PHILIPSBURG--Several caretaker ministers bade farewell on Wednesday during what they said would be their last Council of Ministers press briefing as they prepared to leave office to make way for the new interim government.
“As you may know, this Council of Ministers is a caretaker government and preparations for the interim government are being concluded,” caretaker Prime Minister Wycliffe Smith told reporters.
“We understand that the formateur is finishing up her report and that the screening of the incoming ministers is being finalised. This means that this might be the last press briefing of this Council of Ministers.”
Smith said he counts it “an honour and a privilege to have been able to serve the people of this country to the best of my ability and in good conscience.”
“I served in Cabinet Romeo-Marlin II as Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport for 16 months. Working with Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin and my colleague ministers was extremely rewarding and decisions within the Council of Ministers were taken based on the principles of integrity, honesty [and – Ed.] transparency and they were taken democratically.
“I count it also an honour and a privilege to have been able to serve my country as Prime Minister/Minister of General Affairs for approximately one month in the current caretaker government. The Cabinet staff of the Ministry of General Affairs has been committed and I appreciate their dedication.
“Truly, my entire time in service as the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport would not have been the pleasant experience it was without the support of the departments and divisions of this ministry,” he said and thanked several persons by name for their support during his tenure.
Caretaker Finance Minister Perry Geerlings said it had been an honour for him to have served St. Maarten and the people of St. Maarten. He thanked everyone had who put their trust in him and allowed him to become Minister of Finance, and everyone who supported him during his tenure.
Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Minister Stuart Johnson thanked the entire TEATT Ministry, his colleagues in the Council of Ministers, his cabinet support team and everyone for their continued support.