PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten: St. Maarten’s first independent government will be a coalition. The United People’s Party (UP) and Democratic Party (DP) have agreed they will form a partnership to form the government under St. Maarten’s new constitution after none of the parties in last Friday’s general election was able to get an outright majority.
The UP, which won six seats, and the DP, which took two, signed a declaration of intent last night to form the new government. Their combined eight seats give the coalition a simple majority of the 15 seats in the new parliament.
As of October 10 the island, along with Curacao, will become separate countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands and will each have its own parliament and prime minister.
“We, the undersigned, Theo Heyliger, leader of the United People’s party, and Sarah Wescot-Williams, leader of the Democratic Party, hereby declare that the UP and DP have agreed in principle to form the first government of Country St. Maarten,” the UP/DP declaration read. “Parties declare that they will do all in their power to bring about a stable and effective government in the best interest of Country St. Maarten and its people.”
The other seven seats are held by the National Alliance (NA), which had been in power for just over a year.
After the results of the general election were announced, NA leader William Marlin had indicated he was would begin talks with the two other parties on forming the new government.
The NA got a total of 6,273 votes, the UP 4,936 votes, the DP won 2,340 and the Concordia Political Alliance (CPA) secured 127 votes.