Published On: Fri, Jan 10th, 2020

National Alliance dominates elections, ship jumpers lose their seats

National Alliance - 20191121

PHILIPSBURG – The National Alliance recorded a convincing victory in Thursday’s parliamentary elections, securing six seats in the new parliament – based on preliminary results. The United People’s party came in second for four seats, while the United St. Maarten party and newcomer Party for Progress each won two seats. The fifteenth seat is for the United Democrats.

The St. Maarten Christian Party did not manage to hold on to its seat and the People’s Progressive Alliance did not win enough votes for a seat either.
USp party leader Frans Richardson did not win enough votes to hold on to his seat; he was surpassed by his number two Claudius Buncamper and the number 10 on his list Akeem Arrindell.

Ship jumpers did not fare well in these elections. Chanel Brownbill, who went independent from the United People’s party to help bring down the Romeo-Marlin government lost his seat. A second UP ship jumper, Mercelina also lost his seat.

Based on the preliminary results, that still have to be confirmed in a public hearing by the Central Voting Bureau, the following candidates won a seat in the new parliament: Jurendy Doran York, Silveria Jacobs. Christophe Emmanuel, William Marlin, Ardwell Irion and Rodolphe Samuel (all National Alliance), Grisha Heyliger-Marten, Rolando Brison, Sidharth Bijlani and Omar Ottley (United People’s party), Melissa Gumbs and Raeyhon Peterson (Party for Progress), Claudius Buncamper and Akeem Arrindell (United St. Maarten party), and Sarah Wescot-Williams (United Democrats).

The turnout for these elections was the lowest in recent history with just 59.5 percent. In 2010 the turnout was 71.4 percent, in 2014 69, in 2016 73 and in 2018 61.8 percent. This time, out of 23,106 eligible voters, 9,362 stayed home. In 2018 8,627 eligible voters did not exercise their democratic rights.

It is uncertain whether these elections were clean. There are unconfirmed rumors that some parties have paid as much as $1,000 for a vote and that some clever voters made between $2,000 and $3,000 during this political bonanza.