Christian Party leader Wycliffe Smith aims for at least two seats “We support equal social treatment”POSTED: 09/7/16 9:57 AM
St.maarten – “We feel positive based on the vibes we are getting from people,” says Wycliffe Smith, leader of the St. Maarten Christian Party. “We are anticipating that we will win at least two seats.”
Smith retired in 2014 after fourteen years as the pastor of the Baptist church in Philipsburg. Before that he was the Lt. Governor of Saba (from 1983 to 1989), a teacher, president of the University of St. Maarten (where he is still a board member), a teacher, an inspector and later the head of the education department. He wrote poetry and toured as the singer of a band in Europe. Now, Smith tries his hand at politics – from the pulpit to parliament. Why?
Smith: “In St. Maarten everything is political; life revolves around it. Having worked for government for more than thirty years, I know how it operates. It has to do with who I am – a person of integrity. There are four integrity reports and nothing is being done with the recommendations. That’s why I thought: I will make myself available and make an effort to implement some of them. If government wants to move forward we have to clean it up, make sure it operates based on rules and regulations.”
In an opinion piece he sent out in August, Smith noted that “many of our elected and appointed officials seem to put aside their Christian principles and values the moment they get in office. Principles and values such as honesty, integrity, transparency and caring for others are soon forgotten and replaced with dishonesty, greed, wheeling and dealing, bribes and self-enrichment.”
He sticks to that observation: “People have taken the mindset of the Island Council without changing. We need Members of Parliament who do their jobs as MPs. Right now, each faction believes it needs to have a minister and they protect him, so there is no control over these ministers.”