~ Mismanagement of Government funds and lack of Procurement brought on Higher Supervision --- Dr. Michel Petit.~
MARIGOT:-- Despite the roadblocks these past days on the French side of the island many people especially several men and women that were part of previous administrations and political parties managed to reach the Marigot waterfront on Saturday evening to witness the historic launch of the Rassemblement Saint Martinois( RSM). RSM will be contesting the March 2022 Territorial Elections.
Unique in its own way because the main members that made up the RSM are those that contested previous elections under other political parties. New to the political arena is well-known gynecologist Dr. Michel Petit.
Among them are former Presidents Frans Gumbs and Alain Richardson, long-time Territorial Councilor Louis Mussington, Julien Gumbs, Daniel Arnell, Bernadette Davis, George Gumbs, Jeanne Vanterpool, and several others that have come together to bring about change in the local government.
The forming of RSM and uniting all politicians is an initiative of George Gumbs a known figure on Saint Martin.
Of the five speakers was Dr. Michel Petit who explained his main reasons for entering the political arena since leaving his professional career as a gynecologist just over a year ago. Dr. Petit said it is no secret that Saint Martin is not doing well and that there is convincing evidence that allows him to conclude that the main problem is the despotic authoritarian leadership of the Collectivity under its President. He said a totalitarian way of governing is detrimental to the territory which has led to the fragmentation of the executive and territorial council. Members of the Council have openly criticized the President and accused him of favoritism, lies, squandering of public funds, and abusing of the administrative apparatus.
Dr. Michel Petit said that the President has demotivated and demoralized the civil servants, leaving them with a sense of disrespect since they are not being heard. “This attitude of the President has brought about prolonged strikes that have severely affected the public services. He further stated that the President’s friends and advisors have been leaving one after another and this is an indicator of an end of the reign."
The well-known businessman said that the uneasiness and badly functioning Collectivity has spiraled into a major dysfunction since the management of public procurement and tenders are now at a standstill while these are critical elements of the local economy.
Petit said just recently the project prepared by the controversial Directress General of Services was annulled by the Prefecture since proper procedures were not followed in the preparation of such a project. He said the French government took back funds that were allocated to Saint Martin because it was not utilized in the allotted time frame and there are millions of Euros withheld because of poor planning and failure to comply with the law. These things Petit said can no longer be left unanswered.
“The Prefet of Saint Martin recently announced the appointment of a special task force that will supervise all public procurements and tenders and proposals will be made to the local government while they will be reminded of the law.”
He described the current government as incompetent, and that Saint Martin is witnessing higher supervision as a result of poor performance from the executive and territorial council as such he had no choice but to join the political arena, under the RSM umbrella.
Louis Mussington in his address said that the politicians that came together to form RSM made one grave mistake in 2016 when they all contested the territorial election under different political banners. He said this worked against them and the only one that gained was Team Gibbs. He credited George Gumbs for his wisdom in bringing all politicians of the past together. Mussington said this is something the people have been asking of them for years now. Gumbs, he said managed to get them to put aside their political differences and gave them the opportunity to forge their ideas and knowledge together that will benefit the people of Saint Martin.
Former President Alain Richardson also expressed the same sentiments and promised that they will work hand in hand in the interest of St. Martin and its people.
While the official launching of the RSM took place on Saturday, November 6th, 2021, the list of candidates that will be contesting the March 2022 Territorial Elections was not presented. Former President Frans Gumbs said the list is still being prepared.