Vincia Casey withdraws from December 6 General Elections in Salybia Constituency

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Vincia Casey
Former Independent candidate Vincia Casey

24th November 2022
STATEMENT FROM VINCIA CASEY INFORMING OF THE WITHDRAWAL OF HER CANDIDACY

I make this statement to the people of the Salybia constituency and to the rest of Dominica. On the 18th day of November 2022, at 3:50 pm, I presented myself at the Salybia Resource Centre and was nominated as a candidate to contest the 2022 General Elections for the Salybia constituency.

My name is Vincia Casey and I am 34 years old. I am from Bataca and currently living in Salybia. I am the mother of two young girls – ages 14 and 5. I am the proprietor of Waitukulina Chileali, a small cocoa business that I started over a year ago. I also make coconut oil and other essential oils.

I decided to present myself as a candidate to contest this general election because of my understanding of what would happen if no one contested these elections. I understood that if everyone but the Dominica Labour Party boycotted the general elections then the Labour Party would automatically win all 21 seats in the House on nomination day. I heard the reasoning for why the opposition parties in Dominica decided to boycott the elections but from what they were saying they were hoping that the President or Prime Minister would do something to stop the elections. I also heard people saying that nothing could be done to stop the election once the writ had been
issued.

As a result, I expected someone to publicly indicate that he/she would contest the elections in our constituency and challenge Cozier Fredrick. The Kalinago people have been getting terrible representation in the House since Mr. Frederick has been our Parliamentary Representative (Parl. Rep.) In fact, I believe that we were not represented by him at all. For the past year, the public road through the entire length of our constituency has been in a state of total disrepair. It has been completely ripped up and our Parl. Rep. has apparently done nothing to argue our case to the Government and/or to ensure that the company responsible for this mess is held accountable to the people. We have been left to the mercy of this company. Nobody is fighting for our rights. Very little work seems to be being done on the road and no compensation has been offered to the people who live along the road for the inconvenience, the dust, and the damage to property resulting from the careless way that this company is conducting the works.

We also have a serious situation where the Health Centre is concerned. It is in a dilapidated state and we never have a doctor there. The people have to leave the constituency to see a doctor! I don’t know everything that a Parliamentary Representative must do but what I’d say is that I think he must at least be concerned about the welfare of his constituents.

He should be willing and able to assist the most vulnerable in the community. He should work towards creating better conditions and opportunities for his constituents that would allow them to thrive and develop economic and social independence. But what I see in my constituency is a situation where one set of people, because they have been long-time supporters, continue to reap benefits and get handouts while others are left with no or little assistance. I see a certain sense of disregard/disinterest in the social condition of the people and there does not appear to be equal opportunity for all. I believe that if the country’s resources were shared equally/fairly among supporters and non-supporters, voters and non-voters, through transparent programs that operate to distribute fairly according to qualification and not favour, there would be less tension and political dissatisfaction in the country. There is not much of a pie to share in the first place, so it must be shared fairly.

The whole time that Cozier has been our Parl. Rep. I have never heard about or seen him fighting for us in Cabinet or in Parliament. To me, having NO Parl. Rep. and having Cozier as our Parl. Rep. is the same.

I spoke to people in the community about presenting themselves as candidates in the election but they all seemed afraid of being stigmatized and/or victimized. So, on the eve of the 18th of November, I told some friends and my family that I was going up in
Salybia. I decided that I had nothing to lose. I also determined that I owed it to my two girls to stand up for what I thought was right. So, I presented myself as a candidate to contest the election in Salybia. At that time, I was not aware that Mrs. Muta Matthew
had been nominated to contest the Salybia seat. I only found out about her nomination after I had been nominated.

I want to do everything in my power to ensure that Mr. Frederick does not continue to stand in the way of the proper representation of the people of the Salybia constituency and the Kalinago people. I want to do my best to ensure that he does not return to Parliament under the pretense of caring for us. If both Muta and I contest the Salybia seat as independent candidates, then we will split the votes of those persons who wish to vote Mr. Frederick out and/or who wish to simply register their protest and dissatisfaction with the type of party politics that has been operating in Dominica. Muta is more familiar with the political platform than I am. Like me, she cares about our people. She has dedicated her time and energy to assisting folks in the community and attending to the needs of the less fortunate. Muta was the principal of the Concord primary school and is well known in the constituency. I believe that she is very capable
and would make an excellent representative in the House.
In light of this, I have decided to withdraw my candidacy and notify the returning officer that I no longer wish to contest the 2022 general elections. I will vote for Muta in the upcoming elections and will do my best to support her campaign going forward. I
also invite and encourage everyone in the Salybia constituency to vote for Muta. Vote against Cozier Frederick!

Thank you.