Protesters say “no reform, no Election.”

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Protesters
Protesters in Roseau

Protesters marching through the streets of Roseau with placards and shouting “no reform…no election” are calling on Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit to implement “the controversial electoral reform.”

This has been a major talking point in the country and has further increased with the calling of a “snap general election.”

The main opposition United Workers Party (UWP), the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP), and other members of society have issued this joint statement.

https://natureisle.news/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/VID-20221109-WA0011.mp4

Roseau, Commonwealth of Dominica –Joint Press Statement

The Opposition Parties and several Civil Society organizations in the Commonwealth of Dominica consider the announcement by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and the leader of the Dominica Labour Party to dissolve Parliament and call for a snap general election on December 6th, 2022, as an insult to the Dominican people, gross disrespect to the International Community and an abuse of his power and trampling of Dominica’s democratic system.

The citizens of the Commonwealth of Dominica have been engaged over the past eight years or more, in an intense discussion of their concerns over the electoral process in Dominica. These concerns were highlighted by the Organization of American States (OAS), the Commonwealth Secretariat, and Caricom, and most recently were supported by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). These concerns are in relation to the inefficiency and lack of transparency in the electoral process and machinery in Dominica which gives the ruling Dominica Labour Party an unfair advantage and allows them to manipulate general elections, thereby making the results illegitimate. 

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and his Dominica Labour Party with an 18 to 3 parliamentary majority are constitutionally authorized to govern the country until June 2025. As we will all recall, on the night of the elections of December 6th, 2019, Prime Minister Skerrit announced to the Nation and to the world of the appointment of Sir Dennis Byron, former President of the Caribbean Court of Justice, to lead the process for electoral reform in Dominica. After having paid Sir Dennis Byron well over half a million dollars for his services, the Prime Minister does not have the basic courtesy to inform the Dominican citizens of the findings of Sir Byron and chooses to insult the Electorate with another general election without electoral reform.

It is to be noted that a letter from Sir Dennis Byron to the Leader of the Opposition indicated that the electoral reform process is at an advanced stage with additional consultations, and legislative reform proposed to be completed by March / April 2023 

We the opposition political parties and civil society organizations in the Commonwealth of Dominica, which consists of the United Workers Party (UWP), the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP), the National Joint Action Movement (NJAM),  and others who met at a meeting held on Monday, November 7, 2022 call on Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit to stop the abuse of DOMINICA and to immediately reverse his decision to dissolve parliament and to take immediate action to facilitate the electoral reform process proposed by Sir Dennis Byron.

The opposition parties and civil society groups in Dominica will therefore pursue all avenues including legal, international, and other appropriate means, to allow commonsense to prevail in light of Prime Minister Skerrit, announcement in his address to the Nation on November 6, 2022.

We are calling on the Dominica Labour Party Parliamentarians of good conscience to defy the dictatorial aspirations of Prime Minister Skerrit and for once, come to the rescue of Dominica from what appears to be the actions of a dictator.

We appeal to Dominicans at home and abroad to join in the call to condemn Prime Minister Skerrit’s tyrannical actions which will undermine our democracy, cause chaos, and further deteriorate of the peace and tranquility of our nation.

We also call on Caricom, the international community; the OAS, and Commonwealth Secretariat in particular to take note of this untenable situation taking place in Dominica.