Deputy Prime Minister calls for respectful and peaceful campaign season

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Minister of VROMI Patrice Gumbs

 

Philipsburg, Sint Maarten — Minister Patrice Gumbs wishes to extend his congratulations to all parties and their candidates on taking the step forward to represent our people at the upcoming snap parliamentary election. While the campaign season is well underway, Gumbs reminded candidates that St. Maarten’s political culture has always been one of tolerance and respect. This has been one of the most beautiful aspects of Sint Maarten society.

Gumbs encouraged all party leaders to condemn all acts of violence towards their fellow St. Maarteners, including hate speech. “As leaders, I urge you to remember that your words are powerful, and both positively and negatively impact the unity of our society.” 

Noting the increasing tensions among some political parties, and aggressive messaging and incidences, Minister Gumbs indicated that any incitement, or calls towards violence made by leaders, their candidates, and their respective teams, can be used against them. 

Minister Gumbs indicated that Sint Maarten, like so many countries in the world, are in challenging times. He encouraged the population, as a whole, to examine the information that they receive and think critically this election about where they want this country to go. “The aim of leadership should be to bring people together and find consensus in difference, tearing each other apart is not going to solve problems, but only further divide the nation”. 

On a final note, Gumbs reminded political parties that while the decision has been taken to allow the placing of billboards on public spaces, we are in the middle of a very active hurricane season. As a result, he urged parties to be conscious of this fact in the number of billboards that they place and make the necessary arrangements to remove them should the need arise.

Gumbs wished everyone a safe campaign season and stated that politics must be used as a force for good, reminding candidates that the purpose of being elected is to serve.