Egbert J. Doran: Right to Speak?

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The Minister of VROMI (Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment, and Infrastructure) holds significant responsibilities, including oversight of N.V. GEBE, the island’s sole electricity provider. The minister has the authority to enforce good governance and demand accountability, especially as a shareholder. This role includes ensuring the efficient and reliable delivery of services, maintaining infrastructure, and addressing environmental concerns.

Doran’s Involvement in the Energy Crisis

Former Minister of VROMI, Egbert J. Doran, has recently become vocal on Facebook regarding the energy crisis on St. Maarten. He has called for collaborative efforts to address frequent power outages, proposing alternative energy solutions and practical measures. Doran’s proposals include acquiring a power barge, utilizing modular generators, and promoting transparency with regular updates to Parliament.

Doran’s recent statement reads:

MP Doran Issues a Call for Collaboration for St. Maarten’s Energy Crisis

As St. Maarten is faced with a pressing energy crisis, Member of Parliament Egbert J. Doran is issuing a call for collaborative action. In a letter addressed to Deputy Prime Minister Veronica Jansen-Webster, MP Doran articulates the urgent need to address the challenges posed by the frequent power outages plaguing our island as united citizens, looking past differing political ideologies.
Recognizing the significant impact of the energy crisis on the lives of the people and economic activities on St. Maarten, MP Doran emphasizes the importance of decisive and effective action. With the aging generators of N.V. GEBE struggling to meet the increasing energy demands, MP Doran proposes a multifaceted approach to finding solutions.
At the core of MP Doran’s proposal is the exploration of alternative energy sources, including the possibility of acquiring a power barge to supply electricity to the country. Based on his experience attending the Carilec conference where the electricity barge was presented, MP Doran highlights the importance of exploring this option with stakeholders both regionally and internationally via N.V. GEBE as the company is a member of Carilec.
Furthermore, MP Doran suggests practical measures to alleviate the strain on the Cay Bay Power Plant, including engaging major institutions to run their generators as has been the widespread suggestion by citizens on various media platforms. He also suggests exploring the feasibility of installing smaller containerized generators with a modular system setup at various substations. In addition, MP Doran calls on the Government to explore the possibility of reducing diesel cost and requesting businesses to consider the option of reducing the prices of diesel generators in order to make them more affordable for the citizens. “If feasible, these options can significantly ease the burden on the grid and aid in getting us through this crisis. It will take a collective effort for us to reach our end goal, which in the short-term is for the citizens to first and foremost have energy consistently and in the long-term to achieve sustainable energy”, said MP Doran.
In addition to exploring alternative energy sources, MP Doran requests regular updates to Parliament on the solutions being explored, stressing the importance of keeping Parliament fully informed to ensure transparency and collective action.
As a former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of VROMI, MP Doran is willing to work closely with the Government, relevant stakeholders and all other willing public and private representatives of St. Maarten to explore and implement effective and timely solutions to the energy crisis.”

Criticism of Governance

Despite his current advocacy, Doran’s past tenure as Minister of VROMI was marred by allegations of misleading Parliament about tendering processes, as reported in 2021. These allegations raise questions about his accountability and the legitimacy of his current involvement in addressing the energy crisis. Doran’s tenure was characterized by accusations of poor governance, which seemingly had no consequences for him despite significant issues under his leadership.

While Doran’s efforts to address the energy crisis are commendable, his controversial past casts doubt on his credibility. It is crucial for the community and policymakers to consider this context when evaluating his contributions. The fundamental question remains: Has Doran made a difference for GEBE over the past four years, or is he, along with the CFO, CEO, and the board, responsible for the current situation St. Maarten finds itself in?

In the wake of the recent GEBE hack, Doran’s actions—or lack thereof—also come under scrutiny. Did he seek external assistance or provide transparency to the public? As Minister of VROMI, he had the power to make significant changes. The community must critically assess whether Doran effectively utilized his authority to benefit GEBE and the people of St. Maarten.

Rumor has it that an other possibility exists where the former prime minister Silveria took over the GEBE part and Doran has no say. That would be highly doubtful, but this would explain why Doran can still speak freely…. Again we don’t know the truth and have to go with what we can find online and on the streets…….

Read more about the allegations against Doran here.

And here………….