He “sees the need to stop and take fresh guard” Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit told delegates at the governing Dominica Labour Party’s (DLP) delegates convention at St Joseph on Sunday, taking the opportunity to warn the party’s parliamentarians that they were about to be placed under the microscope for some really serious scrunity.
Speaking in his capacity as political leader of the DLP, PM Skerrit said he was taking that approach not because “the spinners are bowling any better”, but because “playing conditions are deteriorating”.
He used cricket language as a prelude to engaging in some tough talk the Labour Party leader felt was necessary as the party celebrates its 57th anniversary.
“We need to lay the foundation today for another 25 years in office based on our transformation and adaptability as a 21st century political party. I am not taking anything for granted as it relates to the right of the electorate of this country to judge us harshly and on merit, next time around,” PM Skerrit said while making reference to the demise of some other ruling parties in the region.
Parliamentary representatives of the DLP were served notice that they would have to step up their game ahead of the next election.
“I intend to deal with non-performing or poorly performing parliamentary representatives. No parl rep is bigger than the party, no parl rep is guaranteed automatic endorsement as a candidate in the next general election,” the party leader warned.“I intend to declare all constituencies vacant, and persons will have to make a case as to why they should be returned as a candidate for this Dominica Labour Party” the prime minister said to loud applause.
He warned that those who can’t or do not make a satisfactory case “for retention will be replaced as candidates”.
Political leader Skerrit said he wanted to see the DLP end up “with the 21 strongest candidates this party can field in 2015 or whenever the next general elections are called”. He had indicated earlier that he wanted to place the DLP in the “observation room for a much needed checkup”.
The DLP currently holds 18 of the country’s 21 parliamentary seats, with the opposition United Workers Party having the other three.