Friday, Jun 05th

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Editorial - In the middle

The same-day postponement of Monday’s continuation “until further notice” of a plenary session in Parliament on developments at NV GEBE did not come as a complete surprise. During the original meeting last week Friday interim Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI Marcel Gumbs in his capacity of shareholder representative indicated the need for more documentation to answer the questions posed.

Apparently the latter could not be gathered over the weekend, hence the delay. What also may have played a role is that the two main parties involved in the current dispute at the Government-owned utility company – the Supervisory Board and Chief Operating Officer (COO)/Managing Director Romelio Maduro – faced off in court on Thursday over the latter’s suspension and intended dismissal, with a ruling scheduled for July 9.

Gumbs actually had expressed a preference to hold the discussion with the legislature behind closed doors for the latter reason, due to the sensitive nature of the topic and because there is an ongoing investigation. However, his request was denied by the majority.

In addition, the minister planned to hear from Maduro to get his side of the story today, Tuesday. Doing so before going public with details that potentially could have legal consequences would seem prudent in any case and – if possible – seeking involvement of the Corporate Governance Council at this stage certainly appears advisable.

Monday’s front page story from a local service provider that became embroiled in the controversy gives even more reason to be cautious in this matter until a clear picture of what actually went on emerges. After all, where people tell directly opposing stories about the same thing, the truth usually can be found somewhere in the middle.