Mussington predicts disasters if Gibbs wins second roundPOSTED: 06/11/12 1:11 PM
MARIGOT / By Andrew Bishop – Leader of the Movement for the Advancement of the People (Map) Louis Mussington has warned that it will be disastrous for the Collectivite de St. Martin if Daniel Gibbs wins the bid to be St. Martin’s first Deputy in the French parliament. Gibbs and Guillaume Arnell will be heading back to the polls again this weekend for the run-off of the legislative elections. These two candidates, who did not get the required amount of votes required by law still have the opportunity as the largest vote getters to vie for the seat as Deputy in the Legislative Assembly. Gibbs got 2, 641 votes and Arnell got 1, 695.
Mussington said that even if Gibbs wins in St. Martin it would be a loss for the country as Gibbs is politically aligned with the UMP of former President Nicolas Sarkozy. That party is heading to opposition as the Socialist Party led by current President Francois Hollande is cementing its hold on power by picking up more seats in the legislature.
“If Daniel Gibbs is successful in these elections it could only mean that the Collectivité may face more serious financial problems. There is a whole leftist movement that is in the majority and the socialist government is presently in power. It would have been better if there was a socialist candidate who wins because they will have more access to government and the subsidies when it comes available,” Mussington said.
Voter turnout was low in Saturday’s first round despite the fact that polling stations were kept open to 8:00 p.m. The late opening was an accommodation for certain religious groups. Some stations reported that voting was done in intervals of two minutes between each voter. This is slow when compared to the pace at which people voted during the Territorial Council Elections.
Both Gibbs and Arnell have expressed concern about the turnout in separate statements. Both men understand the voter fatigue people may be experiencing – as they’ve already voted in two other elections this year.
“The mobilization of our people could have and should have been stronger. The legislative election is historic for our island. We, as elected officials, undoubtedly bear a heavy responsibility for our citizens’ lack of participation in politics. Therefore, I repeat, I want to make reconciliation of our people and our politicians a major priority,” Gibbs stated in a release.
“It was very fatiguing. People have been voting since February. I think that is one of the reasons for the low turnout. In most cases the people wait for the second round to vote since they use the first round as an indication as to which candidate they should vote for. People do not realize that there cannot be a proper run-off election if there is not a solid first round, but it is our responsibility as leaders to do whatever it takes to raise the awareness of the people so that they understand how serious an election is,” Arnell said.
Gibbs and Arnell are now making strong pleas for people to turn out for next week’s second round. Gibbs is the front runner, having secured the largest amount of votes in the first round.
“I take your votes as a new stage of the contract of trust for the next five years. It will be a contract with accountability for results. I will honor it without compromising. I will serve with enthusiasm, energy and mobilization in the service of the general interest. The battle continues. I’ll meet you in the polls next Saturday,” Gibbs said.
On his turn Arnell said, “Come out and cast your ballots in the run-off which is slated for Saturday upcoming. If you do not cast your vote, you will not be able to protest or call any action or ask for anything.”