PHILIPSBURG–The United People’s (UP) party board says while it does not favour an election at this time, if called to go to the polls it is ready to contest the election with a full slate of candidates.
UP said in a press release on Wednesday that it “believes in the power of the vote and the importance for the populace to exercise their right to vote.”
Condemning the move to hold elections on January 8, the party said, “An election now in St. Maarten at a time when people are without roofs or even homeless is unacceptable.”
The party referred to the Electoral Council, the Central Voting Bureau and Postal Services St. Maarten (PSS) that have “indicated that they are not at an optimal standard to ensure full compliance since the passage of Hurricane Irma on September 6.”
The UP board questioned whether the voters registry had been closed and, if so, when? Whether provisions had been made for residents displaced, temporarily residing abroad due to the storm, to be able to vote? And how Government will assist PSS with ensuring a successful distribution of the voting cards?
“Our people are in need of a Government who is committed to the proper rebuilding of this country and ensuring that true empathy and compassion are shown to the people that reside here,” the release said.
“The PM has tried to justify … that somehow it is in the best interest of our nation to head to the polls at this time. We would like to know if the sum of NAf. 661,482 could not have been used to help rebuild schools, homes, our hospital or the prison, instead of elections at this time.
“We implore the people of St. Maarten to remember the failed leadership of this Government headed by the Honourable Prime Minister William Marlin, when going to the polls to vote. Ensure St. Maarten is truly put first during this time for recovery,” UP said in its release.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/70816-up-has-full-slate-for-jan-election