photo: Tim van Dijk

HILVERSUM – Current premier Silveria Jacobs’ party the National Alliance St. Maarten (NA) has won the elections on Sint Maarten.

The election win provides the party with an extra seat in Parliament, bringing their total to six. This is the party of the deposed former-premier William Marlin, who was ousted right after hurricane Irma.

The biggest losers are the United Democrats (UD). Sarah Wescot-Williams’ party has lost six of its seven seats in Parliament. Melissa Gumbs’ Party for Progress (PFP) makes a stunning entry into Parliament by winning two seats. A total of 15 seats were up for grabs.

Fed up with electionsMore than half (59 percent) of the eligible voters (23.130) made use of their right to vote. That’s a lower turn-out compared to previous years when the turn-out was between 62 and 65 percent.

Sint Maarten has had a total of nine different cabinets during the past nine years, four of which were interim cabinets. “A lot of people are fed up with the returning elections. That’s something I hear from friends and family every day”, says the 31 year old Mel Lake.

The young Sint Maartener left the island for the Netherlands several years ago to go study and stayed up all night to follow the elections on his birth island. “A lot of people needed stability and clarity, especially after Irma, but what they got were corrupt and fighting politicians.”

More involved youth
Together with his friends, and generation on Sint Maarten, Mel has put his hopes on Melissa Gumbs’ new Party for Progress (PFP). The daughter of former premier Marcel Gumbs (United People’s Party), Melissa has promised to liberate Sint Maarten’s politics from infighting and corruption. A lot of Mel’s peers on Sint Maarten saw the new party as a reason to go vote this time around. “PFP’s message gives us an alternative to the old garde and their mess. We’re tired of them, it’s time for a change.”

The involvement of young Sint Maarteners was noticeable during these elections, both online and at the polling stations.

Voters during the day:

By Tim van Dijk and Harriot Voncken