PHILIPSBURG--The Democratic Party (DP) said former faction staffer and board member Shirley Hilaire was asked to formally resign as a member of the DP board and cabinet staff after weeks of hinting at being indecisive about whether to remain a candidate of the DP.
President of the DP board Achken R. Richardson said this occurred while Hilaire had already committed in writing to join the United People’s (UP) party, that “relentlessly pursued” her with offers of a more permanent position at a company falling under a portfolio of a UP-appointed minister. DP said all of this occurred under the watchful eye of Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs, who is responsible for government-owned companies.
“While this political lobbying was going on, Ms. Hilaire continued to profess that she was remaining loyal to DP leader Sarah A. Wescot-Williams. In her letter of September 14, Ms. Hilaire stated that her reasons for resigning were ‘personal’, and we respected that,” Richardson said in the release.
Hilaire was a member of the board of the DP and worked in the United Democrats’ (UD’s) faction office. Hilaire had said in a press release on November 5, in which she highlighted her resignation, that there were irreconcilable differences with “new blood” entering the DP, whose approach and policies do not align with her beliefs. While not naming any individual, Hilaire said it had become a toxic environment where the interest of St. Maarten had taken second place to personal desires to return to power.
The DP said in its release that it is not its intention to join the political frays that mar the country today. DP said political candidates and hopefuls are seeking where to position themselves, as to get on a list, one needs to align oneself with a political party – a political party that, according to the laws, must be an association with political objectives, vision and a platform.
“On Postulation Day, candidates officially sign their allegiance with the slate of their choice, affirming to be informed and in agreement with all others on the same slate. Until then, we can expect to see persons leaving and joining for reasons best known to them,” DP said.
The DP wished Hilaire much success in her future political career.