PHILIPSBURG – On Sunday evening 19th October, Independent Member of Parliament Hon. Leona Marlin-Romeo released the following open letter explaining her support for the United People’s (UP) Party led broad based coalition government. In her message MP Marlin-Romeo declares herself as an independent member of the House of Parliament. At the same time, the MP also states that this coalition is the best one for the country and that her decision was based on looking at the bigger picture and political maturity in the interests of the Sint Maarten people and the country.
Open Letter from Leona Marlin-Romeo
My fellow St. Maarteners,
First I would like to extend deepest sympathies to those who suffered loss during the recent passing of Hurricane Gonzalo, though it may have caused some devastation, we are still blessed to have weathered the storm and come out stronger and united.
Over the last few weeks, there has been no shortage of opinions and criticism expressed publicly regarding my decision to support and join the coalition government which was recently sworn in as the new government of St. Maarten for the next four years.
While speculation abound and some media sources have been trying to exploit and capitalize on the situation by sensationalizing it, I believe it is necessary to publicly explain the reason for my decision and re-emphasize my commitment to the people of St. Maarten and especially to those who have entrusted me with this responsibility with their vote of confidence.
“For me, it has always been about the best interest of this country. I recognize that we are at a crucial juncture in the development of St. Maarten, we are at a point where the people of this country expect their elected representatives to put biases, self and trivial preferences aside and do what is necessary to be the change we all promised to be during the election campaign. And sometimes that means going beyond party lines, and looking at the bigger picture; that is how can we ensure a stable government and a better way of life for the people of this country.”
“I am not perfect and I know my recent decision might not have been easy for many people to understand or accept, however, I am confident that this decision to be part of the coalition government will allow me to contribute to making our country better. I believe our passion may hasten our actions, but our purpose always wins the day.”
Following the election results of August 29, when it became obvious that a coalition government would once again have to be formed, I knew that as an MP-Elect I had a responsibility to make sure my contribution would be in alignment with a stable governing constellation, as stability is essential for the sustainability and progress of this country.
I would like to assure my fellow St. Maarteners that this decision was not taken lightly or without profound thought. Several governing scenarios were explored with several potential political partners, showing democracy in its truest form. I believe that if we all stay true to our promise to serve with integrity and selflessness, this coalition is the best vehicle to get us to where we need to go as a country.
I believe my decision which has left me ousted by the US Party, shows political maturity and will prove my mantra ‘if it is good for the country then I will give my support to that cause despite my political affiliation, color or creed.’
After all our commitment and overall obligation is to do what is in the best interest of the people of Sint Maarten.
The decision by the USp to expel me from the party has left me with no choice but to declare myself an Independent Member of Parliament. This will not deter me from staying focused on the tasks at hand and fulfilling the responsibilities that I was elected to accomplish.
I am therefore asking for your support, patience and understanding and to let my performance in Parliament determine if I’m a worthy representative.
I gave my word on the campaign trail to give proper representation and my intentions remain the same. In closing I would like to once again thank the people of St. Maarten for giving me the privilege of representing you. I will continue to listen to your wishes and display the courage to stand up and speak for these aspirations and to make good on my plans to work tirelessly on your behalf.
May God Bless Us All