PHILIPSBURG–The lists of candidates of all six political parties in the race for Parliament were approved by the Central Voting Bureau in a public sitting held in Parliament House on Tuesday afternoon.
All lists except that of United Democrats were found to have errors. Those errors were communicated to the parties on January 12 and they were given three days by the Bureau to rectify them. All five parties submitted their rectifications by the 5:00pm deadline on Monday.
The Bureau members voted on the validity of each list in the order they were submitted on Nomination Day, January 5. All lists received a unanimous vote from the Bureau.
Among the discrepancies of St. Maarten Development Movement (SDM), headed by Benjamin Ortega, were the submission of the photographs of candidates in the incorrect size and colour.
St. Maarten Christian Party (SMCP), led by retired pastor Wycliffe Smith, had the addresses of some candidates wrong, among other issues.
National Alliance (NA) of former Minister Silveria Jacobs had, including other errors, the incorrect date of birth for one candidate.
United St. Maarten Party (US Party) of Member of Parliament Frans Richardson had a candidate’s signature missing, the incorrect name of the person who submitted the list on the form and had the incorrect party reference. A party reference is the way a party’s name is placed at the top of the ballot. The blue party’s legally registered reference with the Electoral Council is “US Party.” However, the party often refers to itself in public as “US.”
People’s Progressive Alliance (PPA) of former MP Gracita Arrindell had among its errors missing endorsement signatures and incorrect-size photographs of candidates.
The lists are now ready for the ballot of the February 26 snap election, unless any eligible voter files an objection against any list with the Court of First Instance. In such a case, the case would have to be held first before the next step in the electoral process can take place: the numbering of the lists on the ballot and the assigning of background colours.
The colouring and numbering of the lists are scheduled for Friday, January 19. All parties are to submit their colour preference to the Bureau in writing on that day. The numbering of the lists will be decided on by the luck of the draw.
The place and time for the meeting will be announced by the Bureau ahead of the meeting day.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/72807-all-six-lists-approved-by-central-voting-bureau