Saturday, June 22, 2024
Advertise Here
HomeElectoralOpposition Leader sends letter to Chairman of the Electoral Commission

Opposition Leader sends letter to Chairman of the Electoral Commission

OFFICE OF THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

Tel: Fax: E-mail: Website:( 767) 617 5756  /  (767) 266 3284 (767) 449 8353 Jesma_paul@yahoo.com / houseofassembly@dominica.gov.com www.dominica.gov.dmVictoria Street Roseau Commonwealth of Dominica

August 24, 2023

Mr. Duncan Stowe

Chairman of the Electoral Commission

Office of the Electoral Commission

Roseau

Dominica

Dear Mr. Stowe,

As Leader of the Opposition, I am deeply troubled by the fact that the electoral reform process is now at the advanced “consultation” stage, following the appointment, contracting, and delivery of the report on electoral reform by Sir. Dennis Byron has been hijacked by the Labour Party Government.

It is against both the spirit and the letter of our Constitution that it is this Labour Party Government and not the independent Electoral Commission, that is spearheading this electoral reform process including the consultation exercise. 

In the interest of full transparency, can you please clarify:

  1. The involvement of the Commission in the appointment of Sir Dennis as the Sole Electoral Reform Commissioner
  2. Whether you were contacted/consulted by Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit at any time before or after the appointment of Sir Dennis Byron by the Cabinet as the Sole Electoral Reform Commissioner.

The consultations held thus far have been dominated by members of the all-mighty Executive Branch of Government, Labour party acolytes, and Senior Counsel, Mr. Anthony Astaphan, a passionate advocate of Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit.

The consultation held at Portsmouth earlier this week resembled a Labour Party political activity with no semblance or a whiff of any objective debate on the Sir Dennis Byron proposals.

For the process to be seen as impartial, fair, and objective, only an independent arbiter like the Electoral Commission can be entrusted to conduct this consultation exercise. This process must not just be fair, it must be seen to be fair.  If this consultation exercise continues to be led by the Labour Party, it would be impossible to dispel the widespread perception and belief that any electoral legislation that goes to Parliament will favour the ruling Dominica Labour Party.

It has been stated by the Government that following the conclusion of these public consultations, the Electoral Commission will be engaged. I do not believe it is constitutionally acceptable for the Executive Branch of Government to decide at what point to invite the Electoral Commission and the Electoral Office to join this consultation process. The Commission should have been leading the reform process from the very beginning.

I wish to remind you, Sir, of the Mission of the Electoral Office which I am sure you are acquainted with: “facilitate the efficient conduct of free and fair elections in the Commonwealth of Dominica and serve the public with efficiency and impartiality.”

I urge you, Mr. Stowe, to reassert the authority of the Electoral Commission, an authority given to it by the Constitution, and take full ownership and responsibility for this electoral reform consultation exercise. You also have a moral obligation to do the right thing by the constitution of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

Sincerely

_____________________

Hon. Jesma Paul- Victor

Leader of the Opposition

Copied to

President of Dominica, His Excellency, Charles Savarin D.A.H

Chief Elections Officer, Mr. Ian Anthony

Mr. Hilary Shillingford, Commissioner

Mr. Wayne James, Commissioner

RELATED ARTICLES

1 COMMENT

  1. Stale news! The same language, tone, and stance articulated by the UWPwee. Is the Opposition Leader a puppet of Linton and Eddison?

Comments are closed.