Frans Richardson leaves National Alliance

POSTED: 09/2/11 12:16 PM

Party’s number 2 vote-getter becomes second independent MP

St. Maarten – National Alliance is about to lose one of its biggest vote getters. Frans Richardson, a former Commissioner of Tourism and Economic Affairs, will declare himself next week an independent Member of Parliament who supports the United people’s Party / Democratic Party government.
With the split, the National Alliance will remain with five seats the lone opposition party, spearheaded by William Marlin and further consisting of Lloyd Richardson, Hyacinth Richardson, George Pantophlet and Louie Laveist. Shortly after the elections in September, Patrick Illidge also left the National Alliance to become an independent MP, supportive of the government.
Vice Prime Minister Theo Heyliger’s UPP occupies six seats, the Democratic Party 2. With Frans Richardson and Patrick Illidge, the government will soon enjoy the support of ten members in the fifteen-seat parliament.
Richardson could not be reached for a comment yesterday, but well-informed sources suggested that leaving the National Alliance was the price Richardson had to pay for obtaining a new casino license for a building he owns in Simpson Bay and that housed the now bankrupt Dolphin Casino. The government has withdrawn the Dolphin Casino-license, and word is that Richardson wants to obtain a new license for the premises.
Richardson was the second largest vote-getter for the National Alliance in last year’s September won the confidence of 695 votes, trailing his party-leader William Marlin by a wide margin; Marlin won 1,590 votes. Richardson’s political support is waning however; compared to the 2007 Island council elections, when he won 1,079 votes, he lost 35.6 percent of his voters.
Richardson was not available for a comment yesterday. First his phone was constantly engaged and later calls were answered with a message “The number you have dialed is temporary out of service. Please try at a later time.”

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