~ MP Rolando Brison elected Chair of Parliament, Vice-Chair MP William Marlin, 2nd Vice-Chair Rodolphe Samuel.
PHILIPSBURG:--- Of the 15 Members of Parliament that cast their votes to elect the chairman of parliament, 12 voted in favor of MP Rolando Brison, while one voted for Grisha Heyliger Marten and one blank.
MP William Marlin elected vice-chair of parliament of the 15 votes cast two was in favor of Rodolphe Samuel, two blanks, one for Grisha Heyliger Marten and 10 for MP William Marlin.
The second Vice-Chair elected is MP Rodolphe Samuel with nine votes, two for Christopher Emmanuel, two for MP Sarah Wescot Williams and one for Grisha Heyliger Marten.
The Members of Parliament that were elected for the first time for the 5th parliament of St. Maarten called on their colleagues across party lines to put aside their differences and work in the interest of the people of St. Maarten.
Party for Progress leader Marissa Gumbs, member Reayhon Peterson, USP member Claudius Buncamper and UP member Grisha Heyliger Marten called on their colleagues to work together since they were the 15 chosen by the electorate to represent the people of St. Maarten.
Heyliger Marten reminded parliament that just over a week from today a year ago her home was raided by law enforcement who took her husband former MP Theodore Heyliger behind bars, she said her career started off by defending her husband and now she is on the road to represent the people of St. Maarten. Heyliger Marten vowed to carry on her husband’s legacy along with the late Claude Wathey.
MP Claudius Buncamper said he campaigned on several things such as tax reform and the legalization of marijuana and hopes that he will get the support from his colleagues to deliver what he has promised on the campaign trail.
MP Bijlani also called for unity and promised to be more vocal on the floor of parliament. MP Omar Ottley reminded his colleagues that ship jumpers were not rewarded for their behavior over the years. He said that he is hoping for a full four-year term.
MP Silveria Jacobs in her remarks said that St. Maarten deserves to have people that are committed to work for her and hope that the elected will do just that when the time comes.
National Alliance MP Rodolphe Samuel promised to work for everyone, he said that stability is key and if there is no stability then government will not be able to deliver what the people want them to do such as repairing roofs. Samuel also offered to give sound advice to the young MPs that were elected to parliament.
Notable during the first meeting of parliament is that NA elected MP Christopher Emmanuel remained quiet and did not speak during the speakers’ time. It is clear, that the one blank voted came from the MP who chose not to support the current coalition government.