PHILIPSBURG – It is hard to say whose support was more impressive – that of the newly formed United Democrats (UD) or that of the National Alliance (NA) – during Nomination Day for the February 26 elections at the parliament building in Philipsburg. Both parties filled up the legislative hall with candidates and supporters, far more than the modestly supported United St. Maarten party (USp), the St. Maarten development Movement (SDM), the St. Maarten Christian Party (SMCP) and the People’s Progressive Alliance (PPA).
Ninety-three candidates will contest the elections and only two parties presented a full slate with the maximum of 23 names – the UD and the NA. The USp fields 19 candidates, the SMCP 12, the PPA 11 and the SDM 5.
The United Democrats, a merger of Theo Heyliger’s United People’s Party and Sarah Wescot-Williams’ Democratic Party – sees the return to the old nest of former Vromi-Minister Maurice Lake at the bottom of the list. In 2016, Lake was instrumental to bringing down the government when he left the UP and joined Frans Richardson’s USp; he failed to win a seat in 2016.
The United Democrats candidates are, in order from 1 to 23: Theo Heyliger, Sarah Wescot-Williams, Franklin Meyers, Emil Lee, USp-transfer Chanel Brownbill, Claret Connor, Sidharth Bijlani, Tamara Leonard, Perry Geerlings, Jules James, Leona Marlin-Romeo, Cornelius de Weever, Jorien Wuite, former Minister of Education Rhoda Arrindell, deputy minister plenipotentiary Hasani Ellis, Angelique Roumou, Kevin Maingrette, Luc Mercelina, Louis Engel, May Ling-Chun, Nikhil Kukreja, Asha Uche-Roosberg and Maurice Lake.
The National Alliance’s candidates are Silveria Jacobs, Christophe Emmanuel, Rodolphe Samuel, Ardwell Irion, Anna Rabess-Richardson, Hyacinth Richardson, George Pantophlet, Rene Violenus, Egbert Jurendy Doran, Solange Ludmilla York-Duncan, Romeo Pantophlet, Lenny Priest, Jimmy Challenger, Herbert Martina, Loekie Morales, Ricardo McQuilkin, Leroy Vaun, Robert Budike, Roberto Arrindell, Dennison Philips, Oswald Bell, Jelan Gumbs and – last but not least – William Marlin.
The United St. Maarten party’s list is headed by Frans Richardson, followed by Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher, convicted ex-minister Maria Buncamper-Molanus, the interim head of the Tourist Bureau Rolando Brison, Valya Lake-Pantophlet, Lloyd Paul, Richinel Brug, Lyndon Lewis, Lisa Alexander, Wilfred Williams, Elvis Flanders, Martin Wilson, Hillary Williams, Curtis Thomas, Agnes Brooks-Mardenborough, Sergio Bryson, Early Charlemagne, Leo Lambriex and Cecil Nicolas.
Missing from the USp line up is Member of Parliament Silvio Matser.
Candidates for the SDM are party leader Benjamin Ortega, Arthur Bute, Raymond Matser, James Busby and Elvis Lewis.
The SMCP has the following candidates: Wycliffe Smith, Keith Gittens, Mulrose Toulon-Sponsper, Claude Peterson, Beverley Gibbs, Benjamin Bell, Francelise Mauricia Peterson, Christian President, Michael Somersall, Richard Patrick, Marylouse Rattan-Poulo and Alberto Bute.
The PPA fields Gracita Arrindell, Duncan van Heyningen, Les Brown, Roel Haakmat, Suzy Velasquez, Mirjam Wigman, Haydee Peterson, Armando Gumbs, Frits Richardson, Elwaldo Arrindell and Don Hughes jr.
Source: StMaartenNews http://stmaartennews.com/politics/ninety-three-candidates-february-elections/