Gibbs beats Arnell in legislative elections

POSTED: 06/18/12 1:06 PM

Vice President of the Territorial Council Guillaume Arnell

MARIGOT – Even though Vice President of the Territorial Council Guillaume Arnell was the overall winner on St. Martin in Saturday’s legislative elections he lost his bid for the French Senate after Daniel Gibbs received 1, 111 votes from St. Barths, giving him the majority. Arnell received 3, 421 votes, which is 53.3% of the overall votes cast on St. Martin, and Gibbs got 2, 997 votes, which is approximately 46.7% of the votes cast on the island.

The upset came when Gibbs’ running mate in St. Barths received 1, 111 votes. That propelled him to the top position in the overall count with 52.27 percent. Arnell only received 329 votes in St. Barths. That was 47. 73 percent. According to some political pundits the only way Gibbs received so many votes in St. Barths was because it was sanctioned by President Bruno Magras.

“Whatever Magras says in St. Barths it is always carried,” one observer said.

“There are battles that you win and there are some that you lose,” Arnell said in describing his defeat at the polls.

He indicated that even though they had put in place all the means to be successful they still lost by a small margin. He noted that from analyzing the figures, it is clear that St. Barths was the voting district that caused the defeat and called it “the thorn in these elections.”

“After the St. Martin people saw what had happened the week before in the first round of the elections, they mobilized and came out in their numbers to vote me. The lead by Daniel Gibbs in St. Barths was difficult and the people could not have been influenced to vote in other way,” Arnell said.

The RRR candidate commended the people of the Triple R party who went out of their way to work so as to ensure that he was successful in the elections. He also said that he has nothing but gratitude for those from other parties that placed their votes for him after the first round. The Minister of the Overseas Territories Victorin Lurel was also commended for his role in the recent elections.

“He did more than I had expected him to do. He noted that even though our paths may not cross now, we will meet again in a different setting to work in the interest of St. Martin,” Arnell said.

His conviction now is to work in the portfolio that he was given following the recently held Territorial Council elections which concluded some five weeks ago. It was mentioned that there is still much to do on St. Martin and he will be back to work as early as possible even though his colleagues at the dialysis center at the Louis Constant Fleming Hospital had expected him to represent them in the French Senate.

Arnell is looking forward, with his 25 years experience in politics, to assist the younger politicians who have just entered the political arena and are members of the Territorial Council in order to prepare them for the years ahead.  He expressed his gratitude to his family for the support that was given to him over the many months of election campaign and promised to spend more time with them now that the elections are finished.

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