The newly-sworn-in Cabinet will hit the ground running, assured Prime Minister William Marlin (see related story). That four of the seven members of what was appropriately described as the “brand new, second-hand Council of Ministers” returned to the portfolios they were already handling should greatly contribute to such.
It won’t be “business as usual,” however, at least not if Governor Eugene Holiday gets his way. He called for an upgraded governing system for improved performance, geared towards the challenges of the 21st century.
The Governor’s reasoning that the current low economic growth urgently requires a number of strategic choices makes all the sense in the world. Politicians need to start thinking about policies, projects and programmes that fit within the limited budget, yet create more business and income for the island.
Priorities mentioned include modernising the human capital management, enhancing the information and communication technology infrastructure, investing in renewable low-cost energy, delivering sustainable waste-processing, tackling road congestion and strengthening external relations through partnerships within the Dutch Kingdom and the Caribbean as well as with the French side and the United States.
So, the incoming NA/US Party/DP coalition obviously has its work cut out for it, but is – at least for now – backed by a two-thirds majority in Parliament, which can definitely be considered a plus. The likelihood of still another premature change in Government or even early elections is therefore relatively small, although recent experience shows that possibility can never be excluded.
The task ahead may be difficult, but that’s what the men and woman involved were put into office for by the elected representatives in the first place. Getting a position of political authority is great, but comes with a heavy responsibility to the people.