UP wins the elections but coalition stays in power

Based on the information this newspaper had this morning, the coalition of National Alliance, Democratic party and United St. Maarten party will remain in office, after the combination captured 10 of the 15 seats in the new parliament. The UP won 5 seats but it did not get the cooperation from the USp (3 seats) to form a majority.
When all the votes were counted around 3 a.m., the UP came out as the winner in terms of votes (4,127), but the National Alliance (3,783 votes) won the same number of seats. The USp did better than expected and won 3 seats, while the DP disappointed with just two seats.
Minister Emil Lee outvoted party leader Sarah Wescot-Williams on the DP list, while the number 10 on the USp-list, Chanel Brownbill gave party-leader Frans Richardson a surprising run for his money, finishing close behind him as the second highest vote getter.
The ship jumpers of days gone by – Cornelius de Weever and Leona Marlin-Romeo did not survive the onslaught at the polls; they will not return in the new parliament. USp-candidate Maria Buncamper-Molanus felt the effects of her criminal conviction, winning fewer than one hundred votes.
At press time not all the cards were on the table, but a preliminary look at the election result shows that the following candidates will become parliamentarians.
UP: Theo Heyliger, Franklin Meyers, Jules James, Tamara Leonard and Claret Connor. NA: William Marlin, Silveria Jacobs, Christophe Emmanuel, Rodolphe Samuel and Hyacinth Richardson; if Marlin and Jacobs become members of the next Council of Ministers, Ardwell Irion and George Pantophlet take their seats. USp: Frans Richardson, Chanel Brownbill and Silvio Matser. DP: Emil Lee and Sarah Wescot-Williams; if Lee stays on as minister, Perry Geerlings becomes an MP.
The first results of the elections came early in the evening from the Pointe Blanche prison, where out of 67 eligible voters, 37 cast a vote; two were found to be invalid. The United Peoples’ party (UP) won 11 votes and the United St. Maarten party (USp), the party with four candidates with a criminal record on its slate, took 10. The other votes went to the National Alliance (NA, 6), the One St. Maarten People Party (OSPP, 4), the St. Maarten Christian Party (SMCP) 2 and Helping Our People Excel (Hope) and the St. Maarten Development Movement (SDM) 1 each. The People’s progressive alliance (PPA), and the Democratic Party (DP) received zero votes.
At the St. Maarten Home, where 48 of 66 eligible voters went to the polls, one vote was found invalid. The NA did well here with 19 votes, ahead of the UP (8), USp and DP (7 each), while SDM, OSPP and SMCP won 2 votes each.
At the Raoul Illidge Sport Complex, the first signs seemingly emerged of the direction this election was about to take. The UP took 283 votes, ahead of the NA (237), followed by the DP (149) and USp (105). Of the startups the SMCP took 49 votes, PPA 20, SDM 18, OSPP 14 and Hope 6.
At the Justice Academy, the NA won 77 votes, ahead of the USp (58), and the UP (57); the DP and the SMCP won 28 votes each, the SDM 7 and the OSPP 3. No votes here for Hope and the PPA.
At the Marie Laurence School in Middle Region, The USp came out on top with 241 votes, ahead of NA (215), UP (211) and DP (131). The SMCP led the startups with 45 votes ahead of SDM (25), OSPP (19), PPA (14) and Hope (5).
After five polling stations, the UP (566) and the NA (544) were close, followed by USp (421) and DP (315). Too early still for a projection of the final result of course, though the government website calculated after this tally a 5-5-3-2 seat distribution with UP and NA in the lead, followed by USp and DP.
As other results came in, the seat distribution fluctuated with them. At the Methodist Agogic Center the UP won its third district with 267 votes, ahead of NA (188), DP (132) and USp (125). The SMCP grabbed 40 votes, SDM 35, OSPP 9, PPA 7 and Hope 1.
The DP won the Simpson Bay Community Center district with 188 votes, ahead of the UP (164), NA (71) and USp (74). The PPA won 27 votes here, SMCP 20, OSPP 8, Hope 6 and SDM 4.
The Leonald Conner school was al almost dead heat between the NA (165) and the UP (163). At a distance the USp followed with 91 votes, the DP with 34 and SMCP with 27. SDM won 6 votes, OSPP 4, PPA 2 and Hope zero.
With eight districts counted, the seat distribution was UP 5, NA 4, DP and USp 3 each – giving the current coalition 10 seats in the new parliament.
The John Larmonie Center was a prey for the UP with 223 votes, followed by NA (152), USp (129) and DP (66). SDM won 25 votes here, SMCP 23, PPA 10, OSPP 9 and Hope 3.
The NA was strong at Milton Peters college with 371 votes, before the UP (220) and the SMCP (89). The DP came in fourth (82), followed by USp (67), PPA (23), SDM (19), OSPP (5) and Hope (2).
With ten districts counted, UP and NA stood at 5 seats each, the USp at 3 and the DP at 2. Still 10 seats for the coalition.
At the St. Maarten Senior Citizen Recreational Center NA and UP were level at 255 votes, followed by USp (175) and DP (121). SMCP won 53 votes, SDM 32, PPA 10, OSPP 6 and Hope 2.
The Dutch Quarter Community Center was for the UP with 274 votes, ahead of NA (258) and USp (242). The DP won 1900 votes here, SMCP 46, OSPP 16, PPA 11, SDM 8 and Hope 3.
UP also won at the Charles Leopold Bell school with 265 votes; NA 201, USp 117, DP 94, SMCP 43, SDM 23, PPA 18, OSPP 6 and Hope 2.
The NA won the district of the St. Maarten Academy with 328 votes, followed by UP (267), USp (204) and DP (98); SMCP won 67 votes, SDM 23, OSPP 18, Hope 8 and PPA 6.
At the Celebration Palace the UP was again on top with 247 votes, before the NA with 191, USp 177 and DP 96. The SMCP won 57 votes, PPA 23, SDM 20, Hope 17 and OSPP 12.
With just two districts to go (Sundial School and Belvedere Community Center), the UP kept the lead and the seat distribution remained 5-5-3-2, with the SMCP lurking in the background with 734 votes, shy just 115 votes of a seat with the quota at this stadium standing at 849 votes to win a seat.
The final two districts brought the decision in favor of the UP that will nevertheless not be part of the next government.
At the Sundial School, the UP won 254 votes, NA 158, DP 129, USp 108, SMCP 50, SDM 27, OSPP 26, PPA 14 and Hope 3.
At the Belvedere community center the NA won with 266 votes, before the USp (254) and the UP (252). The DP won 104 votes here, SMCP 72, SDM 19, OSPP 10, PPA 6 and Hope 4.
The total result: UP 4,127, NA 3,783, USp 2796, DP 1,810, SMCP 856, SDM 603, PPA 229, OSPP 204, Hope 75.

Hilbert Haar (Today)