Windward Islands People’s Movement (WIPM) regrets Hemmie Van Xanten’s recent decision to become an independent member of Saba’s Island Council, the party said in a statement. “While his decision is regrettable to the party, it is his choice, and it is in keeping with what is an intrinsic element of the democratic process: to be able to make decisions without restraint.”
On his departure, Van Xanten indicated that his leaving the WIPM party was not about any particular individual within the party, but because he felt that he could not continue to work within the current party structure.
“While we are unsure what are his particular grievances, all party members know that the party leadership is always open to listen to their concerns, should they choose to avail themselves of the opportunity to do so. One need look no further than the floor of the Island Council meetings to see that criticism and debate within the party and between the governing institutions is not the exception, but rather the rule,” WIPM said.
As a party we are aware that in any relationship there will be challenges, but we can only solve them if they are brought out in the open so that they can be addressed, which requires difficult and tough conversations. We believe that time has proven we have the political maturity to have these conversations.
“When we sit in the seats of elected office, it requires that we set aside our personal agendas and ambitions while taking care that our decisions, none of which are trivial, serve in the interest of the common good. We are also extremely aware that at times not everything goes right and we must do our best to correct our wrongs.”
WIPM said the party would use Van Xanten’s leaving as an opportunity to reflect on how it can improve as both a party and an institution charged with governing this island. “As a party we have stood for stability and deliberate progress, and we will continue to do so. We do not take these challenges lightly and will do what is necessary to ensure that we do what is right for those that have entrusted us to lead this island.”
The Daily Herald.