News Americas, PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten, Fri. Aug. 29, 2014: Voters in the Dutch Caribbean territory of St. Maarten will go to the polls today to elect representatives of the next government.
A total of 21,457 resident are eligible to vote for the candidate of their choice to run the next government and represent them in the fifteen-seat Parliament, according to the Daily Herald. Six political parties are vying for the votes. They are the Democratic Party (DP) of Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams; the United St. Maarten Party (US Party), headed by independent Member of Parliament Frans Richardson, the National Alliance (NA) of MP William Marlin; Theo Heyliger’s United People’s (UP) Party , Businessman Jacinto Mock’s Social Reform Party (SRP) and One St. Maarten People Party (OSPP) of former commissioner Lenny Priest.
Polling stations will open from 8 a.m. today and stay open until 8 p.m.
The polls are considered the parliamentary elections, because the election of September 2010 was for 15 Island Council Members, who later became the country’s transition Members of Parliament (MPs), according to the Daily Herald.
The 15 incumbent (transition) MPs are Heyliger, Gracita Arrindell, Jules James, Sylvia Meyers-Olivacce and Johan Leonard of UP, William Marlin, George Pantophlet, Louie Laveist and Hyacinth Richardson (NA), Roy Marlin and Leroy de Weever (DP) Patrick Illidge, Frans Richardson and Dr. Lloyd Richardson (all independents, former NA) and Romain Laville (independent, former UP). Of those MPs, Meyers-Olivacce, De Weever, Illidge and Laville are not running for re-election. This means at least four new faces will be seen in Parliament, the Herald reported.