~ Theo, Silveria top two vote getters ~
PHILIPSBURG--There will be several new faces in Parliament for the next four-year governing period from the parties that secured seats in the first Parliamentary elections for St. Maarten.
More than half of the 15 Members of Parliament–elect are new. Several of the sitting MPs were not re-elected.
United People's Party
Five of the seven candidates elected from the United People's (UP) party slate are new. Elected were UP leader Theodore Heyliger with 1,925 votes (or 31 per cent of the 6,157 votes cast for that party); #3 candidate Franklin Meyers with 611 votes (10 per cent); # 23 candidate Silvio Matser with 491 votes (eight per cent); #6 candidate Maurice Lake with 305 votes (five per cent); #12 candidate Tamara Leonard with 302 votes (five per cent); #4 candidate Dr. Lloyd Richardson with 275 votes (four per cent) and #21 candidate Maria Buncamper-Molanus with 204 votes.
Meyers, Matser, Lake, Leonard and Buncamper-Molanus are new MPs elect. Buncamper-Molanus had served as the country's first Minister of Health, Labour and Social Affairs, but resigned after pressure over a land scandal. Richardson contested the 2010 elections on NA slate, but had declared himself independent and subsequently ran with UP.
Sitting UP MPs Johan Janchi Leonard (202 votes); Jules James (199 votes) and Gracita Arrindell (139 votes) did not secure sufficient votes to maintain their parliamentary seats. UP MP Silvia Meyers-Olivacce, the party's current fraction leader in Parliament did not contest the elections.
Two of the four persons elected to Parliament from the National Alliance (NA) slate are new. Elected were NA#3 candidate Silveria Jacobs with 966 votes (24 per cent of the 4,024 votes cast for that party and the highest vote getter in NA and second highest vote-getter overall); NA leader William Marlin with 735 votes (18 per cent), significantly lower than the number of votes secured in the last elections; #2 candidate George Pantophlet 394 votes (10 per cent) and #8 candidate Christopher Emmanuel with 247 votes (six per cent).
Jacobs and Emmanuel are new MPs elect. Jacobs had served as the country's Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Affairs in the second coalition government.
Sitting NA MPs #5 candidate Hyacinth Richardson (206 votes) and #4 candidate Louie Laveist (184 votes) did not secure sufficient votes to retain their parliamentary seats. However, if Marlin and Jacobs were to take up positions in the executive branch of government given the ongoing formation talks #6 candidate former President of Parliament Rodolphe Samuel (243 votes) and MP Hyacinth Richardson (206 votes) would be next in line to represent NA in Parliament. If a third person is to take up a position in the executive arm of government then #10 candidate Romeo Pantophlet (205 votes) would fall in line to represent NA in Parliament.
One of the two persons elected from the DP slate are new. Elected were party leader Sarah Wescot-Williams 695 votes (30 per cent of the 2,334 votes cast for that party) and #2 candidate sitting Minister of Health Labour and Social Affairs Cornelius de Weever 378 votes (16 per cent). Wescot-Williams was elected four years ago, but served as the country's Prime Minister in the three coalition governments during the current governing period.
Sitting DP MP Roy Marlin (120 votes) did not secure sufficient votes to retain his seat. DP's second sitting MP Leroy de Weever did not contest the parliamentary elections.
If Wescot-Williams and De Weever were to assume positions in the executive branch of government, #4 candidate Emil Lee (285 votes) and #9 candidate Sidharth "Cookie" Bijlani (217 votes) will be next in line to represent the party in Parliament. Lee and Bijlani will be new MPs if this were to occur.
United St. Maarten
One of the two persons elected to Parliament from United St. Maarten (US) party slate, is a new MP elect. Elected were US leader Frans Richardson with 722 votes (44 per cent of the 1,636 votes cast for that party); and #2 candidate Leona Marlin-Romeo with 245 votes (15 per cent). Marlin-Romeo had contested the 2010 elections with NA, but did not secure a seat in Parliament. Richardson had also contested the 2010 election as NA's number two candidate, but had subsequently declared himself independent and later formed his own party, which contested the election for the first time on Friday.
If Frans Richardson were to take up a post in the executive branch of government then US #4 candidate Rueben Thompson (151 votes) would represent the party in Parliament. If Marlin-Romeo also takes up a post in government then #2 candidate Anna Rabess-Richardson (136 votes) would be next in line to represent US in parliament. Thompson and Rabess-Richardson would be new faces in Parliament, if this scenario becomes reality.
One St. Maarten Peoples Party
One St. Maarten People Party (OSPP) and Social Reformation Party (SRP) did not secure a seat in Parliament. OSPP Party leader Lenny Priest secured 86 of the party's 169 votes (51 per cent of the votes cast for that party); while Jacinto Mock, the sole candidate on his party's slate pulled in 131 votes in the election, securing support in 19 of the 20 polling stations.
Based on the individual results, the top 10 vote-getters in the election are UP's Heyliger (1,925 votes); NA's Jacobs (966 votes); NA's Marlin (735 votes); US' Richardson (722 votes); DP's Wescot-Williams (695 votes); UP's Meyers (611 votes) UP's Matser (491 votes); NA's Pantophlet (394 votes) DP's De Weever (378 votes) and UP's Maurice Lake (305 votes).