In a not-so-surprising outcome, the Dominica Labour Party has been re-elected into office, taking 19 seats in a very controversial election.
The DLP won one more seat than it did during the last election. This is the fifth successive term for Roosevelt Skerrit and his new team, comprising at least ten new candidates
“I want to extend congratulations to the two candidates who won in Marigot and Salisbury. It clearly shows that the elections were credible and that they were free and fair,” Skerrit said during an interview on the state-run Dominica Broadcasting Corporation.
Over 81,000 people were eligible to vote in the elections but with the main opposition party the United Workers Party staying away from the polls, the voter turnout wasn’t as great as last elections.
Meanwhile in a historic move, two independent candidate-Anthony Charles and Jesma Paul— were elected to the parliament for the Marigot and Salisbury Constituencies.
Skerrit said he plans to meet with Charles and Paul to hear their visions for the constituency as well as other opposition candidates to listen to views on how they can contribute to the national reset he plans to have following the election.
Both the UWP and the Dominica Freedom Party boycotted the elections, on the grounds that the electoral process gave Skerrit and the DLP an unfair advantage. They have called for electoral reforms, which include issuing national identification cards and a cleansing of the voter’s list.
Skerrit tonight that by Easter 2023 legislation will be passed to establish the national identification cards as well as address concerns with the list of electors, which is severely bloated. Some people believe that this should have been done before the elections since it was constitutionally due in 2025.
Skerrit said he has also written to the Commonwealth of Nations, Caribbean Community and Organization of American States asking for them to review the electoral reforms recommended by former Caribbean Court of Justice President Sir Dennis Byron.
Meanwhile, Skerrit said he intends to extend “an olive branch to the UWP leader Dr Thompson Fontaine to discuss a way forward to develop Dominica”
I wonder whether the newly elected leader of the UWP won’t return to South Sudan very soon after the humiliating rejection of his party’s call for a boycott of the elections.
His decision will reveal his commitment to Dominica