MP Lloyd Richardson quits NA: Will run with UP next election

POSTED: 01/27/14 12:55 PM

St. Maarten – Member of Parliament Dr. Lloyd Richardson has resigned from the National Alliance (NA). He joins a string of others who have also left the party recently. He was the party’s fourth highest vote getter, after William Marlin, Frans Richardson, and Patrick Illidge. Here is the full text of the MP’s reasons for leaving.

“The last few months has been spent in bitter, heart wrenching, sober and painstaking consideration of the state of affairs in the political arena of this island. It is through no slight or hasty action that the decision I have taken has come about. I have spent the last 3 plus years studying the political behavior and on the other hand, the state of the people and what I have seen is not beneficial to this island and her people. I am not a spring chicken and the contribution I would like to give to my island is now limited, within the realm of politics, to the next four years of my life. I do not have the time for strong or lengthy rhetoric with no outcome. I came into politics with a purpose in mind to exit politics having given my solid contribution to this island. I sacrificed those goals in the interest of forming a coalition government. With only four more years in politics at my disposal, and in order to have a solid opportunity to do something of consequence, I am not interested in seeing another coalition government in St. Maarten. The island cannot afford this. Above all else my decision is based on this – Stability in government.

The instability that coalition government creates is not, good for St. Maarten. I am not ignorant to the political realities, but if we do not fight for what is right for this island and not just what is good for an individual, then for me there is nothing to fight for. Like the rest of the citizens of this island, I too do not wish that St. Maarten be forced into becoming one of the BES islands and I feel the threat of that to be eminent. Thus my fight, to prevent that from lingering around our constitutional and political reality. With every dogfight and fall of government this becomes more real. St. Maarten must become strong enough to eliminate that from the discussions in any part of the Kingdom. We must move our island upward and onward, to command respect and our place as a viable voice, first in this kingdom and then further afield. Spending the next four years bickering about the past and spending endless hours and years on the floor of parliament pointing fingers in an effort to score “points” is not what being in government means to me. If you walk the streets of this island and ask anyone to point out the issues discussed in parliament over the last three plus years, they will talk about who attacked whom and who was right or wrong, but the issues we addressed can barely be remembered. Right or wrong the things of the past are now in the past. Some of it was beneficial to St. Maarten and some destroyed the very fiber of this island. But today is what we have in our hands, today is our opportunity to build an island that can remain ours, today we can secure this island for as a retirement destination for ourselves, a place where our sons and daughters can be proud to be identified with. Let us give them an island to boast about and make it the truth. Today we can create and protect solid paying jobs so that our children can hunger to return home and be around us as our age overtakes our wisdom. An island where our citizens benefit from the years they invested in St. Maarten and not everyone else.

Considering what I’ve just stated I began discussions within my own party to re-strengthen and renew our party and the will was not and is not there.

I am not going to spend my time laying out the dirty linen of my own N.A. party nor pointing fingers because that is exactly the behavior I am fighting to see extinguished. But suffice it to say that the spirit of reunion or rebuilding was and is not present. No , instead I will say that in an effort to build, what I call a national government, where persons of different political, spiritual and social persuasions can work together to increase the possibility of an outright win for St. Maarten and provide stability in government, I found the will to be inclusive and broad based within the UP party. I have thus decided to cross, the so called political aisle, because I believe something drastic must be done to save St. Maarten from the “third dog” so to speak. The people of St. Maarten do not wish to be a BES island.

Many persons have asked me to start my own party, unfortunately, in this upcoming election there is no time for this. St. Maarten must rise above party to save this island, my island, my father’s island, my grandfather’s island and all the way back to the island of my greatest grandfather, William Richardson circa 1803, son of John Richardson. The next four years must see a collective effort to build, strengthen and deliver to the next generation, an island in which the citizens of St. Maarten can flourish and raise strong families and strong businesses in and be able to hold firm the hope of the future of our island.

Dr. Lloyd Richardson will be running in the next election, alongside others who have come across the aisle to build and not to tear down, to join forces with the UP party which has opened their door to different schools of thought so that we can stabilize the government of St. Maarten for a solid four years by stimulating a solid outright win and avoiding a coalition government by will. This cannot and must not be allowed if stability is to return to government. Building investor confidence requires governmental stability. St. Maarten does not want to see people jostling for positions after another election. Jumping here and there after a government is put in place. Let us put ourselves where we are committed to stay for the next four years.

Regardless to where St. Maarteners vote they do not want to see or have to live with this type of instability. So simply put, since on my side of the aisle the will is not there to rebuild and re-unite the party, I have chosen to build where there is a will to do so, so that one government can sit for a full term and have a chance to do something substantial for St. Maarten. In the coming days you will see that I do not stand alone in this thinking.

We need to build a second pillar to strengthen our economy so that tourism, which must also be strengthen, will not be the only source of employment for our citizens and we can offer longer lasting and permanent employment so that people can build careers, families, homes and businesses to leave for their next generation and not just temporary bank accounts. Lloyd Richardson does not wish to become a promissory note with just a lot of great words well arranged to impress the voting population. Lloyd Richardson wants to work alongside a body of persons who genuinely intend to build and strengthen this island for today and for tomorrow. I am already working on my section of the manifesto so that there will be no misunderstanding about my political intentions.

My 30 year career in medicine speaks to the man that I am in or out of politics. I serve all the people of St. Maarten regardless to political persuasion. I remain true to my beliefs and my standing in this regard. I thank the National Alliance for the four years that we have been together and to Mr. William Marlin and Frans Richardson in particular for extending the invitation to run on the slate of their party in 2010.”


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