Cooperation can no longer be a handshake on November, 11th --- Within 10 month’s new government intends to implement their program to boost the lives of St. Martin inhabitants.
MARIGOT:--- Former Mayor of Saint Martin Albert Fleming got the honor to decorate President-Elect Daniel Gibbs on Sunday shortly after his 18 member majority voted in favor to elect him President of the Collectivity at the official installation ceremony.
The election of the President took place by vote, the 23 member council had to vote for the president who was the only candidate that postulated for the seat, of the 23 territorial council members 18 voted in favor Gibbs becoming the President of the COM, 4 voted blanc and one of the votes deemed null since the member of council wrote the word “blank” on the ballot.
The official ceremony had some hiccups because Territorial Council member Alain Richardson did not agree with the make-up of the executive council since he postulated for a seat in the executive council and he did not get that seat based on a number of votes his party received on March 26th.
Due to this President Gibbs and the secretariat of the Collectivity had to ensure that each member of the executive council was elected by the council. Representing TEAM Gibbs the majority and ruling party he got all four vice presidents namely:-
1st VP Valerie Damaseau --- 23 votes.
2nd VP Yawo Dzha Nyuiadzi --- 23 votes
3rd VP Annick Petrus --- 23 votes
4th VP Steven Patrick --- 23 votes
The two additional members of the seven-member council also elected by votes are Marie-Dominique Ramphort (23 votes) and Louis Mussington (23 votes)
It should be noted that Alain Richardson from MVP and Marthe Ogoundele Tessi also wanted to be members of the executive council, Ogoundele Tessi was of the opinion that the Alliance for Hope, Justice, and Prosperity would have gotten 2 seats in the executive council but when it became clear that the residual seat was going to TEAM Gibbs based on a number of votes his party received on March 26th she immediately pulled back and allowed the leader of the Alliance Louis Mussington to hold the seat as a member of the executive council. It is clear that the leader of the MVP Alain Richardson did not agree with the outcome so he did not vote in favor of the candidates that were presented to be on the executive council, this of course made the official ceremony longer since the council had to vote for each member of the executive council, after which they conducted the first Territorial Council meeting with two agenda points before continuing with the official ceremony.
Based on the calculations on the votes cast on March 26th it was divided by 23/6 = 3.83
Votes obtained by each list divided by the Electoral Quotation (QE)
The lists Gibbs and Mussington equal 22/3.83 = 5.74 equal 5 seats.
List MVP equal 1/3.83 = 0.26 equal to 0 seat.
The residual seat was given to the list that obtained more votes.
Team Gibbs divided by the number of seats already obtained 22/5 + 1= 3.66
Votes obtained by MVP 1/0+1 = 1
Therefore, the two lists namely Team Gibbs and Alliance received the most votes and they got the residual seat. President Gibbs then nominated his candidate to be the 6 members of the Territorial Council in the person of Marie-Dominique Ramphort
In his official address to the nation, President Daniel Gibbs was very firm and clear on what he intends to do for St. Martin in order to bring about change and prosperity. He made clear that while being deputy he voted for a law to enhance cooperation between the Dutch and French side and that he said will be worked on speedily because cooperation can no longer be a hug and handshake on November 11th.
Besides that the forgotten districts French Quarter and Sandy Ground will receive more attention, one being more public services will be in these two districts, while an office for the territorial police will also be established in both districts.
President Gibbs also made clear that what his team promised on the campaign trail they intend to deliver but the people will see progress 10 months from now. He said they do need time to unblock and clean up what they met now that they have taken office.
He said his government intends to work on diversifying the tourism industry, work will be done to eliminate the early morning and afternoon traffic from Grand Case to Philipsburg since some major road works will be conducted. The repairs on Marina Royale and Gallis Bay Port will take place along with camera surveillance.
President Gibbs said that his government will work on creating jobs for the youths, reduce youth delinquency by providing courses to the youths so that they could fit in the job market. The newly elected president said that they intend to do something to create jobs for people because they cannot have the social services with a 38 million debt since women, and the unemployed are living on the RSA. This he said will be addressed since this government intends to diversify the economy, more focus will be placed on agriculture and the fishing industry while the environment will have their full attention. President Gibbs said very soon the French side will embark on a massive clean-up campaign in every district on the French side.
President Gibbs said his team will also ensure that article 74 (the Organic Law) works in favor of St. Martin because it is working for St. Barths but the same law is a handicap for St. Martin, he said this can never be so and as such his government will do what it takes for article 74 to work in the interest of the people of St. Martin. He called on the opposition to work with the new government mutually in order for them to move the country forward since there is a lot that has to be done to bring the Collectivity back on track.
Among the invited guests at the installation ceremony on Sunday were Governor Eugene Holiday and his wife Marie-Louise, Prime Minister William Marlin and his wife Gabriel Marlin, President of Parliament Sarah Wescot Williams, Victor Banks from Anguilla and other overseas guests.
On Sunday Guillaume Arnell officiated the ceremony in the absence of outgoing president Aline Hanson who could not be at the ceremony due to her medical condition.