MP Brison Slams Sarah and DP for decades of Mismanagement culminating in Bearing Point Judgement
PHILIPSBURG -- Member of Parliament and Leader of the United People's UP Party, the honorable Rolando Brison, has lashed out at Democratic Party leader MP Sarah Wescot and her party, holding them responsible for decades of mismanagement in St. Maarten following the Court of First Instance's judgement in the Bearing Point matter.
MP Brison pointed to the norm of Wescot-Williams and her former United Democrats allies of creating significant problems by disregarding procedures and attempting to shift blame onto others, "Whether it was the INSO Fiasco, Mullet Bay and the situation with Ennia, Shipyard N.V. debts, we constantly see the fingerprints of DP cohorts around some of the biggest financial losses the country has ever faced. The Bearing Point case resulted in a substantial financial blow to the government, with 1 million guilders being reserved to bearing point in summary proceedings due to questionable agreements executed under Sarah Wescot Williams's leadership.
Brison vehemently supported Finance Minister Ardwell Irion's decision not to proceed with the dubious agreement, and calls on him to not only appeal this decision but take it to a so-called “bodemprocedure” for a deeper handling of this situation. He openly criticized Wescot and her Democratic Party for conveniently forgetting their involvement, by failing to mention that it was Wescot's United Democrats who initially appointed Finance Minister Perry Geerlings and his cabinet members, which led to the questionable involvement of Bearing Point in the tax affairs of St. Maarten.”
Labelling Wescot's recent comments as an "election stunt to gain relevance," Brison accused her of seeking attention at the expense of the country's well-being. He emphasized that the current stable government has been diligently working to uncover the extent of the mess left by past failing administrations in which she often played a key role in, including issues like the stagnation of Mullet Bay, constitutional deficiencies, a poor education system, and an inability to maintain a stable government. Despite warnings from the opposition in 2018/2019, Wescot's Government proceeded with the contract, prioritizing their own tunnel vision instead of the interests of the people. Even back then, there are many questions of integrity surrounding the plan to use bearing point. The court judgement now confirmed some of those concerns, as evidence from court documents revealed how then UD Minister of Finance had a former Bearing Point employee in his cabinet. While he has no issue with the company in general, he believes they too should have bid like every other company in the recent tender for the New Integrated Tax Management System, and see if they could win the bid fair and square, not hope to win it the “DP ‘friends and family’ way”. From the court documents it appears that no contract was signed with bearing point, and only an email from the former Chief of Cabinet for Geerlings on the eve of the swearing-in of a New Council of Ministers suggests that Bearing Point would be given a contract. "For MP Wescot-Williams to now want the Government to do away with the tender process in light of this shameful act under her watch is shameful," said MP Brison. "I encourage the Government to appeal the Court ruling, as this is an attempt to delay the Government's implementation of a new financial management tax system."
Commending Finance Minister Irion's efforts to clean up the mess left by the previous administration, Brison firmly believes that no matter the judgement result, the cost incurred cannot compare to the expenses caused by the questionable contracts pushed through by the UD and DP governments. Describing MP Wescot's comments on the Bearing Point issue as akin to "an arsonist calling the fire department after setting the fire," Brison accused her of trying to shift blame onto others despite being at the center of the nation's problems, especially this bearing point issue. He stated that the electorate has grown tired of her forty-year political failure and that recent polls show dwindling support for the Democratic Party in the upcoming election, estimating them at just 1-seat. Brison also pointed out that the recent court judgement clarified that national decrees are "not necessary" for entering into financial agreements, which may prompt the government to review and adjust its procedures accordingly. As the Bearing Point case continues and appears far from over, the result is another negative light on Sarah Wescot and her Democratic Party, with many questioning their ability to govern responsibly and their willingness to take responsibility for the problems they have created. MP Brison stressed that the people of St. Maarten demand transparency, accountability, and a commitment to prioritize their interests above all else.