Published On: Mon, Jan 30th, 2023

Has the UP Party been hijacked?

PHILIPSBURG – StMaartenNews.com obtained a copy of a recent Chamber of Commerce extract of the UP party with the registration of a new executive board on December 14, 2022. “It looks like the party has been ‘high-jacked’,” we observed. According to our information the last UP party congress was held in 2019. We wondered if Theo Heyliger as the party’s founder was made aware of this change.

According to the articles of incorporation in the possession of StMaartenNews.com, the UP party’s Governing Board still consists of Theo Heyliger (president), Brenda Wathey (secretary) and Franklin Meyers (treasurer). The Executive Board has the following members: Theo Heyliger (president), Joseph Richardson (secretary) and Kenneth Serrant (treasurer). Naturally, this cannot be correct as Joe Richardson has since passed on.

The Chamber of Commerce extract obtained by StMaartenNews.com, apparently issued on Friday, January 13, 2023, at 11:33am, shows as of December 14, 2022, that Francisco Alberto Lacroes, Cresburk Albert Browne-Laurent and Alfred Elroy Anthony Harley have been registered at the Chamber as respectively President, Treasurer and Secretary General of the UP Party.

The extract also mentions the last amendment to the party articles of incorporation was done on April 11, 2014. Since then, no amendments of the party’s articles of association have been recorded. The party’s articles of incorporation, that are still in place and therefore valid, state that the party leadership is elected by the congress. Candidates have to postulate for the position 60 days before the date of the congress and their candidacy must be supported by the signatures of 100 party-members who are in good standing. The UP has to give notice of a congress 30 days before the date by using local media and/or accepted means of communication. None of this has happened, as far as we have been able to establish.

A 2016 news report published on 721news.com shows a photo of a group of UP party members as the board members with Sylvia Meyers as President and Tatiana Arrindell as Vice President. Others in the photo are Kenneth Serrant, Solange Apon, Armand Meda, Gina Illidge and Earl Wyatt. Based on the articles of incorporation, this can only be the Executive Board. The executive board is appointed by the Governing Board and is charged with the daily management of the party.

According to a report on SMN-News.com, the last party congress was held in November 2019 at the Simpson Bay Resort when Rolando Brison was elected Party Leader. Member of Parliament Dr. Luc Mercelina was elected as Deputy Leader of the party and a new party board was voted in for the next two years. At the time also, long-time party president Silvia Meyers was again appointed as President of the Board. The report stated that she would be joined on the board by Gina Illidge, Claudia Lista, Michael Granger, and Alfred Harley. The positions on the board would have been determined at a next board meeting.

Eventually, everyone left this board and only Harley remained while according to the articles of incorporation a board must consist of at least three members. According to others, he was just an associate member of the board with no voting or executive powers.

The question is which board was this? The Governing Board or the Executive Board? According to the party articles of association, these are two different entities within the party’s structure. The Executive Board is appointed by the Governing Board to manage the daily affairs of the party and only a duly organized party congress elects the Governing Board. So, the burning question is: when was a party congress organized?

According to the last SMN-News.com report quoting Harley as the sole remaining board member of the UP party, a party congress was to be held in October 2022. Was this party congress held? If yes, was there a congress resolution appointing a new executive board? Was the decision to update the Chamber registration in December 2022 sanctioned or ratified by this party congress? If not, how can the Chamber registration be updated without a resolution from the party governing board? Has the party’s articles of incorporation been amended? Which notary ratified the amendments to the party’s articles of incorporation? Has the Electoral Council been notified of these changes? Has the Windward Island Bank, which is the house bank of the UP party, been notified of these changes? Who controls the UP party bank accounts at the Windward Islands Bank?

Until these questions are answered confusion will remain about the ‘high-jacking’ of the UP party.


Related articles:
Chamber of Commerce Extract UP Party – 30 Jan 2023
Ousted MP Heyliger-Marten strikes back, leaves the UP and goes Independent
Merx leaves UP: “We are on a barge without navigation”
Another one bites the dust: UP-candidate Heemskerk cancels his membership
MP Mercelina: “Country is in a political vacuum”; goes independent