Triple R wins elections: Richardson expected to be the next president of the Collectivite de St. MartinPOSTED: 03/26/12 1:35 PM
MARIGOT, St. Martin / By Andrew Bishop - A massive crowd numbering several hundred gathered outside of the Hotel de Collectivite in Marigot Sunday to celebrate Triple R’s victory in the second round (runoff) of the Territorial Council elections. The party captured 57 percent of the vote (5, 451) while Team Daniel Gibbs garnered 43 percent (4, 134).
The moment it became clear that Triple R, which is led by Alain Richardson, had won supporters began honking horns, waving red flags and dancing in the streets of Marigot. The victory sets up the way for Richardson to be elected President of the Collectivite. Richardson’s election will make it the first time for quite some time that someone who does not carry the last name Fleming will hold the reigns of power in Marigot.
Richardson put his party’s victory down to the “power of prayer”. He also thanked the population for exercising their civic rights with honor and dignity” by voting and “giving a good image of democracy of St. Martin.”
“When we saw the way things were going at one point we thought that things were getting out of hand,” Richardson said.
The president elect thanked all who voted and especially those who voted for his party as they value the voters’ support. Richardson also thanked the party’s volunteers and pledged that his party would serve the population even though “the task at hand is great.”
“With the unity that exists I feel that it will constantly keep us alert. I urge the population to work together in the spirit of cooperation and I express gratitude to all the parties that endorsed the party in the second round. The support we received from the other parties is a clear indication that the Triple R group was the one to take the Collectivite into the future,” Richardson said.
Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams and Vice-Prime Minister Theo Heyliger both congratulated Richardson in separate statements on Sunday night.
“The Prime Minister, on behalf of the government and people of St. Maarten congratulates the RRR Party and its leader, Alain Richardson with the overwhelming mandate given them by the people of St. Martin at the polls on March 25, 2012. The people of St. Martin deserve to be congratulated as well on the manner they went about exercising their constitutional right of electing their government. On behalf of the government of St. Maarten, I look forward to continuing the dialogue and cooperation with the government of the northern side of our island to the benefit of all inhabitants and the island we share,” Wescot-Williams said.
Later Heyliger added, “I congratulate the people of Saint Martin and the RRR party leadership, its members and supporters on your overwhelming election win, on behalf of the people and Government of St. Maarten. Your success in these elections is an affirmation by the St. Martin people of your vision of a strong and prosperous St. Martin. The UP/DP/Illidge coalition government looks forward in working with the new St. Martin Collectivite government as we continue to explore avenues and work diligently on issues that impact both sides of the island.”
Daniel Gibbs, whose Team Daniel Gibbs 2012 now becomes the official opposition, congratulated Richardson and his team immediately after the announcement. He also commended his teams for their work and thanked the just over 4, 000 voters who voted for the party in the second round.
“I promise that Team Daniel Gibbs will remain focused on the interest of the population,” he said as he conceded.