PHILIPSBURG–Six political parties are so far scheduled to hand their slates of candidates to the Central Voting Bureau on Nomination Day, today. Snap parliamentary elections are set for Monday, February 26.
A “newcomer” to the party line up is the United Democratic Party, with its registered reference as the “United Democrats.” This new party is said to the coming together the United People’s (UP) party, led by Member of Parliament Theo Heyliger, and Democratic Party (DP), headed by MP Sarah Wescot-Williams.
No official announcement has yet been made about the merger by either leader or party board.
UP was formed in 2010 after then DP deputy leader Heyliger broke with DP, the more than half a century old party cofounded by his grandfather the late Dr. Claude Wathey.
Benjamin Ortega’s St. Maarten Development Movement (SDM) is so far scheduled at the first party to hand in its list at the Central Voting Bureau at 11:00am in Parliament House.
The St. Maarten Christian Party of Wycliffe Smith has the time slot of 11:30am.
The National Alliance with its newly elected first woman leader Education Minister Silveria Jacobs hands in its slate at 1:30pm.
The United St. Maarten Party (US Party), headed by MP Frans Richardson, is scheduled to hand it its list at 2:00pm.
The People’s Progressive Alliance (PPA) of Gracita Arrindell has an appointment to the Bureau at 3:00pm.
The United Democrats will round off the day with their list at 3:30pm.
Any party that wishes to contest the upcoming elections must already be inscribed in the register of political parties kept by the Electoral Council and must submit its slate of candidates the Central Voting Bureau between 9:00am and 4:00pm today.
A party can have a maximum of 23 candidates on its slate. Should all parties submit a full slate, the 22,559 eligible voters on the Dutch side will have to choose one candidate from a pool of 138 parliamentarian-hopefuls.
The St. Maarten Parliament has 15 seats and a term of four years.
Snap elections, the second in two years, were called after the NA-led government lost its majority in Parliament in November 2017 over issues related to Dutch hurricane recovery aid.
The “magic eight” of UP, DP and independent MP Chanel Brownbill is now the new majority, but has been unable to install a new interim cabinet due to screening hiccups. This has left the country in an odd position with a caretaker Council of Ministers continuing with governance almost two months after the new majority issued a motion of no confidence.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/72435-six-political-parties-set-to-submit-slates-today