Published On: Sat, Jan 13th, 2024

Winners and losers: four top candidates were outvoted

PHILIPSBURG — Four number one candidates were outvoted by other candidates during Thursday’s parliamentary elections.

Ludmila de Weever bested Melissa Gumbs on the Party for Progress list with 576 to 462 votes; Egbert Doran got the better of party leader Silveria Jacobs on the National Alliance list with 539 to 469 votes. The UP-list saw the political demise of party leader Rolando Brison who stayed with 256 votes far behind Omar Ottley (775), Akeem Arrindell (355) and Fernando Lacroes (312).

Unites St. Maarten party leader and number one candidate Pamela Gordon-Carty was bested by Gromyko Wilson with 193 votes and Addison Boston with 138, Gordon-Carty won just 91 votes. The party will not return to parliament.

Three number one candidates ended the elections with a negative result. PFP-leader Melissa Gumbs won a still impressive 462 votes, but it was 17.4% below her 2020-score.

Christophe Emmanuel, leader of the new party NOW (Nation Opportunity Wealth) remained top of his list but his 457 votes were 35.5% below his result in the 2020 elections.

National Alliance leader Silveria Jacobs won 469 votes, 37.7 percent less than her result in 2020.

UP-leader Rolando Brison disappointed with just 256 votes, a loss of 47.5 percent compared to 2020. Three UP-candidates (Ottley, Arrindell and Lacroes) did better than Brison; unless the UP becomes part of a new government and Ottley remains a minister, Brison can say goodbye to another term in parliament.

The elections brought a few surprises. Firstly, the result of URSM-leader Luc Mercelina who won an astonishing 704 votes. On the UP-list, candidate number 23 Fernando Lacroes came out of nowhere with 312 votes that are probably good for a seat in parliament.

Former port director Mark Mingo campaigned long and hard with his slogan Vision for SXM on social media but it was not enough to impress voters. Mingo won 168 votes which in itself is not bad at all, but it is not enough to claim a seat in parliament.

The biggest loser of all is NOW-candidate Claudius Buncamper. The count for the number 2 on the NOW-list stopped at 116 votes, a loss of 61.5 percent compared to his 2020 election result. Because there are three NOW-candidates with better numbers and because the party will get two seats in parliament, Buncamper’s days as a parliamentarian are most likely over.

On the other end of the spectrum, Democratic Party leader Sarah Wescot-Williams rebounded with 502 votes, an improvement of 42.2 percent over her 2020 result.

Other candidates with a rather impressive improvement are Luc Mercelina (URSM, +183.9%), Viren Kotai (DP, +152.5%), Ludmila de Weever (PFP, +115.7%), Omar Ottley (UP, +85.4%) Kevin Maingrette (NOW, +84.4%) and Akeem Arrindell (UP, +55%).

The biggest winner in our book is one-man party candidate, Nigel Wigley (ECE), whose votes signified a rejection of the present government and coalition led by NA-UP. His 291 votes are clearly protest votes. If these votes had gone to another party, it could have meant an extra seat in parliament for this party. With almost 35% of the registered voters not voting in this election, there are still a lot of unsatisfied voters out there.


Related article: Comfortable win for National Alliance

Final Results of the re-count:
Seats + MPs-Elect unchanged.

NOW: lost 7 (1488 to 1481)
ECE: gain 1 (291 to 292)
UPP: lost 23 (2837 to 2814)
PFP: lost 4 (1721 to 1717)
USP: lost 2 (689 to 686)
URSM: gain 8 (2020 to 2028)
NA: lost 13 (3468 to 3455)
DP: lost 6 (1976 to 1970)

Net total: lost 46 valid votes