Frans Richardson confirms he is going independent

POSTED: 09/13/11 12:52 PM

MP leaves National Alliance after eight years

GREAT BAY, St. Maarten / By Hilbert Haar – Frans Richardson announced yesterday that he relinquishes his position as deputy leader of the National Alliance to become an independent Member of Parliament. In a written statement that he hand delivered to the office of this newspaper, Richardson said that he had arrived at his decision “after consulting with family, close supporters and advisors.” The Today Newspaper reported eleven days ago, on Friday September 2, that Richardson was leaving the National Alliance and the MP has now confirmed this report.
It is unclear how Richardson’s move will influence the political balance of power, because in his statement he does not make a firm commitment to the governing UP/DP-coalition. “I will support the initiatives of other Members of Parliament when I feel they are in line with achieving the collective needs and goals of the people of St. Maarten. I remain committed to using my years of experience as a contribution to the forging of the kind of St. Maarten we all want for ourselves and future generations,” he said in his statement.
The Parliament now consists of the United People’s party faction (6 members), the Democratic Party (2), the National Alliance (5), and independents Patrick Illidge and Frans Richardson. Illidge supports the governing coalition, giving it a 9 to 6 majority. With Richardson on board, it would jump to 10-5.
The now independent MP quotes Ghandi in his statement, saying, “Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position.”
Richardson says that he feels inspired more than ever by Ghandi’s words. “We, as a people, cannot afford to remain complacent and stagnant. We must progress in our development, both personally and collectively.”
Richardson joined the National Alliance in 2003. “I have always been a staunch party supporter. I have towed the party’s ideals and positions since joining it in 2003. I have supported the vision. Today I want to begin charting the road ahead, a road that will pave the way for the future development of the people of St. Maarten. More often than not, the road ahead can only be followed by leaving behind what we already know.”
Richardson pays his respect to the National Alliance in his statement: “I strongly believe that I will be in a better position to bring forth my vision, ideas and ultimately legislation, which will benefit the people of St. Maarten without trampling on the thoughts and vision of the party I once wholeheartedly supported.”
Richardson said that Members of Parliament “need to step up and raise the bar by presenting legislation that will make the people of St. Maarten feel safe and secure once again. We must foster sustainable economic development with our environment in mind. We must make decisions, some of them will be tough, but in the long run they must benefit all the people of St. Maarten.”

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