From left: First Vice Chairperson of Parliament Christophe Emmanuel, Chairperson of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams and second Vice Chair of Parliament Melissa Gumbs.
~ Emmanuel First Vice Chair, Gumbs Second Vice Chair ~
PHILIPSBURG--Democratic Party (DP) leader Member of Parliament (MP) Sarah Wescot-Williams made history on Saturday when she became the first person to be unanimously elected to serve as Chairperson of the Parliament of St. Maarten.
Her uncontested appointment came during the first sitting of Parliament amongst the newly elected MPs on Saturday afternoon, shortly after taking their oath of office. All 15 MPs voted for Wescot-Williams to take up the position of Chair.
Thanking MPs for the confidence placed in her, Wescot-Williams said, it had never occurred before that a Chair of Parliament in St. Maarten had been elected unanimously by the entire Parliament. “So, I thank you and I think it bodes well for the functioning of the presidium Parliament as well as for the entire Parliament. Thank you for the confidence,” stated Wescot-Williams.
During the meeting Nation Opportunity Wealth (NOW) leader MP Christophe Emmanuel was elected as First Vice Chair of Parliament with eight of the 15 votes cast, edging out United People’s (UP) MP Omar Ottley who received seven votes.
Party for Progress (PFP) MP Melissa Gumbs was voted as Second Vice Chairperson of Parliament by eight votes, emerging ahead of National Alliance (NA) MP Egbert Doran who received four votes and NA leader and caretaker Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs, who received three votes.
Gumbs and Ottley acted as Committee of Tellers distributing the ballots for the election of the new Parliament chairs. MPs cast their ballots by filling in the name of a candidate of their choice secretly which was then tallied and announced.