PHILIPSBURG:--- On Sunday, November 19th, 2023, Democratic Candidate Armand Meda resigned from the party. This took place on the same day as the Democratic Party Candidate & Manifesto launch.
The former number 14 candidate on the DP list, has had a vigorous campaign under the slogan Forward, for almost a year that became very popular on Social Media and households on St. Maarten. "Forward has become synonymous with the name Armand Meda", stated one of his supporters on the Social Media platform of Facebook.
Moving St. Maarten Forward is Armand Meda's sub-slogan when campaigning on issues that are affecting the island and plans that he has presented to deal with the concerns of the people of this country.
On 28 February 2022 on Social Media Armand Meda's campaign did its first release on the importance and need of National Cyber Security on St. Maarten. He was the first candidate of the 2024 Parliamentary Elections to actually point out "We are wide open to a major cyber attack". Two weeks later GEBE was attacked by a ransomware virus, that has left GEBE in a crisis since March 2022.
Armand's plan is to bring significant relief for Seniors, single-parent households, and Low-Income Households when it comes to GEBE, and with the UP Party, he believes this plan will bring all who are down back UP to par with where they should be in their bills.
When asked what his thoughts on the ship-jumping comments towards his decision to move over to the UP Party? "Here is the thing, we first have to understand what is ship jumping. What is ship jumping? The last election I ran was back in 2016 on the United People's Party. So I running on the UP Party after two elections once again, how does that make my person a ship jumper? On top of that, I never sat as an elected Parliamentarian. Meanwhile, we try to ignore the fact that the number two candidate on the Democratic Party jumped ship when the MP left the United People's Party just over two years of sitting in the House of the People." Armand stated.
"The reason I left and moved forward is simple. The toxic aura within a so-called family that thinks they are a team is bad for this country. For individuals postulating themselves and supporters who are quick to use words like trash in a group chat to describe another human being, and another calling another a snake, what do they think of you St. Maarten when you don't agree with their views? We know that one biker who may have never been convicted was labeled as delinquent. Then you have a leader who has clearly lost the aura of leadership, to correct those within the party when they step out of line. Being able to call voters delinquents, because they chose bike life, or former fellow candidates called garbage because they relaxed and realized the toxic is real and decided to move forward, without any leadership stand UP on their two feet and challenge them to be better and do better, is this what St. Maarten wants?
These attacks that have been taking place in their group chat and on social media on my person and on voters/bikers have not just been taking place today, it has been taking place for months. But I tried to bypass it, I hope for common sense and strong leadership, but it's just not there. A few are quick and happy to be the attack dogs of a clueless Parliamentarian, or trying to make a name for themselves by insulting others while again the leadership remains silent.
This campaign has no room for salty individuals who can't control themselves. In other words, when they go low, we go UP and above the swamp. This campaign is about bringing a realistic plan to protect public offices, banks, and private companies and their consumers from cyber attacks. Protect our beaches and make it a safer place for beachgoers. Bring better animal care and awareness to our island. Ensure low-income single-parent households and senior citizens to live a more comfortable life with benefits that will help them. Legalize tint to a lower percentage, and an annual luxury tax that will bring a new income that will help parents who have trouble buying uniforms, paying for school fees/contributions, and of course cover our police officers and on-field justice workers' body cams. This campaign will work hard to see a state-of-the-art indoor sports facility with comfortable seating, proper ventilation, and a cafeteria filled with vendors, become a reality. This forward movement is about moving everything on this island we call home, ......forward." Concluded Armand Meda.
Meda is a son of the soil with parents from Aruba and St. Lucia and he will contest this election as the 15th Candidate on the United People's Party.