PHILIPSBURG–National Alliance (NA) deputy leader Silveria Jacobs has accepted the challenge to lead the party and promises to be a leader of inclusion.
She will be taking over the helm from current leader William Marlin, who has led the party since 1997. As the soon-to-be-leader, Jacobs has extended an olive branch and has been engaging in discussions with other party leaders to form a national government, as she believes this will be in the best interest of St. Maarten currently.
Jacobs, who had indicated her willingness to take over the helm of the party in 2014, said she had been asked again recently and had accepted. The decision is still to be formalised by the party’s congress.
Jacobs’ taking over of NA, has been in the making for some time already. She accumulated the most votes on the NA slate in last two elections in 2014 and 2015, was the second overall biggest “vote-getter” in both elections, and many in the community had been pushing for this change.
Jacobs said, “I have a leadership style that is inclusive. That’s how I have been leading the Ministry [of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports – Ed.]. … It’s inclusive, it’s innovative, it’s meeting the needs and not necessarily doing the same things the same way and expecting different results.”
She will continue discussions with the leadership of other parties to still find a way to form a national government. “This is in the best interest of St. Maarten. I think our leader has done an excellent job. I know his motivation and dedication to this field and he will continue to fulfil a very important role for the party in terms of guiding, advising and rallying support for the party – support and financial backing.”
She made clear that the change in leadership should not be viewed as a takeover, because it was a decision that was long in the making. Jacobs said she has a lot of respect for Marlin and the hard work he has been doing over the years.
She said the people of St. Maarten deserve a fresh change with the NA as had been promised over the last two years. “The Prime Minister and leader of the party has been trying to get me to take over and I have been very reluctant due to health issues,” Jacobs said, noting that she is now ready. She has received tremendous support from sitting candidates from the last parliamentary election and many potential candidates, who are willing to join the party with her as leader.
“To lead a party is more than just being the top person on the list. It has a lot to do with leading people, motivating people, keeping people well informed and involving the masses and that’s how I aim to do it – involve the masses, collaborate and cooperate as much as possible with the approval of the membership. Each party has their strengths and the National Alliance has a great track record of really putting people first and that will continue to be my goal with the ‘Sillie’ touch,” she said.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/70782-jacobs-accepts-to-lead-na-to-be-formalised-by-congress