Franklin Meyers-led party will push to contest snap election | THE DAILY HERALD

Soualiga Action Movement (SAM) leader Franklin Meyers.

SUCKER GARDEN–A political party led by former Member of Parliament (MP) and Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Franklin Meyers will be pushing to contest the upcoming snap election on July 18.

“No one could have seen the fall of the government in under three weeks,” Meyers said in a press release late Thursday, announcing the intention of his party Soualiga Action Movement (SAM) to be placed on the ballot.

According to Article 16 of the National Ordinance on Registration and Finances of Political Parties, new political groups must be registered at least six weeks before nomination day, when parties submit their official lists of candidates.

However, with only 10 days between elections being called and nomination day, this leaves new parties unable to fulfil the six-week registration requirement.

“No one could have seen the fall of the government in under three weeks,” Meyers said. “The process to elections, as it stands, may well lock out SAM from the ballot, but we are pushing to change this.”

This had also happened in 2019 to Party for Progress (PFP), which had just launched when snap elections were called by then-Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin. PFP was later allowed to contest the 2020 election and gained two seats in Parliament in its first showing at the polls.

St. Maarten’s constitution, Meyers noted, grants citizens the right to vote and run for office.

“Therefore, we cannot have an election that is both forced on our community and strips away basic rights, as enshrined in our constitution,” Meyers said. “The time came earlier than any of us, including the sitting government, could have anticipated. In spite of that, SAM is ready to take the challenge and run hand-in-hand with the people of this island.”

There is a dire need for maturity in the political arena, said Meyers.

“We once had respect for each other. A person’s word was trusted and was their bond. This is no longer a norm, but the sad exception,” Meyers said. “We are not in a failed state. We’re a rudderless ship; a ship that requires, more than ever, maturity and steadfast commitment in moving the island forward and out of the rut we're stuck in.”

With a political career spanning more than two decades, Meyers suddenly stepped back from the political arena in 2019, which he now says was a move to focus on his health and well-being.

Meyers had registered a party called SAM earlier in 2019, but this acronym stood for St. Maarten Action Movement.

Source: The Daily Herald