New PLP leader Rechelline Leerdam.
ST. EUSTATIUS–The Progressive Labour Party (PLP) party council approved the resignation letter of Clyde I. Van Putten as party leader during a general membership meeting on Sunday, July 19. Former Island Council Member Van Putten co-founded the PLP and served as its first and only leader for the past twenty years.
Van Putten informed the party at the beginning of this year of his decision to stand down from the PLP leadership, indicating that it was time to hand over the baton to a younger generation of leaders.He thanked the party executive and general membership during Sunday’s meeting for their “unwavering loyalty and dedication” over the years. He said he was leaving the leadership of the party with the PLP as the largest political party in Statia and was confident that the party would have an even brighter future.The PLP elected Rechelline Leerdam by acclamation as its new political leader at the meeting. Leerdam made her political debut in 2009.
In the election of March 2015, she was elected as a member of the Island Council and served as faction leader for the PLP and as deputy chair of the Island Council’s Central Committee.With Leerdam’s election to the top position, the PLP said they were complying with their vision for transitional leadership and incorporation of the younger generation.