Marigot:--- A confident Louis Constant Fleming surrounded by his candidates presented his list to the media on Friday afternoon at the Lotterie Farm. The sitting senator told reporters he chose to deliver his list at the Lotterie Farm because it was one of the places he visited frequently ever since he was a child. Besides that, Lotterie Farm has developed into a successful business location on the island. Fleming said he wanted everyone to know that the Union pour les Progres did not have a five year term when they entered government. He said when the Collectivity was installed in July 2007 they had no budget and as such they had to function on the commune's budget for the first six months.
"The Collectivity got its own budget in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. Therefore, the incumbent government did not have the opportunity to fulfill a full five year term. Fleming also said those that were elected in 2007 to install the Collectivity had a hard time because there was nothing in place for the incoming government. He said the former Mayor cries out now but he should remember he did not make any preparation for transition from the commune to the Collectivity. Fleming said he made clear in his New Year message in 2005 that when St. Martin gets its new status it will take a minimum of ten years to properly install a fully functional Collectivity. Fleming said as the first President of the Collectivity of St. Martin his intention was to not establish the difference between the Commune and the Collectivity. He said the reason behind that was to make sure that the population did not have to suffer during the transition period. Fleming further said that the only reason he has decided to contest the 2012 election is because the people chose his team in 2007 and the work they started then is not yet complete. He assured that his mandate in the senate is until 2014 and he could have chosen to stay there until then and left the political arena with his head high, but for him the development of St. Martin is his priority. The UPP leader said he also chose people he could trust and those he is confident he could work with for a full term. His number two candidate he said has worked in all areas with him and she has been his collaborator as a senator. "Melissa Sedano is someone I can trust and work with while the number three candidate Rene Arnell is not someone new to me, Rene Arnell contested the 2001 elections with me under USM. Today, he is not here because he is in Paris with the Social Economic Council. Claire Javois Guion Fermin, a current Vice President is the fourth candidate, while radio personality Billy D Jacques Hamlet is the fifth candidate, Ida Zin Ka Ieu is the sixth and the incumbent President Frantz Gumbs in the seventh place.
"There are people that are contesting this election because their only interest is to be able to benefit from the Government vehicles, government gasoline, and the indemnities they are going to be collecting. "I came into politics with riches and my interest is to make sure everyone on St. Martin becomes rich but there are people in this election that profits from the poverty of the St. Martin people." Fleming called on the foreigners that are residing on the island to know their place and not to take advantage of the homage they received from the St. Martin people. He said right now there are foreigners that are organizing political lists and contesting in the upcoming election and the native St. Martiners are becoming angrier by the day with this kind of behavior. "I can assure you the list I have presented was not put together by anyone from the outside and we are the ones financing our list." Fleming told reporters that the native St. Martiners do not accept when foreigners interfere in their affairs.
Fleming threw a few punches at the other political parties that are contesting the March 18th and 25th Territorial Election. He said Daniel Gibbes the former second Vice President personally told him that he did not have to pay his own airline tickets and expenses when he was elected in 2007 because there were monies at the Tourist Office where he was the President of the Association.
"In the past there were people who were putting six million Euros on the accounts of an association to accommodate their traveling and other expenses. Now I do not have to hide this I can speak about all what really happened in the past."
The UPP leader assured that he is confident that the voters of St. Martin will place their confidence in him and his team and he is also confident that they will win the election after the first round on March 18th, 2012.