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To all political parties participating in the upcoming election.

PHILIPSBURG:--- As the election approaches, the electorate has not been informed about your intentions with regards to the governance, development and general direction you want to lead our Country in. The SMCP has published a manifesto but that unfortunately only includes statements with respect to how they intend to work, in government or in opposition, if elected. The important questions are not answered. In order to provide the electorate with a good basis for decision making, SHTA invites all parties to officially declare their intentions, as detailed as possible, with respect to the following questions:

1. The deficits of Government, as predicted for the years 2018 and 2019 will not be funded out of the Recovery Fund (a grant (?)). Liquidity support will be provided by the Netherlands, in consultation with CFT, in the form of loans to Government. This will significantly increase St. Maarten's debts and may, in the future, limit Government’s ability to fund new initiatives, policies and investments. How does your party intend to keep the debts of the Country as low as possible?
2. Real recovery of our Country takes place through redevelopment of the private sector. How does your party intend to strengthen the existing private sector and how does your party intend to attract new foreign investment?
3. The present tax system is outdated, has very high rates (for personal and corporate income tax, in an international context) and suffers from a damaging turnover tax system. The system is complex, which causes a significant lack of enforcement which causes a disadvantage for complying persons and businesses and lower than desired revenues. Over the last 7 years, revenues in a percentage of GDP have been declining. What does your party intend to do to attend to this?
4. With the World Bank and the IMF indicating that our fiscal system and labour laws hamper economic development, how does your party intend to grow the economy?
5. The last few Governments, under advices issued via CFT, have worked on introducing NHI to provide general medical coverage to the residents of St. Maarten. A very expensive system in the best of times, what is your party's view on implementation of this system in light of the damages to our economy inflicted by Irma?
Please provide this information to the electorate as soon as possible so that they can make an informed decision with respect to which party best represents their interests."


SMCP to hold first ever cyber public meeting.

wsmith28012018PHILIPSBURG:--- The Sint Maarten Christian Party is scheduled to hold its first Cyber Public Meeting on Thursday, February 22nd, 2018 at 7 pm. As far as SMCP knows, this is the first ever public political meeting that will be held in Sint Maarten.

What is the difference between a political meeting that is being broadcasted directly via social media and a cyber public meeting? The public meeting that is broadcasted live via social media is actually organized for a live audience. Candidates address the crowd and interact with a visible audience, who cheers the speaker whenever they deem fit. Questions from the audience are part of the program.

A cyber public meeting, on the other hand, is organized for a social media crowd, located anywhere in the world. People no longer need to leave their comfortable environment such as their home, their car or even their bed to attend the public meeting. They are able to follow the meeting via their smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers. While the candidates are making their three-minute presentations, viewers may interact by liking, commenting or asking questions. After addressing the cyber audience worldwide, the candidates will immediately field questions submitted by the audience. In addition, the audience, present at the SMCP Headquarters, will also be given the opportunity to ask their questions. This event will be very interactive and as such will be very different from the regular public meetings.

This cyber public meeting is organized by the technical staff of SMCP under the supervision of Keith Peter Gittens and will be powered by 721NEWS, news-site of the well-known Gromyko Wilson, also known as the Real Paparazzi.

The actual venue of the cyber public meeting will be the SMCP Headquarters. Seating will be limited. Therefore, persons interested in attending this first ever cyber public political meeting should plan to be at the Headquarters early in order to get a seat.

Wherever you are in the world you can be part of SMCP’s first cyber political public meeting. Make history and follow this meeting live on Thursday, February 22nd, 2018 from 7–9:30pm via facebook.com/721news or facebook.com/smcp.online/. For those who would like to be physically present, our Headquarters is located on Backstreet, #166, Philipsburg, Sint Maarten. You may also call 520-4233 or 580-9474 for more information.

Wycliffe Smith
Leader of the Sint Maarten Christian Party

Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin signs 10th EDF works 4.7 Million Euro contract.

10thedf21022018BRUSSELS:--- On February 21st, Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin signed the 4.7 million euro 10th EDF works contract together with the Director of DG DEVCO Latin America & The Caribbean - Jolita Butkeviciene and the chosen contractor Lars Vincken Managing Director of Van Boekel Bouw & Infra BV.

The signing of this contract signals the start of the execution phase of the Dutch Quarter Sewerage Project. In 2013 the financing agreement with the European Commission was signed. Today marks the end of a period of detailed planning and the successful search for a contractor that will bring the project to a conclusion that will benefit the people of Sint Maarten.

Three convicted in "Octopus" and "Grastelchi" MP Silvio Matser and Edward Rohan convicted in Voters Fraud.

PHILIPSBURG:--- On Wednesday, February 21, the Court of First Instance announced the verdict for three of the main suspects in the combined investigations "Octopus" and "Grastelchi"; concerning an investigation into electoral fraud during the August 29th, 2014 parliamentary elections on St. Maarten.

S.M. deemed the main perpetrator received the maximum sentence of 8 months imprisonment for electoral bribery, of which two-months are conditional and a probation period of 2 years.

Under the old electoral law, perpetrators of electoral bribery received a 6-month prison sentence, however because of multiple offenses, the maximum 8-month prison sentence was imposed. Under the new electoral law, effective 2015, electoral bribery has a 2-year prison sentence.

E.R. was convicted as a conspirator in electoral bribery and for breaching confidentiality as a civil servant as prison director of the Point Blanche Prison. He received the maximum sentence of 160 days imprisonment as a conspirator, of which 80 days are conditional and a probation period of 2 years. As a co-conspirator in electoral bribery, E.F. was sentenced to 6 months in prison, of which 3 months are conditional.

E.R. found guilty of giving a list of eligible voters detained in the Point Blanche Prison to S.M., In turn, S.M. bribed the detainees with $100 to vote for him. E.F. aided S.M. in the monetary distribution within the Point Blanche prison, in order to illegally attain votes.

The court ruled in favor of the prosecution’s claim that there was an offense of “vote buying”, where individuals in the community are influenced to vote for the candidate offering the highest monetary promise, rather than the candidate most competent for the role. Thus damaging the reputation of St. Maarten’s democratic system.

This combined investigation involves a total 21 suspects. The three main suspects have now been sentenced; 6 suspects are still to be prosecuted; the case against 9 suspects will be dismissed; 2 suspects have in the meantime been murdered, therefore cleared of the crime and 1 suspect is untraceable.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office of St. Maarten will be extra vigilant throughout the upcoming election on signs of vote buying and selling. Persons with information on these activities are asked to contact the National Detective Agency (Landsrecherche Sint Maarten) - if preferably anonymously at telephone number: +1721-522-5810.

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