Seated (from left): Government Commissioner Marnix van Rij, Deputy Government Commissioner Alida Francis, PLP candidate Iligia Jones, PLP leader Rechelline Leerdam and election observer (standing) watching the votes being counted and recounted several times.
~ Van Putten, Merkman, Spanner, Sneek, Leerdam likely new Island Council members ~
ST. EUSTATIUS--Progressive Labour Party (PLP) #11 candidate Clyde van Putten amassed the most personal votes in the St. Eustatius Island Council elections held on Wednesday.
According to the preliminary results released on Thursday evening, Van Putten’s 171 votes made him the biggest vote-getter in the elections. Second biggest vote-getter is PLP’s #4 candidate Reuben Merkman, who secured 168 votes, followed by Democratic Party’s (DP’s) Adelka Spanner with 132 votes, DP’s Koos Sneek with 121 votes and rounding off the top five biggest vote-getters is PLP’s #2 candidate Charles Woodley with 116 votes.
Van Putten, Merkman and PLP leader Recheline Leerdam are expected to take up seats in the Statia Island Council along with DP’s Spanner and Sneek.
The breakdown of votes per candidates on the PLP’s slate are: #1 Leerdam 111 votes; #2 Woodley 116 votes; #3 Glenville Schmidt 96 votes; #4 Reuben Merkman 168 votes; #5 Derrick Simmons Jr. 10 votes; #6 Richenell Tearr 33 votes; #7 Arlene Spanner-Schmidt 32 votes; #8 Iligia Jones 15 votes; #9 Jean Carlos Abreu-Gomez 17 votes; #10 Carlos Lopes 46 votes; and #11 Van Putten 171.
On the DP slate #1 Spanner secured 132 votes; #2 Koos Sneek 121 votes; #3 Ernie Simmons 55 votes; #4 Julian Woodley 98 votes; #5 Raquel Spanner-Carty 60 votes; #6 Shanna Mercera-Gibbs 42 votes; #7 Sjahairah Fleming 64 votes; #8 Adonis Cijntje 7 votes; #9 Magda Korstanje-Spanner 6 votes; #10 Candidia Woodley 43 votes; #11 Hipolito Herrera Rodriguez 6 votes; and #12 Austin van Heyningen 13 votes.
United People’s Coalition (UPC) slate saw #1 candidate Elvin Henriquez securing 90 votes; #2 Carmen Nova-Bonilla 21 votes; and #3 Daniela Richardson 13 votes.
A total of 1,616 votes were cast in the elections, which represents 76.88 per cent of 2,102 eligible voters. A total of 1,586 votes were valid; 14 were blank and 16 were invalid. PLP received 815 votes, DP 647 and UPC 124 votes.
The formula to determine a seat in the Island Council is the number of valid votes divided by the number of seats, which is 5. This means that 1,586 divided by 5 seats equals 317 equals one seat. The “preferred” threshold is 158 which means that candidates with 159 votes or more were chosen with preference.