ORANJESTAD- Leader of the Progressive Labour Party on St. Eustatius, Rechelline Leerdam on Saturday put out a statement regarding the recent back and forth between PLP candidate and current island council member Clyde van Putten and Government Commissioner Alida Francis.
Van Putten recently criticized Francis for allegedly campaigning for the Democratic Party, when as Government Commissioner she should be strictly neutral. Francis took offense with Van Putten’s allegations and said that Van Putten had crossed a boundary with his comments.
“I come to you today to address the escalating saga between the Government Commissioner and the island Council member and candidate of the PLP. It is sad to see that the focal point of this election is rapidly shifting from what the respective parties will do for the island to now a battle between the honorable Clyde van Putten and the Honorable Alida Francis”, according to Leerdam.
Leerdam said she called on parties to stop acting in the interest of self or in the favor of a particular individual, but rather work for the overall good of the island. “This election is about Statia, and from my recollection, there are over 3000 people on this beautiful Island, and not just 2. The opportunity for positive change is here… The opportunity to address the various issues that have been negatively impacting the lives of all of us, is now. PLP, led by my person, was and will continue to be the voice for a better Statia -and to be extremely clear-not will deter my focus” stated Leerdam further.
The PLP party leader also said she urged voters on St. Eustatius to be vigilant. “We can all argue that the way both individuals dealt with this matter could have been handled differently. My advice to both is to put the matter to bed, or let it be handled in the court of law. Let us put our focus back to our main priority, which is and should always be Statia”.
Leerdam concluded by saying that she was standing firm and proved, over her years of Leadership, that she stood strong for the values that will improve this land and its people. “I will continue to lead for Statia, and as long as I postulate myself to represent you as a People, the PLP will not be deterred from its focus, Statia over Self, and Self to represent Statians and Statia’s best Interest”.