A young woman who braved the criticism and got nominated to contest the general elections in Dominica for the Salybia constituency has removed herself from the race.
Vincia Casey says she will now throw her support behind another candidate as she is not experienced in politics.
In a statement to the media, Casey said she decided to present herself as a candidate to contest this general election because of her 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 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,” she said
Casey said she also presented herself as a candidate because the Kalinago people have been receiving getting terrible representation in the House since Frederick Cozier has been our Parliamentary Representative. 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 done nothing to argue our case to the Government and/or to ensure that the company that is 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 have been 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”, she said.
Additionally, Casey said there’s 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,” she added
There’s a situation of preferential treatment according to Casey
“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 favor, 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”
Furthermore, she said the whole time that Cozier has been our Parl Rep, she has never heard or seen him fighting for his people in Cabinet or 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 to 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,” she added.
Casey said that based on these developments, she presented herself as a candidate t to contest the election in Salybia but at that time, she was not aware that 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 Casey said “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,” she added.
In light of this, Casey said she has decided to withdraw her candidacy and to notify the Returning Officer that she no longer wishes 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