MP Rolando Brison.
~ Given full leadership ~
PHILIPSBURG--Member of Parliament (MP) Rolando Brison on Sunday evening told The Daily Herald that he will contest the upcoming snap parliamentary elections with the United People’s (UP) party in the number one position and as new leader of the green party.
Brison said the move has been accepted and approved by the board of the UP and received the blessing of former party leader and founder Theo Heyliger. Brison made his decision after meeting with political parties this past week.
Brison, the former faction leader of United St. Maarten Party (US Party), resigned from the party last week Monday evening, 26 days after the party announced that he would lead its slate at the January 9, 2020, polls. During a live stream on his Facebook page last week, Brison said his reasons for leaving the US Party include not having “sufficient opportunity” to “express” his vision on where he wants the party to go in the future and what the party should stand for; and not being able to determine issues such what type of candidates should be on the slate. The MP said he has learnt that while he was placed as the number one candidate on the US Party slate, this does not necessarily mean that he is the leader – the person who can determine the future of the party; choose the direction in which the party should go; what the party should represent and determine things such as which candidates should be targeted.
Brison began his stint in the political arena with the UP as part of the party’s marketing team. While in college he also served as an intern with Heyliger, who was Commissioner of Tourism and Economic Affairs at the time.
The MP thanked the UP board and Heyliger for entrusting him with full leadership of the party and for the confidence shown in him during their discussions. He said it became very evident very quickly that the UP party would be a good fit for him and his progressive views for St. Maarten. He said the decision to leave his former party was not an easy one and neither was the decision on his new political home.
Most importantly, he noted, “the party has a clear direction. And in establishing that clear direction the UP accepts the unfortunate reality that our people have lost faith in their government and the party must be focused on how to regain that through an all-inclusive approach and effective representation. We will be clear in identifying what our goals and priorities are and how we want to achieve them – and then actually deliver.”
“All I want to do is work. I love working for our people. I love doing research and I believe our people deserve effective representation in Parliament,” he said, adding that the UP will field a dynamic list for the January 9 Parliamentary elections.
The MP’s “core values have always been to put St. Maarten first and put hard work in what I do and this will not change with the UP.”
“I am committed to providing the people of St. Maarten, not just those who vote for me, with a high level of representation and effective service. I cannot take up a seat in Parliament and when the time comes tell the people: Sorry, I have nothing to report on. Or: Sorry, I didn’t do anything to improve your quality of life. I believe I have shown exactly the opposite. I also look forward to continue working with all members of Parliament in the best interest of St. Maarten.”
The MP said his ethical responsibility to residents is to do whatever he can as an elected representative to improve their quality of life and restore their trust in their government. “Each of us has a responsibility to our people find a way to do better. I assure the people of St. Maarten that during the course of this campaign the UP will be clear in its direction for St. Maarten and will remain committed to putting our people first.”