PFP looking to form a government of accountability after elections, says leader Gumbs 

PHILIPSBURG – After four years of seeing the current government hiding information and dodging its responsibilities, Party for Progress (PFP) is looking to form a transparent government that truly looks after the interests of the people after Thursday’s vote. This is what party leader Melissa Gumbs had to say over the weekend. 

In opposition, PFP has shown that it has the capability and political maturity to hold the government accountable and to support legislation when it is in the country’s best interest. As a two-person faction, PFP is the first party to bring electoral reform in Sint Maarten’s 13 years as a country with the Cut the Curtain campaign, which pushed to curb the corrupt practice of vote-buying. 

Now the party is committed to turning the country around within the government, as it is the only party in Sint Maarten that has consistently stood for integrity, good governance, transparency and anti-corruption. However, PFP will not form a government unless its coalition partners agree to new financial management laws to safeguard the country’s limited resources from falling into the trap of corruption, as well as spatial development policies to stop the run-away exploitation of Sint Maarten’s beaches and hillsides.  

“When we have championed for better governance and accountability, our colleagues in parliament have opposed us every time,” said Gumbs. “They have gone so far as to say that our high councils of state are ‘baseless’ in their investigations and reporting into Government’s actions and spending of public money. It is time to bring a dramatic change to the way things have been and that can only be done if you come out on Thursday and vote for progress.”

“We have consistently advocated for higher standards in governance and accountability. Now, the people want a transformative shift in the way the country is run,” said candidate number two, Raeyhon Peterson. “This Thursday, let your vote be for the gold standard. Together, we can redefine Sint Maarten and start a new era of responsible leadership.”

There is a reason PFP is calling for a mandate to govern, said candidate number three, Ludmila de Weever. “We have the ability, the political maturity, the political will, the expertise, and the passion to work for a better Sint Maarten. I have chosen the Golden Standard, and on January 11th, you should do the same,” she said.

These are sentiments held by all PFP candidates.

“It is clear that this coalition has not done their job,” said candidate number 8, Rosalinda Martina. “They do not need another four years to prove to Sint Maarten that they encourage corruption and nepotism, and that they are comfortable with our children learning in dilapidated classrooms and struggling to meet their full potential. Party for Progress is not comfortable with business as usual.”

“MP Gumbs spent her time as chairperson of the ad-hoc committee of integrity working to establish a code of conduct for the Parliament of Sint Maarten, even taking on suggestions from young people on how they want to see their parliamentarians behave. Parliament’s reaction was: ‘This is too strict’”, said candidate number five, Luciano Nicholls. “How can we improve the quality of our governance if we do not put in proper regulations to hold ourselves accountable, starting with the people’s representatives?”

Candidate number four, Patrice Gumbs says: “Good governance is not just important for the local man, but it is also important for how we foster our relationships with our regional and international partners. We might not notice it, but people are watching us all the time. They continuously ask, ‘What’s happening? Is everything okay?’ That harms how we are viewed on the global stage and it makes basic collaborations with our neighbors to the north,  major food and agriculture collaborations with other Caribbean countries, and our day-to-day Kingdom Relations more difficult.”

One of PFP’s new candidates, Marlon Hodge, clearly sees the difference in PFP compared to the other parties contesting the upcoming election. 

“People should stop and remember the advocacy done on their behalf by PFP over the last four years,” he said. “Pick up the manifesto, reach out to us, and let’s have those tough conversations. Coming from one of the current coalition parties, I can confidently say that PFP is the first time I have seen people’s feelings and thoughts properly considered.”

PFP’s manifesto can be viewed at  

The strong foundation the PFP has set for accountability and integrity will help the party push through its key initiatives to improve Sint Maarten. Their manifesto, titled “Five for the Future: Working Today to Transform Tomorrow” highlights the important things that need to be done to improve our health, economy, environment, and governance, all from a well-rounded, research-based and geopolitical awareness approach. 

“We as a party believe in continuous education and research. This means that in everything that we set out to do, we go through the full process to ensure the best result will be achieved. Our manifesto is a testament to that. We all had input and took the suggestions from the key stakeholders in the community. That is good governance.” Candidate #10 David Salomon mentions. 

“You hear us all the time talking about STEAM education – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics – because it isn’t the future, it’s the current reality. We are so focused on catering to the stagnant industry of today, but not thinking about how we can set our children up for a fruitful tomorrow. The implementation of a proper STEAM-based curriculum is going to ensure that our children, and our children’s children, have the opportunity to strive,” Candidate #6 Marvio Cooks highlighted. 

“This also brings another level of critical thinking, that helps our good governance, that helps our integrity, and ensures that Sint Maarten is going to thrive,” Candidate #7 Nelly Blaise added. 

Source: PFP Press Release