~ William: 'Bring it on, we are ready' ~
PHILIPSBURG--A large number of National Alliance (NA) supporters backed the party at a meeting held at The Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort and Spa under the theme "2014 staying on the white line," on Sunday.
Candidates who are "staying on the white line" as well as some new candidates who will be on the party's slate for the 2014 general elections were on hand to meet candidates during the event. The new candidates were not introduced officially, as NA leader Member of Parliament William Marlin said this was part of "coming attractions."
Attendees cheered and clapped during speeches made by Marlin and other members, with many being vociferous about their support for the party. A number of persons signed up for the party while others reaffirmed their support during a registration held at the event.
"Bring it on, we are ready," Marlin told attendees during remarks towards the end of the meeting. He was speaking at the time about the party's readiness for the general elections scheduled for this year. A date for the elections is still to be announced.
Marlin said some persons were saying they wanted to ensure that there was a stable government in St. Maarten for the next four years. He said these persons had left "the largest party in the last election to cross over to a party that is riddled with corruption, scandal and investigation."
He said the people of St. Maarten knew that this was not the place to be. The National Alliance, he continued, has one agenda, which is one for the people of St. Maarten.
Government is "the people's business," he continued, adding that government should not be used to enrich one family or group of families or friends.
"Those who want to leave because they think over there the pastures may be greener and the opportunities may look better over there, to them we say, God be with you. Farewell my brethren, but those of us who will stay here is because we will be working together for the people of St. Maarten," he said.
Marlin called on stage the group of NA candidates who had stayed on the white line. These include former Education Minister Silveria Jacobs, MPs Louie Laveist and Hyacinth Richardson, former President of Parliament Rodolphe Samuel, former Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary Henrietta Doran-York, and members Christopher Emmanuel, Herbert Martina and Narda de Windt.
MP George Pantophlet was in the Netherlands and unable to attend in person, but sent his strong support for the event.
Marlin said NA had decided long ago to work for the people of St. Maarten. He alluded to the colours in the party's logo which he said incorporates all the colours of the political parties in St. Maarten. "We wanted to show them that that the interest of St. Maarten is bigger than any political party of St. Maarten and that is why we will continue working for you and working for the people of St. Maarten.
"We are known for working for the people of St. Maarten. The only business that the National Alliance has ever been into is the business of the people of St. Maarten."
Marlin said a voter had pointed out recently that while United People's (UP) party leader Theo Heyliger "uses Harbour money to build things," the NA leader builds schools when he is in office.
The voter alluded to land purchased by Marlin while in government to build Genevieve de Weever, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Leonald Conner (former Leonard Conner) schools, playground and other school facilities, and land for the Senior Citizens Recreation Centre in Hope Estate, as well as ensuring that the land was transferred to St. Maarten for the new Asha Stevens Hillside Christian School in Cay Hill and the new National Institute for Professional Advancement (NIPA).
"All the years the leader of the UP was in government, longer as commissioner than the leader of the NA, but never did he buy land to build one school, never secured funding to build one school, never was he instrumental in securing one classroom, but get what he does every year? He carries pencil cases for those schools that William Marlin built schools for so that he can brainwash those persons to vote for him," Marlin said the voter had said.
The voter asked whether the NAf. 50 million used to build the causeway bridge could not have been used differently.
Marlin said persons who had been "jumping" were doing so "because it is about them."
Several other candidates and members addressed the gathering before the curtains closed on the meeting in a festive manner with Addison "Shadowman" Richardson performing.