Democratic Party leadership at the Electoral Council on October 6, with party leader Sarah Wescot Williams (right) signing the registration for the 2024 general election
PHILIPSBURG--The Democratic Party is registered for the upcoming elections. DP president Achken Roberto Richardson and leader Sarah Wescot-Williams received the party’s official registration at the Electoral Council of St. Maarten on Friday, October 6.
In 2020, Wescot Williams had deregistered the party as it had not taken part in the election that year. “That has to be explained, because some persons think it was the folding of the association,” the DP leader said. “It was not long after that the membership of the party decided that the Democratic Party would be the party of choice to contest subsequent elections. And thus registering the party at the Electoral Council became necessary once again.”
This process requires a request to the Electoral Council in accordance with the legal stipulations. “This was done and the decision to register the DP was of course well received,” Wescot-Williams said.
The deadline for registering parties to take part in the 2024 election was announced as October 11, 2023. As per the law to take part in an election, a party needs to be registered at least six weeks before postulation(nomination) day, slated for November 22, 2023.
Providing a glimpse into what the party has in the meantime been doing, DP leader Wescot explained that while the registration of the party is a necessary legality, the preparation for the campaign and preparation of the candidates had already started. “The latest training of the DP candidates was a 2-hour long session on public speaking and speech writing this past weekend. The candidates are also familiarizing themselves with the party’s 2024 platform, consisting of the party’s focus areas of Governance, Economic Sustainability, Environmental Stewardship, Strong Neighborhoods, Nation Building, Kingdom Relations, Education, Housing, Taxation, Health, Wellness & Prevention, Social Dialogue, Labor and Infrastructure”.
The Actionable Political Agenda for these focus areas is part of the overall party manifesto, along with the party’s Vision Document and so-called Red Papers, Wescot-Williams said. “In the Red Papers, we go deeper into the topics and present the party’s in-depth views of the topics in conjunction with relevant stakeholders. It must be stated though that while it is important to present a party’s vision as part of the election campaign, we believe that it will be no more than a colorful wish list if we don’t address the financial-economic aspects first and foremost. This is the most critical issue going forward.”
In conclusion, the DP leader said: “It is my belief that in confronting the myriad of challenges we face, collaboration between all stakeholders is going to be paramount as well as a culture of inclusion.”