15 August 2016

"Democracy gone wild?" In September Sint Maarten elections, eight times as many candidates as available parliamentary seats

A total of nine political parties to contest national elections


By Alita Singh
Daily Herald
Sint Maarten

PHILIPSBURG--A grand total of 126 candidates from nine parties are seeking a place in the fifteen-seat Parliament in an election that definitely will produce one new Member of Parliament (MP). That one new MP will fill the seat of incumbent MP Johan “Janchi” Leonard of the United People’s (UP) party who is not contesting the September 26 election. The other 14 sitting MPs are seeking re-election.

Based on the tally, there are some nine candidates for each seat in Parliament. The tally also represents 37 more candidates than in the 2014 Parliamentary election. Only 89 candidates from six parties were in that race, three less than for this snap election. There were 69 on the ballot for the 2010 early Island Council election (the resulting Island Council members from that election became the country’s first MPs on October 10, 2010, when country status was attained).

Parliamentary hopefuls will have to court the 22,302 registered voters to win the chance to sit in Parliament House.