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New ministers sworn in, Cabinet now complete

page1b095HARBOUR VIEW--Almost nine months after taking office, the Marcel Gumbs Cabinet now has the full complement of seven individual ministers with the taking of the oath before Governor Eugene Holiday of new Ministers Ernest Sams and Rafael Boasman. Also retaking the oath to match his newly-assigned ministry was Minister Claret Connor.

Connor will now serve as Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI. Sams takes up Connor’s former portfolio of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT). Boasman will serve as minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA.

The VROMI portfolio had been held ad interim by Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs since taking office in December 2014. The VSA portfolio had been held ad interim by Education and Culture Minister Rita Bourne-Gumbs.

Holiday told the new ministers that taking the oath of office was a solemn expression of their commitment to perform their functions with integrity. The oath is also a pledge of their allegiance to the King and the Kingdom Charter, and their individual declaration to always uphold the Constitution of St. Maarten.

“Finally, it is your pledge to always dedicate yourself to foster the wellbeing of the people of St. Maarten,” Holiday said. “You have been entrusted and as such there rests on you individually as ministers and jointly with your colleagues in the Council of Ministers a great responsibility. Through your oath, you will be accepting the obligation to serve all the people of St. Maarten.”

The new ministers as well as those in the existing cabinet have “accepted to serve in challenging times,” said Holiday. The cabinet is serving at a time when there is “much to do and scarce means to do it with.” The decisions taken by the ministers in the use of the scarce means “will have lasting influences” on the lives of the country’s people.

Against that backdrop, Holiday recommended that the ministers use the oath as “a guide” in the performance of their functions to address “the variety of challenges” with which the people are faced.

Boasman is a well-known long-time civil servant.

Sams was a long-time employee of utilities company GEBE. In his last capacity before retiring he served as head of GEBE’s Purchasing Department. He also worked in the banking and telecommunications sectors in the Netherlands. Before becoming a minister, he was managing director/local representative of Interspace Airport Advertising/Clear Channel Outdoors.

Sams had served in the Dutch Army as a corporal.