the Prime Minister is the face of the nation and should not let reports of such serious nature live a life of their own. “This could affect the office of the Prime Minister and as such, on a national level, the holder of that office should address and clarify any reports about her being in a legal predicament.