Frans: People want serious representation, not silly political jokes and zero substance


~ Outlines Justice Ministry accomplishments ~

Honorable Minister of Justice Edson Kirindongo
Honorable Minister of Justice Edson Kirindongo

PHILIPSBURG – Leader of the United St. Maarten (US) party MP Frans Richardson on Monday, September 5, outlined some of its accomplishments through the Ministry of Justice and appealed to voters not to be distracted by the “typical childlike political behavior” of certain parties.

Richardson assured voters that the US will continue sticking to the issues as it has since the 2016 campaign kicked off and will “watch and shake our heads” as others try to distract the public with behavior unbecoming of serious representation.

“Unlike US, the only certain parties do is publicly is talk about the blue party and try to claim credit for things it did not do. That party clearly has a leadership issue and is incapable of inspiring the entire team to tell the people of St. Maarten what they will do if they are elected,” Richardson said. “We can clearly show what we have done. We made promises and we have kept them. But when you listen to certain parties, all you get is fluff, silly jokes, giggling and zero substance. Is that the kind of representation you want our people to believe in?” He continued.

“Our message to the people is simple; be careful of any party that had opportunities to govern this country, but now can only complain about problems you already know about, claim credit for achievements that are not theirs and is incapable of offering a single idea about how it will ensure a better quality of life for the people of St. Maarten,” MP Richardson said.

The US Party has held political responsibility for the Ministry of Justice for just 8 months. In those 8 months Minister of Justice Edson Kirindongo and the staff of the Ministry have accomplished more than any previous government or Minister in the same time span. The party, Richardson said, has stayed true to its directives to the Minister: Take care of the personnel that fall under the Ministry of Justice.

“You have to put your people first and make sure they are taken care of. Today we have the UP party trying to claim credit for everything accomplished under the Ministry simply because they have nothing to show for their time in government. It isn’t only the Ministry of Justice, they are trying to claim credit for every single thing the current coalition government is accomplishing. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. This is the same UP that belittled other parties last election for trying to do the same thing they are doing now,” Richardson stated.

Some of the accomplishments at the Ministry of Justice include, but are not limited to:

  • Over 150 (National Decrees) LBs signed since January 26, 2016 for Immigration, National detectives, Police, Prison, Coastguard, Customs.
  • Unveiling and Naming of the Former Soremar Building to the Justice Institute of St. Maarten.
  • A new Forensic Lab and Shooting Range at the Justice Institute of St. Maarten.
  • The camera project was adjusted many times with amendments to the ordinance and finally we were able to get it completed in July 2016. Phase 1 will be completed in 9 months and Phase 2 to start in 2017.
  • The Prison entrance ordinance was signed and is about to start.
  • The Prison received a Change Manager to assist the Director at the prison while the Miss Lalie Center received the same change manager to improve their situation.
  • Via a ministerial decision, the Miss Lalie Center was finally recognized as an organization, which is going to be restructured and re-organized.
  • Insurance for all 550 Justice employees has been secured and the process is being finalized.
  • The MOU was signed between the United States, St. Maarten, Aruba, Curaçao and the Netherlands to maximize cooperation in the joint fight against transnational, organized and major crime and terrorism and in the promotion of the rule of law in the Caribbean region.
  • Arrangements were made with Bonaire for 9 containers to be used for various justice chains.
  • The Ministry paid and received 4 dogs for dog brigade. Training was provided by Aruba for the handlers by Dick van de Leenen and the K9 units were certified on Wednesday, August 10, at the Justice Institute.
  • New passport machines with advance passenger information was unveiled at PJIA to assist immigration. This is a joint project in the first phase with the airport.
  • St. Maarten’s first local Police Chief Carl John was pinned at the Roman Catholic Church, a very proud moment for St. Maarten and the entire Police Force.
  • The Minister of Justice saw it fit to give two full days of appreciation for all Police Officers for their hard work during the Carnival period. We must always appreciate how the men and women in blue serves and protects.

There is renewed and constant open communication between the Minister and the union to ensure that the needs of the Justice Ministry Personnel are met. We are not there 100% as yet, but the work continues,” Richardson explained.

MP Richardson urged the public to download the party manifesto, which is now available online via the party’s Facebook page or from any candidate. “This is our roadmap for the next four years. We hope you can find yourself in it and place your confidence in US via your vote.”