Grid List

~ Six ‘new’ Parliamentarians ~

PHILIPSBURG--The United People’s (UP) party captured the most votes, but National Alliance (NA) and United St. Maarten Party (US Party) can be considered the winners, as they each picked up an additional seat, while the Democratic Party (DP) remained constant with its two seats after Monday’s Parliamentary election.  

  Coalition talks among the parties with seats are said to have already started. No information about the formation of a new Government was available at press time.

  UP received 4,127 votes, NA 3,783, US Party 2,796 and DP 1,810.

  UP lost the most votes compared to the 2014 elections when the party earned 6,156 votes. In that election, NA received 4,011 votes, and DP 2,398 votes. US Party was the winner in earning voters: it received 1,636 votes.

  Voter turnout – 67 per cent – was lower than two years ago when the percentage at the close of polls at 8:00pm was 69 per cent. The number of valid ballots tallied 14,483, slightly down from 14,500 in 2014.

  Invalid votes numbered 373, up from 303 two years ago.

  The results of the election are preliminary until the Central Voting Bureau has a public sitting on Monday, October 3.

  The tallying of the votes has produced six new presumptive Members of Parliament (MPs).

  For the UP, the MPs are Sidharth “Cookie” Bijlani (243 votes), Claret Connor (231) and former MP Jules James (207). UP leader MP Theo Heyliger (1,426) and deputy leader Franklin “Frankie” Meyers (610) have been re-elected.

  Heyliger was the higher vote-getter, as he has been for multiple elections, but his votes fell from 2014 when he received 1,945 votes. 

  UP parliamentarians Tamara Leonard (206), Leona Marlin-Romeo, Dr. Lloyd Richardson (163) and Cornelius de Weever (159) were not re-elected.

  NA leader Prime Minister William Marlin has again been elected an MP with 775 votes, same as Education Minister Silveria Jacobs (778 votes). Both were elected in the 2014 Parliamentary election, but resigned to become ministers last year. Their seats were taken by current MP Rodolphe Samuel who was the fifth-highest vote-getter on the party’s slate.

  Samuel did not get into Parliament, as his party only earned four seats in that election. It was the same scenario with current MP Hyacinth Richardson. However, the two differ in this election in that Samuel (211) is a presumptive MP in the Parliament decreed to take its first sitting on October 31.

  MP Christophe Emmanuel (NA) has been re-elected with 258 votes.

  The absolutely new MP from NA is Ardwell Irion (190).

  Like with the NA where the number two on the slate Jacobs earned more than the list-starter Marlin, the DP slate saw a similar outcome. Current Public Health Minister Emil Lee, in the number two spot, earned 667 votes and party leader Parliament Chairwoman Sarah Wescot-Williams received 444 votes. Lee will be a first-time MP. He fell short of going into Parliament after the 2014 polls. At that time the red party’s second seat went to incumbent MP De Weever, who later went independent.

  New MP on the US Party slate is Chanel Brownbill, who earned 428 votes. Party leader MP Frans Richardson received 488 votes and fellow MP Silvio Matser 347.

  The four other parties in the race did not win any of the 15 Parliamentary seats, although St. Maarten Christian Party (SMCP) of retired pastor Wycliffe Smith came close, earning 856 votes, 110 votes less than needed for a seat.

  St. Maarten Development Movement (SDM) of Benjamin Ortega received 603 votes, People’s Progressive Alliance (PPA) of former Parliament Chairwoman Gracita Arrindell 229 and Helping Our People Excel (HOPE) of Mercedes van der Waals-Wyatt 75.

  UP had earned seven seats in the 2014 Parliamentary election, but lost two seats without an election on September 30, 2015, when MPs Silvio Matser and Maurice Lake went independent. That caused the UP-led coalition to collapse and the current NA-led coalition to take office a short time afterward with a mandate to execute electoral reform and prepare for snap elections.

~ Six ‘new’ Parliamentarians ~

PHILIPSBURG--The United People’s (UP) party captured the most votes, but National Alliance (NA) and United St. Maarten Party (US Party) can be considered the winners, as they each picked up an additional seat, while the Democratic Party (DP) remained constant with its two seats after Monday’s Parliamentary election.  

The NA and US Party can be considered the big winners of Monday’s elections, although UP remained the biggest party. It nevertheless lost one seat each to NA and US Party, while the DP maintained its two seats, so that the 7-4-2-2 seat division of 2014 has now become 5-5-3-2.

Another government with NA, US Party and DP would have a two-thirds majority of 10 of the 15 Parliament seats. The same goes for a UP/NA as well as a UP/US Party/DP coalition. Both NA and UP could also work only with the US Party, based on a minimal majority of 8 seats.

The turnout was almost five per cent lower than two years ago, which brought down the seat quota despite an increase in eligible voters. This may indicate some are fed up with politics, possibly because of the many changes government facilitated by so-called “ship-jumping” in the legislature, which was basically the reason citizens had to go back to the polls after two years instead of the normal four.

Another concern remains the relatively large number of invalid votes at 373, despite efforts to explain the process and the fact that filling in only one circle with a red pencil doesn’t seem that hard to do. Two years ago several of these votes were still declared valid on review, so this may well happen again.

None of the parties currently without representation in Parliament earned a seat, although one came fairly close. This shows that breaking into the existing political establishment is never easy, but perhaps if more of them had joined forces they could have made it.

Undoubtedly the best news is that the election was again practically incident-free. Most parties had also removed their roadside campaign materials by Saturday midnight as Justice Minister Edson Kirdindongo ordered and their supporters generally kept a reasonable distance from the voting bureaus too.

The people have spoken and elected their representatives. How the latter continue in the sense of governing the country is now up to them, but it takes both the legislative and executive branches to do so.

Those still in doubt whom to vote for have run out of time, as St. Maarten goes to the polls today, Monday. With 22,302 registered voters and 15 Parliament seats it’s not hard to figure out that – based on the usual turnout of some 70 per cent – close to 1,000 votes will

KINGSTON, Jamaica--The Jamaica Government is rallying behind an effort to get the United States to clear the name of National Hero Marcus Garvey who was convicted of mail fraud in the US in 1923.

PARAMARIBO--A man who had barricaded himself inside his house with four trip-wired shotguns pointing outward, has been shot dead by police. The incident happened on Thursday in the village of Albina in District Marowijne.

SHANGHAI--For Captain Dick S. Danielsen, the childhood dream has been to sail the world's biggest ships.
  The Danish seaman got his chance three years ago when he was asked to helm the Majestic Maersk, a mammoth, baby blue-painted vessel that at 400 meters (1,312 feet) is longer than a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The ship can hold up to 18,270 twenty-foot (TEU) shipping containers and is owned by the world's largest container shipping firm, A.P. Moller-Maersk.

GABORONE--When David Magang opened Botswana's first domestic law firm shortly after independence in 1966, he and his country were starting from scratch.

SYDNEY--Australian Cliff Marisma donned 40kg (88 pounds) of armour, saddled his horse and drove his lance to jousting victory at the St Ives Medieval Faire in Sydney.

LOS ANGELES--Actors Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber are splitting up after 11 years together, the couple said in a statement on Monday.

HEMPSTEAD, New York--Democrat Hillary Clinton accused Republican Donald Trump of racism, sexism and tax avoidance on Monday during a heated presidential debate that could reshape the 2016 campaign for the White House.

WASHINGTON STATE--Investigators were working to determine what led a gunman to open fire and kill five people in a department store at a Washington state mall, police said on Sunday after arresting a 20-year-old suspect in the deadly rampage.

MADRID--Crowds jeered at former International Monetary Fund chief Rodrigo Rato when he arrived at a Madrid court on Monday to face trial for his alleged misuse of company credit cards on extravagant personal expenses.

NEW DELHI--India will accelerate its building of new hydropower plants along three rivers that flow into Pakistan, a source familiar with the plan said on Monday, in a move likely to aggravate already tense relations with its neighbour a week after an attack on an Indian army base. Disagreements over how to share the waters of the Indus and other rivers have dogged relations between the nuclear-armed arch-rivals since independence in 1947.

The draw has been made. Marcus Temmer will face Rick Harper in the opening match of the RH Pool Club’s double elimination eight man 10-ball Pool Tournament.

LONDON-- Leicester City will bank on the inside knowledge and goal threat of Porto's nemesis Islam Slimani ahead of their Champions League Group G clash on Tuesday.

Dear Editor,

I can hear him saying “by the time Russell react to this in the paper those who fall for it already vote for me and that’s all I need. So here I go again. I was advocating and still am to get rid of the old politicians and put in new capable young people. Why? Because the old ones have not done anything for us after so many years and they have graduated from telling the people what they want to hear to dodging you, hiding behind dark glass, pretending to be speaking on the phone and even lying.

I am reacting right away to what candidate Theo Heyliger did on Saturday evening so that no one would think that it is because of the results of the elections. The intention is for it to be on your desk before the results of the elections.

From the time I was born I never know anyone born in the Dutch kingdom not to have a nationality. So when I read that Theo Heyliger said that it is ridiculous to have people without a nationality, knowing that he knows that that is not the case in the Dutch kingdom he is openly manipulating the people and that is ridiculous on his part.

Mincing words and making believe as if that is news to him. Does he really think that he can fool all of the people all of the time? Every woman who brought forth a child here on St. Maarten, especially of late knows where and how to go about registering the birth of that child and also, the procedures by immigration. And if candidate Theo Heyliger is insinuating that he does not know that then he is being manipulative.

He is not a leader because he has competent people who are working in that department who are on his party’s list as fellow candidates. The law is already so that once you are born on St. Maarten you can get permanent residence and even a Dutch passport. There are different conditions.

Neither Theo Heyliger nor any party leader can give anyone permanent residency on St. Maarten without going through the procedures. It has always been the practice of women who were here without permission to get pregnant and hide their pregnancy, have the child born here or on the French side of the island because of the immigration status and benefits.

Theo Heyliger, who has been part of Government the years of his political life, knows better than anyone else that this is an ongoing pain in the butt of the Immigration Department, because via his surrogates efforts were made to see who could get a passport or the same permanent residency that he is fooling the people about.

All of this in order to be able to manipulate the people to vote for him. A fox may lose its teeth but never its nature. De wet op de Nederlanderschap (the law governing the Dutch Nationality) is a kingdom matter and anything that is liable to affect that law has to be okayed by the kingdom, not Parliament.

I have written about this in the past, because of the then complaints from children who were living on the Dutch side, born on the French side, could not speak a word of French and in so doing could not get work on the French side, blaming the Dutch side for not taking care of them. Candidate Theo Heyliger knows this and is like I said being manipulative about it.

I wrote that those parents should be candid with their children and let their children know what their children’s immigration status is, so that they will not be caught up in this nationality fight. This will protect them against foxy politicians, making use of their presumed vulnerability for the politician’s political gain. Are these the same people who are supposed to be taking care of the people?

It is not now when it is crucial for votes, that candidate Theo Heyliger should be thinking it is ridiculous, he knew it from the time he got into Government, many years ago. Because of the Masbangu case I do not know what to make of candidate Theo Heyliger saying that he is packing his bag to move back into that seat.

When I’m under the assumption that the people are being manipulated, it could be in more than one way. Here I am praising one candidate for fighting to determine who is a St. Maartener in order that they can be first in their country and candidate Theo Heyliger is publicly inviting everybody to come and make children in St. Maarten in order for them to get permanent residency. In a case like this should not there also be more reactions?

Russell A. Simmons

Dear Queenie,

My older daughter says she thinks I love her younger sister more than her. It’s true that I expect more of the older girl just because she is older and I want her to let her younger sister tag along with her because I want the girls to be close and to be good friends, and I want them to learn to think of others besides themselves.

My husband, who has younger brothers, says an older child gets sick of always having the younger ones tagging along and I shouldn’t demand that of our older daughter.

Queenie, what do you think?—Undecided

Dear Undecided,

I think you are both right. Your daughters need to learn to think of others as well as themselves, but you should not demand that they always do everything together. Your younger daughter also needs to learn to consider her sister’s feelings.

St. Maarten appoints first STA Director

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