A scene during Friday’s meeting of Parliament.
PHILIPSBURG--A motion presented by Independent Member of Parliament (MP) Christophe Emmanuel calling on government, as shareholder in the Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten (CBCS), to delay any sale of Mullet Bay until Parliament’s inquiry on Mullet Bay is complete, passed in Parliament on Friday with nine votes for and three against. The motion also called for St. Maarten to be granted the right of first refusal to purchase Mullet Bay.
A second motion on Mullet Bay presented by Party for Progress (PFP) was voted down by eight votes against and four votes for.
Emmanuel’s motion resolved that the government of St. Maarten via Minister of Finance Ardwell Irion make every effort to delay approval of any potential sale of the Mullet Bay property at least until June 2023, at which time the Parliamentary inquiry into the Mullet Bay property in St. Maarten is expected to be completed.
It also resolved that the government of St. Maarten make every possible effort to ensure that the interest of St. Maarten is paramount in any decision made related to the Mullet Bay property and that the Mullet Bay Commission in Parliament, with the support of the secretariat, expedites the completion of its assignment and presents the final report within four months.
Emmanuel’s motion stated that the people, economy and overall economic development of St. Maarten had suffered due to the destruction caused to the Mullet Bay property by the hurricanes in 1995.
It stated that CBCS had appointed two directors to restore order at Sun Resorts and to initiate the process of selling and/or developing Mullet Bay; that the geographic area of the Mullet Bay property has historic importance for St. Maarten and that responsible economic development is crucial for the economy and the ecology of the country; that the Parliament of St. Maarten has started a Parliamentary inquiry with the goal to investigate the property and to present possible solutions; and that the Parliament of St. Maarten has approved, by means of the inquiry, the analysis of various actions as stated in the Parliamentary inquiry proposal, including the expropriation and first right of refusal for the acquisition of the Mullet Bay property, for which the final report can serve as a premise for planned actions.
In motivating his vote on his motion, Emmanuel called on the Mullet Bay Commission in Parliament, with the support of the secretariat, to expedite the completion of its assignment and present the final report within four months. He plans to follow up with government on the motion.
PFP’s motion resolved to request that the government of St. Maarten publicly announce that Mullet Bay Beach is to be separated from any case involving CBCS, ENNIA and/or Hushang Ansary; request that the government of St. Maarten actively pursue Article 1 of the National Ordinance on Expropriation to explore retrieving ownership from Sun Resorts Ltd. NV and begin establishing lines of communication with Sun Resorts Ltd NV to facilitate this; and to request that the government of St. Maarten prepare a sustainable development plan that, following expropriation, outlines the conversion of the Mullet Bay property to a green space for St. Maarten, with the only physical structure being the return of a multi-use facility for conventions, performance arts and conferences.