POND ISLAND–Helping Our People Excel (HOPE) may yet get on the ballot for the September 26 Parliamentary Elections.
The party, headed by former radio personality Mercedes van der Waals-Wyatt, has been given three days, starting Tuesday, to get 80 more signatures of endorsement for its slate of three-candidates.
Van der Waals-Wyatt told The Daily Herald she was informed on Monday of the additional time by the Main Voting Bureau. The pink party has already started to rally supporters and Van der Waals-Wyatt said she will be present at the Civil Registry from early to drum up support.
Getting the signatures is not the only error/omission of HOPE. Van der Waals-Wyatt said the party also has to correct some “small things” such as remedying the filling out of forms in all capital letters, correcting spelling errors and filling out forms in alternately in Dutch and English, as only one language is accepted.
The Bureau met on Friday to review the lists of candidates submitted by the nine registered political parties on Nomination Day, August 8. All parties were informed of the completeness of their submissions on Monday and were given time, if needed, to correct errors and omissions.
In the case of HOPE, the party needed 146 registered voters to endorse its slate of Van der Waals-Wyatt, Lucrecia “Loekie” Morales and Jacinto Mock. Only 66 people turned up at the Civil Registry on August 9 to endorse the list.
The 146 signatures needed to endorse a list of a party like HOPE represents one per cent of the valid ballots cast in the 2014 Parliamentary Elections. Such signatures are needed for parties desiring to contest the elections that do not have representation in the current Parliament.
The other four parties that required signatures of endorsement received these already on August 9. Those parties are St. Maarten Christian Party (SMCP), St. Maarten Development Movement (SDM), People’s Progressive Alliance (PPA) and One St. Maarten People Party (OSPP).
United People’s (UP) party, National Alliance (NA), Democratic Party (DP) and United St. Maarten Party (US Party) – were exempted from the endorsement procedures, because they have seats in the current Parliament.
Source: Daily Herald
HOPE gets a second chance for signatures