Legislatives: why Patricia Chance-Duzant is running

The candidate held a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

"He doesn’t know yet that I am here, but once I am, he will here what I have to say, just like the members of the government and the other deputies," confided Patricia Chance-Duzant, alluding to Emmanuel Macron. The representative to the council of district #2 is now an unaffiliated candidate for the legislative elections of Saint-Martin / Saint-Barthélemy. She announced her candidacy to the local media on Thursday afternoon at the Roland Richardson gallery in Marigot. "This site represents all of Saint-Martin’s culture," confided the woman for whom it was important to gather at such a site. "If he had not agreed to host me, I would have liked to hold the conference in front of the Grand Case bridge," she added.

At the side of her alternate Géraldine Telle, Patricia Chance-Duzant assured audiences that she is ready and "able to speak for the interests of both islands" in Paris. "No matter what I do, I have never been forgotten," she continued, leaving no doubt about her determination and tenacity for handling files. "I am known for my positions, I fight to the end," she promised.

Patricia Chance-Duzant has led political struggles locally. She notably ran several times in the senatorial elections, but this year, she decided to run for a term as deputy and face a direct election by Saint-Martin residents.

"I am a lawyer in the United States and France. I summarized my six-page CV into two pages! I have the qualifications to be a deputy," she promised. "Everyone says that in Saint-Martin, people have no qualifications. It may be true, but one must also recognize when people are qualified. This is also why I am running in these elections, to show that there are qualifications in Saint-Martin," she noted.

"I saw that there were twelve other candidates, the majority of whom come from elsewhere or who discovered and saw that there was an advantage in Saint-Martin. Me, I am here every day. People ask me for help. Sometimes people call me at night! I have a sincere desire to devote myself to the improvement of both islands. Our slogan is, therefore: 2 strong islands," confides Patricia Chance-Duzant, who made a long list of files that she intends to bring if elected deputy, knowing that a number of them must first be managed by the Collectivités.

One of the first will be bilingualism. "In Brussels, all texts are translated. I don’t see why that isn’t the case here in Saint-Martin. I will also fight for English to be recognized as a regional language; that is work to be done in the National Assembly," she guaranteed, also wishing to create a language center in Saint-Martin, based on her experience in the 1980s in the United States.

Another area that Patricia Chance-Duzant would like to be involved with is health. "We need more services, particularly for the elderly and handicapped," she imagined.

"I also have a file on urban planning. We have big problems in that area... with the PLU (local urban planning scheme), the land register and the 50 geometric paces. We need to unblock the situations that the State is blocking," she declared. The candidate also wants the help of the State to restore beaches to their natural state. "They did it in Marseille!" she noted, without specifying the precise role of the State.

As for security, Patricia Chance-Duzant will go to Paris to request a police station. She would like young Saint-Martin residents to be trained in these professions. "We should not only have State employees that come for a few years. We need stability," she wished to note.

Another large "file" that Patricia Chance-Duzant will defend is "the legal file, my area." She wants more cases to be handled in Saint-Martin in order to avoid traveling to Guadeloupe. "Today, people do not defend themselves and do not appeal their sentences, because they need to go to Guadeloupe and that is expensive. It isn’t fair," she noted sadly.

Finally, the candidate set a priority on development and cooperation. "We need to share skills between the two parts of the island, for example concerning roads and transportation. I will also request the modification of Article 74 so that international jurisdiction may be granted to the Collectivité of Saint-Martin," she concluded.

Patricia Chance-Duzant says she is "listening to everyone" and emphasized her professional path. "I am a lawyer in the United States and France. It is because I was interested in the political system in the two countries that I decided to study law in the United States and in France. Thanks to my degrees, I know how the political system functions," she stated.

Estelle Gasnet