St. Maarten News —The United St. Maarten Party (USP) has added four more candidates to the party to contest the upcoming elections that are slated for September 26, 2016 and was introduced to the public at the party headquarters on Friday. The new candidates, some of whom have worked for government for a number of years, felt that the time is now for them to play their part and serve the people of the island.
Party leader Frans Richardson said that the USP “is not only about putting people on the list but also guiding them in the way that the Parliament of St. Maarten and the government function.” He pointed out, that there is a need to educate our people and guiding the new candidates so that they will have an understanding of how to present legislation and how long it takes before it is presented on the floor of the Parliament.
He commended one of the candidates Rafael “Junie” Brooks who gave a brief outline of his job as a Pit Boss in the casino and what his job entailed because of the six months contract. Richardson disclosed that there is an initiative to come up with solutions for the six months contract and mentioned that with the new candidates, he is certain that they will be able to make their contributions when this issue comes to the floor of Parliament.
Fielding questions about female candidates on the USP list, Richardson said even though the group seems small they will be putting together a full list of 23 candidates and plans to present another four candidates next week.
On the issue of “ship jumping” Richardson said this only happens when there is a lack of leadership in a political party. He explained that no one “jumps ship” unless there is a better offer on the table. He explained that it was in 2014 when this started and created the formation of “the red, white and blue coalition.
He further noted, at the time when the National Alliance won the elections beating the United People’s at the polls, it was the Democratic Party with two seats that joined with the United Peoples Party to form the government. He explained that “at that time there was no need to join with another political party when the votes were counted at the closing of the polls.”
Richardson further said that because all the candidates in the different political parties knew what their party’s philosophy was and where they were heading and what they were doing there was no need to jump ship and that is what started this phenomena in the in the political establishments.
He explained that his reason for moving from the UP was because as a member of the former UP/ USP coalition, decisions were made and he was not a part of that decision making. He stated that it is for this same reason that all the candidates in his party will be informed of all the developments within the party. In other parties the leaders feel that it is all about them, but in the USP it is all about all of us, he concluded.
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