Four candidate lists for the March 15 Island Council elections were submitted during Nomination Day on Saba Monday, January 30.
Island Governor Jonathan Johnson, Chairman of the Central Voting Bureau, received the candidate lists of, subsequently, the Saba Caring People Party, the blank list of Dave Levenstone, the Party for Progress, Equality and Prosperity (PEP), and the Windward Islands People’s Movement (WIPM). The legal advisor of the Public Entity, Saba Devi van Groningen was also present during the submission of the lists to double-check that all documents were in order.
Enrico “Cuchie” Klaber, the sole candidate for the Saba Caring People Party, was the first to come to the courtroom at the Government Administration Building at 1:00 pm to hand in his candidate list, supporting signatures, and other documents to participate in the elections.
Next, at 2:00 pm, were Dave Levenstone, number 1 on the blank list, and Charles Hassell, number two on the blank list. Levenstone heads the United People’s Movement, which is not officially registered as a political party. He said that not officially registering as an association was a “conscious decision.” Therefore, he and Hassell will run with a blank list.
At 3:00 pm, the courtroom was filled with candidates and supporters of the PEP party, headed by Saskia Matthew, to submit the PEP list with 6 candidates and other necessary documents for their first participation in the elections. Matthew is number 1 on the PEP slate for the Island Council elections, number 2 is Hemmie van Xanten, number 3 is Roland Holm, number 4 is Julio Every, number 5 is Chesney Thielman, and number 6 is Justin Simmons.
The seven candidates for the Island Council elections of Saba’s ruling party WIPM, accompanied by a sizable number of supporters, gathered in the courtroom just before 4:00 pm to hand in the WIPM list with 7 candidates for the Island Council elections.
Party leader Commissioner Bruce Zagers will head the WIPM slate. Number two on the list is Commissioner Rolando Wilson, who is also WIPM Party President. Number three is current Island Council Member Eviton Heyliger. New on the slate, running as number 4, is Elsa Peterson. Vito Charles and Carl Buncamper, both a Member of the Island Council, are number 5 and 6 respectively. Shaun Johnson, another new candidate, runs as number 7 on the WIPM slate. The WIPM candidates also chose to be electable for the Electoral College, the body which together with the Provincial States elects the Members of the First Chamber of the Dutch Parliament.
Matthew of the PEP and Zagers of the WIPM both called for fair and honest elections, urging everyone to run a respectful, clean campaign. Jonathan Johnson in his role as Chairman of the Central Voting Bureau congratulated all candidates on taking the step to make themselves available to represent the population in the Island Council. “With that also comes to the responsibility to conduct oneself in a respectful way as we still have to live together on our beautiful island after the elections,” said Johnson