From the Leader of the OSPP: Lenny F. Priest

My Fellow Citizens
Once again another year has come to end and a new year has begun. Over the past year of 2014, it was not without the many challenges, which we had faced. As the people of St. Maarten; we have experienced a lot of setbacks and by speaking out on those issues that had affected us the most; it didn’t yield any sort of positive results or outcomes.
The cost of living, here on the island continues to rise with no limit in sight. Those, who are in authority has repeatedly shown no type of effort or indication towards the citizens that any plans would be set in motion for a relief in the coming new year. Namely the everyday small man, are the ones that are being greatly affected by the fact that nothing is being done to alleviate those increasing cost. Various crimes have been taken place on many parts of the island, such as armed robberies in broad daylight as well as the snatching of chains and other valuables, just to mention a few.
This is not the St.Maarten that many had come to know and love; we can no longer blame others for the ills and lack of leadership that have taken place on this island before our very own eyes. Like any developing nation, some of the events that are happening now can be expected but it can also be minimized by being more attentive to the needs of the people all year round and not just during election year when you need their votes.
There are so many people here on the island that goes hungry because the cost of living is simply too high; Many people continue to fall short on rent payments and there are those who simply cannot makes ends meet with the salaries that they are earning, while the prices of goods and services continues to rise, the salaries in particular the minimum wage, continues to remain at an all-time low.
The parliamentary elections which took place on August 29th, 2014 that included six political parties that were vying for the fifteen seats in parliament. The people of St.Maarten decided to vote back into office the same leaders that sat in office from the previous four years; they’re the same elected officials that shame the people and did absolutely nothing to improve the quality of life here on the island. Yet, our voters put their faith once again in those elected officials and expect a different outcome this time around. However they’ve already fallen short to the expectations of the people and have demonstrated that it’s not about you; the people of St.Maarten and that it’s about them, the members of parliament.
This is the first time in the history of this island that this young nation has gone without an operational government for three months and change, since the elections. The leader of the United Peoples Party and also the highest vote getter in the last election has yet again deceived the people. Time after time he has given empty goals and promises and by not assuming the position as Prime Minister, he has succumbed to the pressure of the Dutch Government and declined to take on this prestigious position, even though during his campaign on numerous occasions had said that he would take on that responsibility.
Over the last six months crude oil have been steadily declining on the international market and has been at its all-time low over the last five years. Most other countries have lowered their energy prices in some way or the other and thus providing their people with some type of relief. Nevertheless, our people are constantly being victimized by our elected representatives and by the management of GEBE N.V. Aren’t our elected representatives from both sides of the aisles aware that by lowering the fuel clause on our energy bill it will result in the food as well as other goods and services prices decreasing?
Isn’t this the exact thing that the members of parliament had so diligently promised the people, when they went door to door asking for their support election time? Imagine if the crude oil had increased over the last six months our fuel clause on our energy bills would have increased in the same way without any questions asked. Then what are the elected officials and management of NV GEBE waiting for to lower the fuel clause on our energy bills.
“There is no further injustice that you can do to your people than to refuse to help them, when you are in the position to do just that, says Lenny Priest leader of the OSPP. It seems that our elected representatives are hell bent on continuously punishing the people of St.Maarten with no apparent reason as to why such a lack of concern or gratitude is given towards the people who put them in office in the first place.
Nonetheless I am still hopeful that 2015 will be a good year for our people; and as people of this island, we have reached to a period that in spite of the bad treatment from the hands of our elected officials; we must continue to strive and be compassionate towards one another. We must be willing to share the little in what we have with others during this time of hardship as well as be each other’s keepers. By supporting the various organizations that do good things for persons who are not as well off or have yet to catch back themselves.
The OSPP says, make yourself available to your country; St.Maarten needs you now more than ever to weather these hard times. Don’t wait until more crime is committed to start screaming we must do something about the rise in crime on the island; now is the time to get involved! You never know that today it can be me but tomorrow it is you. Remember crime has no boundaries and it doesn’t discriminate. Let’s continue to pray for this nation to improve the quality of life for all and not just for a few.
The OSPP hereby wishes the people of St.Maarten a very prosperous New Year and together we will make St. Maarten shine again, but brighter. We will continue to be the voice of those who are voiceless in 2015 and to address the issues that are affecting the very fabric of this nation. May God bless this wonderful young nation, St.Maarten.