PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — The US party on Thursday wished MP Claudius Buncamper well in all his future endeavors after he broke from the party and declared himself an independent MP. The party board concurred with Buncamper that the split was amicable although the reasons outlined by the MP for the split lacked context and compels a response.
First and foremost, the party said it is proud of its position on independence for St. Maarten sooner rather than later. “Sooner, meaning in a responsible and planned approach, not later by the goal post being moved by others who do not want the country to aspire to or achieve independence. Any self-respecting political party or government should want independence for its people. It is not something that happens overnight and anyone familiar with the platform of the US and the opinions of its leader, knows where we stand on this issue. It is neither new or an ideology change as the MP has implied,” the board explained.
The board also said it is unfortunate and “a bit strange” that MP Buncamper stated that could not see himself in the restructuring of the party since this has been an ongoing process, triggered in part by a personal decision he made. “Lest we forget, the MP declared during the last campaign, on the floor of Parliament and several times in the media that he is a one-term MP. He was very clear on that. With that in mind as well as other anticipated changes in the organization, the party board chose to move ahead with a planned restructuring process of the party. If the MP changed his mind that’s his right, but it was clear to the board that the MP was not going to be around after the current governing cycle,” the board explained.
Most important to the US party is the fact that it prides itself on being inclusive and operating as a unit. Its vision and position on the issues and decisions taken by the government should be expressed on the floor of Parliament. As such, the US board re-iterated that the three laws passed by Parliament to cut income of workers is an issue that the party never supported and still does not. “This position was made clear to the MP who still voted for the laws which have proven to yield nothing for the government, only suffering and hardship for the people of St. Maarten,” the board said.
“We do not believe in the notion that once a candidate of the party is elected as an MP, a vote in Parliament only hinges on what their conclusions will allow. Of course they have the space to vote their conscience, but the party’s position is also relevant in particular when it comes to voting on issues that further places undue burden on the backs of the people of St. Maarten. It is for that reason the party board has become more vocal over the past few months,” the board said.
The US board said its focus is on the future of the party, starting with the congress on November 28th. It will also place a renewed focus on the faction office in Parliament to ensure that the party’s positions are clearly expressed and represented moving forward.
“We thank MP Buncamper for his service as a member of the US and wish him success in finding a new political home in which he can see himself and one which will embrace his personal choices and future aspirations if he chooses to continue serving the people of St. Maarten,” the board concluded.