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Grisha Marten, Wife of Theo Heyliger Number #4 UP Slate

PHILIPSBURG–Grisha Heyliger-Marten, wife of suspended Member of Parliament (MP) Theodore Heyliger, has announced that she is running as a candidate on the United People’s (UP) party list for the upcoming parliamentary election on January 9, 2020.

Heyliger-Marten said she will be the #4 candidate on the UP slate. She said this position is sentimental for her because her husband had entered the St. Maarten political arena with the same number.

“I wish to share with you my decision to enter the parliamentary election set for January 9, 2020. This decision was not an easy one, but it comes from the realisation that each of us must stand up for what we believe,” said Heyliger-Marten, adding that she had not expected to make this decision.

“I have said on many occasions, ‘This is not only about Theo.’ It is our battle as a family. However, while standing up for my husband, it brought home the reality that this is even bigger than he is. Whether you support him or not, I, like many of you, realise that our country needs people, more than ever, who are committed to standing up for the people of this country,” she said.

She made this statement in reference to her husband’s ongoing court cases.

She said her husband’s incarceration had been one of her greatest moments of struggle.

Heyliger-Marten said she had thought of creating an educational movement “to educate people about the root of the problem,” which she believes lies in the lack of “true autonomy” and the “need of true self-governance.”

“After facing many shortcomings in our country’s laws, and seeing the challenges with our constitutional status, it became clear that our people’s rights are not clearly defined within those laws and guidelines.

“This approach is still a worthy cause, and from the floor of Parliament I can access the tools needed to bring about real change for the betterment of our people.

“We must make our citizens aware of the instruments being used to bind and constrict us. We need to get to a place where we see our bottlenecks and stand up for change. I have stood firm as my husband’s pillar, even while he worked and pursued his vision for the future of St. Maarten, and I am ready to take a stand for you,” said Heyliger-Marten in a press release on Sunday.

She said the starting point for her plan to redevelop St. Maarten is reigniting the passion and determination seen after past challenges such as Hurricane Irma.

“We must stand up, shoulder-to-shoulder, and support each other for better, for right, and strength. It is the only way to secure our future and our children’s future,” said Heyliger-Marten.

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