As a Board, we are very disappointed with the constant misrepresentations and falsehoods that are coming from especially the Leader and Deputy Leader of the UP Party. Since the valid vote of non-confidence the leadership of the UP has been doing whatever they can to make an unconstitutional call for new elections.

From our point of view, we agree with MP Sarah Wescott Williams in stating that Article 59 should only be used when either there is unwillingness in Parliament to form a coalition of 8 or if the Parliament is making a mockery of our institution by jumping back and forth. Neither of these situations are presently valid and the UP leadership should do the honorable thing and take up their positions in the opposition benches.

It is the highest form of hypocrisy for Deputy Leader of the UP, Franklyn Meyers to be calling for electoral reform now that they are in the opposition when after the election in August 2014 the very same method of ‘ship jumping’ is what had them in Government in the first place. The arrogance of the UP leadership is astounding in insinuating that we only need electoral reform when someone ‘jumps ship’ from the UP but all is well when someone jumps ship to the UP.

The people of St. Maarten have sat through a year of inaction, corruption and nepotism that seems to be the modus operandi of the UP. We, as the board of the NA, would like to ask the UP to state just one thing that was done for the people of St. Maarten. We do however hear of countless deals that are established to enrich the leader of the UP, his family and friends. The UP leader should explain to the people of St. Maarten why he is hell bent on forcing GEBE to take a 700 Million Guilder loan for a Waste to Energy plant and other upgrades, when under former Minister William Marlin a more advanced and environmentally safe Waste to Energy plant was costing GEBE and the people of St. Maarten nothing to construct. The conversion of the GEBE generators to LPG gas also included friends of the UP yet again.

Under this UP led Government, a private company was simply given 10 Million dollars as a payoff to drop a court case. What kind of responsible governing is that? Instructing the harbor to settle a lawsuit, caused by administrative errors of the UP Leader Theo Heyliger. Now the Harbor Group of Companies owes SZV 10 Million dollars. If this continues, SZV will eventually join the Harbor Group of Companies in financial difficulties.

After purchasing the Vorst property for 5.5 Million Guilders, the UP led Government is prepared to lease the land to Algemene Pension St. Maarten (APS) for a symbolic price of one guilder for 60 years. Not one guilder a year for 60 years mind you but just one guilder. Indications are that APS would then contract a construction firm with close ties to the UP leader to construct “social homes”. Another UP plan with self-interest dripping all over it. This land could be leased to young professionals to build their own homes, which would lead to more economic activity for all and not the selected few.

The above are only a small part of what has transpired over the past year. Yet not one project to assist with job creation for the young people. Where is the new hospital the UP promised? Once elected the hospital was put on the back burner for a number of projects with questionable prices, ulterior motives and self-interest.

Additionally, Justice is a mess, safety and security, due to the rise in crime, is a concern to our population. There is a serious lack of proper training and equipment for our police corps. The education system is suffering due to lack of schools, increasing challenges in meeting the needs of learners in a highly technological world, and a lack of qualified teachers while the present government can’t ensure proper continuing vocational education. There is also a lack of promotion of cultural and sports development, coordination with other stakeholders in meeting the needs of our youth, protection of our vulnerable groups, while the UP supports a health ordinance which robs the seniors of basic health care instead of assisting them.

For the UP leader to claim that the new coalition was formed for self-interest is simply not valid. It is a gross attempt to once again fool the people of St. Maarten. It is clear that the year of inaction, negligence, incompetence, secrecy and greed on the part of the UP leadership is what ultimately led to the vote of non-confidence. The ‘ship jumpers’ have taken the first step in taking St. Maarten back from the few and giving it back to the people. They are to be commended for taking such a bold step. We as the board of the NA would like to ask the people of St. Maarten to give this coalition a chance to work in the best interest of the island. This is not an oligarchy controlled by the few wealthy families but a democracy controlled by the people.