Ever since it became clear that Thursday night’s election winner National Alliance (NA) would not get the desired absolute majority, speculation started on what the next coalition will look like. As the party with the most parliament seats NA can be expected to take a leading role in the political negotiations and subsequent government formation talks overseen by the governor.
That is never a guarantee, with the other four parties jointly holding nine of the 15 seats. Any combination lacking NA would have to include United People’s (UP) Party with four as well as United St. Maarten (US Party) and Party for Progress (PFP) – both with two – for a majority.
By the same token, to remain in government after February 10 NA will have to work with UP, US Party and/or PFP, because adding United Democrats (UD) with one seat alone wouldn’t suffice.
After taking note of the results early Friday morning, many assumed NA would choose to continue with US Party because they are already together in the current “Coalition of Eight.” However, one should not forget that two independent parliamentarians in that group, Rolando Brison and Luc Mercelina, have gone to UP.
In addition, working with the latter party would produce a two-party coalition enjoying broad-based support of 10 seats and thus mathematically more likely to last the full four-year term instead of needing yet another early vote. Of course, that doesn’t depend on merely the numbers but also – and perhaps more so – on the level of maturity newly elected representatives demonstrate going forward,
PFP as party of youngsters did amazingly well their first time out and are certainly worthy of consideration for becoming part of the executive branch, but might be better served staying in the legislature for now to learn the ropes and make their own mark. They could do so by producing more laws and less endless talk.