photo: Laura Bijnsdorp

PHILIPSBURG – On Monday Sint Maarteners went to the poll for the third time since 2010. Unlike previous elections, the atmosphere around the polling stations was hushed. “Normally there is loud music and celebrations, now there is nothing”, a voter comments walking out of a polling station located in Cole Bay.

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By Laura Bijnsdorp

On Friday morning, November 3, 2017, former Prime Minister William Marlin and Governor Eugene Holiday signed the National Decree to dissolve Parliament and hold snap elections. Their decision was met with outrage from many sides.

Voter at poling station in St. Peters: “No one was prepared for elections. People don’t even have a roof over their head.”

Low or high
“I voted ‘no’ to all candidates. This election is a joke”, said a Simpson Bay resident, who did make the effort to come out to the polling station.

A resident in Belair has the opposite view: “I think many persons will come out today. They know that it is more important than ever to elect capable leaders.”

No coalition
Sint Maarten has had seven coalition governments in seven years. This is an average of one government per year.

Voter in St. Peters: “I am voting UDP, not because I think any candidate is better but I think they have the biggest chance in getting a majority vote. I don’t want another coalition.”

Initial numbers
The current voter count for the snap parliamentary election puts the allocation of a seat in the 15-member Parliament to 1,503 votes based on a 100 per cent voter turnout.

At 7pm – 62 percent of 22,559 eligible voters made it to the poling stations.