From left: PFP MP Raeyhon Peterson, independent MP Ludmila de Weever and PFP MP Melissa Gumbs.
PHILIPSBURG--Independent Member of Parliament (MP) Ludmila de Weever has found a new political home with Party for Progress (PFP).
The former United People’s (UP) party MP, who had served as Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) before giving up her ministerial post to take up her seat in Parliament, and then withdrawing her support from UP, announced in a message on her Facebook page Tuesday that she has aligned with PFP.
“I know you have been wondering what is next for me,” De Weever said in her post, which featured a photo of her flanked by PFP MPs Raeyhon Peterson and Melissa Gumbs. “Since becoming an independent Member of Parliament, I have gotten the amazing opportunity to speak with many of you on what you envision for the future of our island. In our discussions, you have been honest with me about the realities we face as a people – the good, the bad and the ugly. Your feedback played an important role in deciding my next step,” she said.
“Now more than ever, I see the need for the kind of representation that everyone can be proud of and that addresses the issues. Not representation of a select few that only look to enrich themselves and their friends while leaving everyone else behind, but honest representation with sound decision making that improves our quality of life. This is what we deserve, what I have and will continue to advocate for, and it is one of the main reasons why I have decided to join the Party for Progress (PFP).”
De Weever said she had decided to align with the PFP because it is the party that has St. Maarten’s best interest at heart. “In the coming weeks, we will be sharing our platform with you,” she said in the message which ended with the hashtag “#ChooseProgress”.
De Weever had served as a UP TEATT minister since the swearing-in of the current coalition government on March 28, 2020. She was next in line on the UP-party slate to become an MP following the departure of former UP MP Omar Ottley to become Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor VSA. She decided to take up her seat in Parliament when Ottley left the legislature to become a minister.
On May 19, 2021, De Weever was sworn in as a UP MP. On Friday, September 2, 2022, she withdrew her support from the UP party and declared herself independent during the notification segment of the continuation of an urgent public meeting of Parliament on the Ombudsman’s final report regarding the tendering and awarding process of garbage collection contracts.
In announcing her withdrawal of support, De Weever said at the time that “where we have gone has been separate. A definite thank you to the United People’s party for letting me be part of them and being here to represent the people of St. Maarten, but things are no longer aligned and with that I will have to declare my independence; thank you very much.”