Rebuttal to Democratic Party Press Statement


PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — To do nothing or not say anything has never been an option for me whether in government or in opposition, privately or publicly. I never consciously choose to become the center of political controversy but each time I have been thrust into the center of conflict, it has been fate at work and following my conscience to right a wrong.

When the UP/de Weever/ Marlin-Romeo coalition was formed it was agreed upon that all ministers would be appointed jointly, MP Sarah Wescot representing the DP signed on to this agreement. However the DP – MP Sarah Wescot, during my absence submitted 3 names for ministers which were not accepted by the coalition. So I illustrated this con-joining of MPs and ministers by holding up one picture of the good MP.

Then I held up another picture of the other DP member, MP Wescot who condemned the “practice of pairing or twinning of MPs with ministers.” I am not sure which one of the MP Sarah Wescots was speaking or which one to believe. I was not being disrespectful by holding up both pictures- I did not call her a liar or a hypocrite or told her she was dishonest. I simply pointed out the contradiction and the “spin” as some people call it.

I know that the people and voters of St. Maarten are a lot smarter and understand exactly what I meant. I never held up a picture of Minister Lee to begin with and as far as diversity is concerned – diversity should unite us and be celebrated and not used to divide us.

Did the DP have more experience heading into the 2014 election? In my opinion yes and I am still grateful for the experience I gained during my tenure as minister but why didn’t the former PM address “ship jumping or crossing the floor” during her tenure and which ultimately kept her in that office?

For four years this was never structurally addressed by her or in Parliament. The problem is not the act of “ship jumping” but the cause of it and that has to do with the party and leader”ship.” One has to know the party’s ideology and direction. Who is directing the course with all candidates understanding the principles of the party and all hands on deck working to get there?

For example, it is highly unlikely to have a Christian Party and 3 out of 10 candidates believe in abortion, euthanasia, prostitution, gay rights and gambling. In some people’s eyes that ship would be sailing to hell based on “biblical principles.”

We have reached a point in our political history where each party must define who they are and what they stand for. Their candidates will also have to be a reflection of their political ideology.