Published On: Tue, Jan 7th, 2020

To the polls – again – on Thursday

SMCP on Postulation Day 21 Nov 2019 - 2019112101

PHILIPSBURG – On Thursday St. Maarten goes to the polls for the fourth time since the island became an autonomous entity within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. With 23,130 registered voters and an expected turnout of around 70 percent, winning one of the fifteen available seats in parliament requires approximately 1,080 votes.

For the second time since the start of his political career United People’s party founder Theo Heyliger is not on any list. (The first time was 2010, when he saw no point in participating in the last elections for the parliament of the Netherlands Antilles). UP-stalwart Franklin Meyers is also absent. Together, Heyliger and Meyers won 1,700 votes in the 2018-elections.

Heyliger’s wife Grisha is a dark horse in this electoral race as the number 4 on the UP-list that is headed by former USp-MP Rolando Brison who won just 278 votes in 2018.

A poll published by sxmelections.com predicted an overwhelming victory for the St. Maarten Christian Party with 35.9 percent of the vote, followed by the United Democrats with 25.6 percent and newcomer Party for Progress with 15.4 percent. But a poll published in the newsletter of StMaartenNews.com saw the National Alliance ahead with 36 percent, followed by the UP (28) and the UD (17 percent). SMCP (9) and PFP (4) score much lower, but not as bad as the United St. Maarten party and its beleaguered leader Frans Richardson – in both polls – with respective scores 2.6 and just 1 percent. [Ed. – This article is based on the StMaartenNews.com poll results as of Sunday, January 5, 2020.]

StMaartenNews Poll Elections 2020 - Results per 7 Jan 2020

Image caption: StMaartenNews.com poll results as of Tuesday, January 7, 2020.

The outcome of these elections therefore seems to be anybody’s guess, though based on the votes current candidates won in the 2018 elections, the NA looks like a huge favorite. Its candidates won 3,930 votes in 2018, followed at a distance by UP-candidates (1,373), UD (1,199), SMCP (1,042) and USp (742).

A blemish on these elections is the government’s refusal to let observers in, even though the Netherlands is prepared to pay their expenditures.


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