DH | Grisha: Van Raak should stop meddling in our elections

Grisha Heyliger-Marten

PHILIPSBURG–“If Van Raak so loves St. Maarten people, he should be on a political slate contesting the January 9, 2020, elections. Otherwise, he should mind his own business!” This is how Grisha Heyliger-Marten, number four candidate on United People’s (UP) party slate and wife of suspended Member of Parliament (MP) Theodore Heyliger, reacted to recent statements made by Dutch MP Ronald van Raak of the Socialist Party (SP) regarding St. Maarten refusing international observers.

Van Raak has openly expressed his criticism of St. Maarten. “St. Maarten is on a dead-end track. The situation is bad and the elections will not bring much change. There is no real alternative, except for the one new party. Mr. Heyliger or Mrs. Heyliger, it is all the same family,” said Van Raak in a recent sitting of the Dutch Second Chamber.

“If that’s not a blatant meddling in our elections, I don’t know what is,” said Heyliger-Marten. “Can you imagine a St. Maarten politician telling the Dutch electorate in their own election that a vote for a particular Dutch politician or party is a vote for racism?

“How can Van Raak call Theo Heyliger, who has just been acquitted of all charges in one case and who is yet to face trial in another, a ‘criminal’? So, Van Raak is now judge and jury? What more proof do we need to show that my husband is being persecuted for political reasons?”

“These are the same people who preach to us about integrity. How about the integrity of the judicial system? Isn’t an accused innocent until proven guilty? How about the integrity of our electoral process?

“We’ve heard about Russian intervention, but nothing is as blatant as this Dutch intervention in our elections.”

She said it is no surprise the Dutch government is “angry that our government turned down their offer of ‘international observers’.

“We’ve had Dutch observers before. Where are their reports? What did they conclude about our elections? If the elections were ‘fraudulent’ [then – Ed.] why were they not annulled?

“… If the Dutch so believe in international observers, why don’t they allow the Germans to come and observe their elections? After all, what do they have to hide?” concluded Heyliger-Marten.

Bron: Daily Herald

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