DPSU says civil unrest possible if amendments to electoral laws proceed

Thomas Letang is General Secretary of the DPSU

The Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) has stressed that proceeding with proposed amendments to the electoral laws in Dominica would be an error which could result in civil unrest.

In a statement from its General Secretary, Thomas Letang, on Wednesday, the DPSU also welcomed the decision to suspend parliamentary debate on the matter.

“It is the considered view of the DPSU that to proceed with the amendments to the Act would be an error which could result in a much-divided nation, and civil unrest,” Letang said.

Recently protests were held near Parliament where bills to amendment Dominica’s electoral Acts were expected to be read. The protesters said they were against amending the laws since it would legalise treating and bribery. Debate on the matter was subsequently suspended on the grounds of public safety.

Letang said the DPSU has been paying close attention to and evaluating with much concern the recent development, including the protest near parliament against the proposed amendments.

“Opponents to the proposed amendments advance the position that it intends to prejudice and limit the interpretation of certain sections of the said Act regarding bribery and treating,” he said.

He added, “The benefits to the country if any at all, of the intended changes to the Elections Act, will be grossly overshadowed by the deleterious impact it is likely to have on our beloved sovereign democracy, Dominica. Further, such action appears to have the potential of compromising our constitutional means of electing a Government, by corrupting the process thus inflicting electoral bias and injustice upon us.

Letang called on all Dominicans to put aside political affiliations and address the matter.

“Having taken all arguments into consideration the DPSU appeals to all citizens, to set aside political partisanship in addressing this matter. While the DPSU supports the need for electoral reform, we believe that any such reform should aim at advancing and improving our democracy and providing an equal, just and fair opportunity for all political parties,” he stated.

He stated that the DPSU welcomes the move to suspend debate on the matter and called on the government to abandon it all together.

“The DPSU welcomes the move by the Government to suspend debate on the proposed amendment to the Act, but we implore that they take the honourable step and totally abandon their intention to proceed with the amendment,” Letang stated. “We further solicit the support of other right-thinking persons to join us in this just call.”

Disclaimer: The comments on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of DominicaNewsOnline.com/Duravision Inc. All comments are approved by DominicaNewsOnline.com before they are posted. We never censor based on political or ideological points of view, but we do try to maintain a sensible balance between free speech and responsible moderating.

We will delete comments that:

  • violate or infringe the rights of any person, are defamatory or harassing or include personal attacks
  • are abusive, profane or offensive
  • contain material which violates or encourages others to violate any applicable law
  • promote hatred of any kind
  • refer to people arrested or charged with a crime as though they had been found guilty
  • contain links to "chain letters", pornographic or obscene movies or graphic images
  • are excessively long and off-message

See our full comment/user policy/agreement.

59 Comments

  1. I'M NOT A PRIME MISTAKE!!!
    June 1, 2017

    :?: Why would one be in such ignorance to think that a union leader should not participate in political discourse,the union leader as a citizen has that right and also as a leader of an organization! Whatever a government does affects all,therefore as a civic minded person he should share his views! Why would someone be so naive and blindly support a man and party to the point of not being able to see that this law is illegal :?: How can someone accept a government legalizing bribery :?:

  2. 4progress
    June 1, 2017

    And so the corruption continues, only this time to legalise it

  3. Hendricks ismael
    June 1, 2017

    How much progress have we made in 50 yrs ? . We have been educating our people all over the world what is it that are studying?. We are creating the fail states all over the caribean , this gentleman should tell us how to create succesful states,how do we create manufacturing jobs . China just build there first jet liner , it took them 50 yrs , in dominica all our engineering jobs are done by some one else . The beer we drink every day the company is owned by Santo Domingo people , what have we done in 50 yrs, and what is the plan for the future ?. All we do every day is talk , begg,fight over power in roseau that will not help us market our products. Do we watch what other countries are doing . Roosevelt skerritt alone cannot market dominica the smart people are the ones to lead the way . Jamaica has 8 billionaires can any one tell me how many blacks amounts them. Some one in dominica called us cockroaches , like we have no brains to think and do nothing for ourselves .

  4. Rasta 4 a while
    June 1, 2017

    Man stay in your lane and do your work. you there talking rubbish when you should be talking about salary increases and the welfare of the public service.

    • %
      June 1, 2017

      You like money? You are still not satisfied with the amount that you are being given from our CBI money for your vote? Well the job of a trade union is not only SALARY NEGOTIATIONS. Do you have MONEY DISEASE? Go to your God Skerrit for the money that you want, because you are not even a PUBLIC SERVANT. So just stop your foolishness.
      SKERRIT MUST GO!
      SKERRIT MUST GO!!
      SKERRIT MUST GO NOW!!

    • Anonymous
      June 2, 2017

      Go back to school rasta. The labour movement came out of the Trade Unions and not the other way round.

  5. Papa Dom
    June 1, 2017

    I would urge these children accusing Mr Letang of being involved in politics to go and study the history of the PSU(CSA) to find out for themselves about unions being involved in politics and political discuss.

  6. Just Passing Through
    June 1, 2017

    Those who support the DLP and right thinking supporters of the DFP and UWP who are members of the Union he supposedly represents should ask Letang if he cannot represent members of the Union to his fullest, then he should do the right thing and step aside.

    That is ridiculous. This Government, as an employer represents and have the best interest of its employees better that the union.

    This has nothing to do with Dominica or the electoral reform Act; it has everything to do about supporting the UWP with their Skerrit must go chant.

    The Members of the Union instead of unrest, should take a stand against the Union to relieve mister of his duties of representing them because to me it doesn’t seem what he is talking about is in the best interest of the PSU members. The members are not uppermost in the secretary agenda. He needs another job or maybe he already has one.

    • 4progress
      June 1, 2017

      Everyone who have a right to vote have a right to his views irrespective of what organsation he is member of. That is democracy.

      The government is not the employer. the people put them in and can take them out through the ballot box. That is democracy

  7. Jonathan St jean
    May 31, 2017

    Some people think they can wear multiple pairs of shoes as farmers,bus driver and who knows what and comment on DNO,yet they want Mr Letang to only be a union spokesperson.Mr Letang I commend you as a Dominican for speaking up on local matters which will have a desastrous effect on the country.This will affect you,your family,the membership of the union ,and the country as a whole.Don’t worry with those biased uneducated fools who suggest that you can only speak up on union matters.Thanks for using your leadership gifts and position to advocate for the country that you love.When you see anything you perceive to be going wrong, irrespective of political affiliation please speak up.Thank you for adding your voice to the debate on electoral reform.

  8. Be Good
    May 31, 2017

    they need to remove you from this union or live and run for office you are not working for the workers but for linton. get a life

  9. Tj
    May 31, 2017

    Mr. L’Tang you on the right path. The best interest of your organization depends on the leadership of the country “

  10. shrewd
    May 31, 2017

    Mr Letang is right, civil unrest is possibly if amendments to the electoral law proceed. those of you who disagree with Mr Letang, are you saying it’s impossible?

  11. My little take
    May 31, 2017

    Mr. Letang says civil unrest POSSIBLE if amendments to electoral laws proceed; but I say if Skerrit uses his majority to amend electoral law to suit him, civil unrest is INEVITABLE! So Skerrit better count the cost before he acts because people are tired of Skerrit amending laws to protect him

  12. Emile Dominique
    May 31, 2017

    That sounds like a terrorist threat. Civil Servants to cater for unrest and violence by a UWP cleric , not a public servant rep. Letang must go now. He should be asked to resign because of a conflict of interest. You cannot serve two masters.

  13. May 31, 2017

    In 19680, shut your mouth Act then trouble start. In 1979, Patrick John and his infamous Law trouble death and bloodshed. Now 2017 power drunkenness disease is affecting the power hungry . What shall be next?

  14. concern citizen
    May 31, 2017

    If the country is doing so, so good why those people who coming from over seas to vote the LABOUR party back in power don’t stay there to enjoy it’s goodness? Why are they over sea,s doing what?

  15. May 31, 2017

    UWP spokesman says****

    Correct that DNO!

  16. May 31, 2017

    Letang never ceases to amaze me eh! Best he just say he speaking on behalf of UWP wi

  17. Fair Play
    May 31, 2017

    Mr. Letang, we Dominicans are born citizens with the constitutional right to cast a vote to which ever political party we choose to vote for. Let it be know to you and your side-kicks, that whether we live in Timbuktu or the South Pole we are entitled to our born constitutional rights as citizens of Dominica to vote. You and your threats will not stop us. Lennox and UWP and their threat will not stop us. We shall fight and never give up until victory is won.

    • Original Mahaut Man
      June 1, 2017

      If you are an American in any part of the world you a still able to cast an absentee ballot .That’s your constutional right.

  18. Memory
    May 31, 2017

    The Bill should not be suspended, it should be thrown out. There should be no reading of this Bill. We the citizens MUST see to it that the Bill should not come to any debate in the house. We must keep the protest going on; remember Skerrit said he is suspending it until all is quiet; remember people suspending it means he can come back and try to PUSH it on us.
    So my people we have to let him( Skerrit) know we do not want this Bill period, just like him. We need a petition signed by the majority of Dominicans stating we DO NOT WANT THE BILL ON OUR STATUED BOOKS.

  19. Fair Play
    May 31, 2017

    Mr. Letang, is this a threat or a promise? If it is either then you should be ashamed of yourself. You are calling for civil unrest in Dominica as the best way forward, even after debate on the matter has been suspended. You have placed your personal agenda against the government ahead of top priority salary negotiation and you have cast your stone.
    It is about time we civil servant cast you out from among us because you can’t do the job we elected you to. Instead of being a diplomat you have become a bully. You preach war, discord and destruction instead of love and peace.
    Self-fullfilling prophecies have a way of making people reap what they sow, so go on sowing civil unrest and make it happen.

    • I'M NOT A PRIME MISTAKE!!!
      June 1, 2017

      I think you are more foul play than fair play! Where have you been all these years that Mr Letang and the union he represents have been speaking on behalf of the members and workers generally :?: Are you saying that the man sitting in the state malice should not be there based on his actions in 1979 :?: Didn’t you hear the Public Service Union announced its activities for Labour Day which is a day set aside for workers all over the world except for rogue dictatorial countries and your rogues posing as government for consecutive years now choose to organize their partisan activities !!!

  20. May 31, 2017

    Please don’t use the union to push your political gimmicks. It’s high time that you stop this rubbish.

    These are not the words of the public servants, but rather those of a disgruntled fake who is pushing an agenda of opposing forces.

  21. EnfantDiable
    May 31, 2017

    His language was quite appropriately chosen.He is obviously growing in the job and looking at the wider national interest. Sensible statement Mr Letang.

  22. fan
    May 31, 2017

    They calling for the speaker to take a rest,she,tired!Honestly Mr letang,i think they were referring to you>you need a very long rest,because right about now i really do not know your role anymore. Politician or union Representative?Make your pick ,but do not string us along.

    • XXOO
      May 31, 2017

      Trade Unions have always been part of our political landscape…..The founding fathers of the Labour Party were trade unionists. The Freedom Party rode on the backs of Civil Servants to get into power.Ably assisted by none other than the President of Dominica. TradeUnionist led the movement to overthrow the Patrink John Administration. Nothing is new in Dominica wher politics is concerned :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: So what is your point?

    • NUWPl
      May 31, 2017

      U are so right. He like bossow. Eternal general secretaries. Plus Thomas just looking for attention. He realise no one takes him on so he want to ppl to talk about him.

      Idk how is it a union so involve in politics so. Good thing I take my self out of ur political party DPSU/UWP/DFP.

      Not my money u will get again.

      And all my family and friends we going to give u a shock of ur life in dat union. U have to ask where ur members when we finish with u.

      Our union should not be drag into politics like dat.

      Union is to represent public offices “WORKING INTERSTE” not united WORKERS party interest.

      Tan toe tan toe.

      U maybe think we public officer playing with u. Watch and see how u and ur workers will run all u rubbish in PSU.

    • stupendous
      May 31, 2017

      FAN,you wish brother Letang was taking a queue from the seating President, the one day Union leader next day politician for Freedom Party, next day ambassador to Brussels for the Freedom party and then disposed leader of the Freedom party and this guy in the white house who you admire and cannot find no fault with except with Bro Letang continues to live up to his reputation and without scruples s for he was one day Minister of government, in charge of Industrial relations and Labour calling for the boycott of Brizee Mart, next day President of Dominica, while President of Dominica making political comments on the UWP demonstration saying the violence that followed was unprecedented forgetting he marsh up an entire government in 1979 – Fan people like you that have memoir pwoul will always find fault with Brother Letang and to equate him with your standards and that set by the cabal you support. The Union will speak for and behalf of its members; LONG LIVE THE UNION!!

    • concern citizen
      May 31, 2017

      Dear fan,
      with all respect to U I think U should refer this statement to the man siting in the white HOUSE, blind bats of Ma Dominique!

    • Tom Brown
      June 1, 2017

      Mr. Letang is a fing politician but his day shall come soon. The civil unrest you want to happen might not you that will run first. Most of the people you are representing fed up with you. Wait for it you might be the next felix Wilson.

  23. DWP
    May 31, 2017

    Since has has the Public Service Union moved from salary negotiations to electoral reforms???

    What about the needs of public servants, Mr. Letang?
    Shouldn’t the needs of public servants be your priority instead of venturing beyond the objectives of the Union’s role to its members??

    Where does our needs in the workplace correlate with electoral amendment laws in Parliament??
    Help me make sense of your latest comments, which has little to do with appointments and salary negotiations.

    • Jaycees
      May 31, 2017

      You. are. an. idiot!

      I don’t even know where to begin! First of all public officers (not servants!) are DOMINICANS too! We are a part of the electoral voting process just as much as you.

      Second, if you cannot see that acceptance of the amendment to this act is just putting Dominica on the slippery slope to unparalleled corruption and ruin, then there’s no hope for you!

      Third, the saying goes “absolute power corrupts absolutely” And by his attempt to pass this unlawful Act, the Prime Minister has caused raised eyebrows throughout the region and wider shores. And public officers being an integral part of the wider society, it is up to them to put the brakes on this runaway train FAST!

      So, let your tiny little brain chew on these points. Close your eyes for a moment. Remove your beloved Roosevelt Skerritt from the image. If it were somebody else who was Prime Minister, would you be so biased? Or would you look at this Act for what it really is?

    • stupendous
      May 31, 2017

      DWP go asked the President Charles Saverin he is an expert on that- but to give you a clue since 1979 the Union has been involved in more than salary negotiations. Go read for yourself, all you to hypocrite.

    • Just Me
      June 1, 2017

      Very easy. They bring and pay their people to vote. Their people go back from whence they came and leave you to be subject government and that government’s policies. After that is a free for all. Who knows maybe some of their people will start replacing public officers.

      Trade Unions have to do more that talk about salary increases. Anything that can negatively impact the worker has to be addressed.

  24. Child of Grace
    May 31, 2017

    Thomas Letang I strongly believe the unrest will be because of you playing politics rather than minding the business of public officers for which you are being paid. You should take your blue flag out of the Union’s business and do not mix matters.

    • stupendous
      May 31, 2017

      Child of Grace when Charlo had his green flag and green T-shirt in the day you had no problem with that; when a certain priest rather than doing the business of winning souls for the Lord is heard and seen using his pulpit to campaign and to help divide the people of the congregation you have nothing not to say. Is On Thomas Letang back all you want to ride. Electoral reform will have a direct impact on residence now and in the future whether working or not, whether in a union or not; whether a Christian or not etc; therefore electoral reform is everybody’s business; leaders of various institutions, other organizations and civil groups should show bravery like Mr. letang by making their position known on this critical matter rather than trivializing like you are doing. The question is why not have open and frank discussion why not circulate a white paper ; why the rush to have all three readings done all at once why? BTW we minding our business no to 0,0,0.

  25. Dominican
    May 31, 2017

    Hear lennox boy Letang

    • stupendous
      May 31, 2017

      So why you not commenting about skerrit boys like the priest in ………, the pastor R, he have d SC, he have Herbert Volney the one who say DA bridge that all bridge it have, he have mammy taking in tongues, he have a calypsoian that only seeing ghost; so is on Letang allyou want to take target practice eemmmmh.

  26. Spike
    May 31, 2017

    The government employees’ union gives the overt threat of violence if Parliament votes, not to the union’s liking, on a matter that does not involve the pay, benefits, or working conditions of its members. An appropriate reaction would be to decertify the union and replace it with a union that serves its members.

    • May 31, 2017

      Oh come on. I’ll agree that his remarks were outside of his mandate, but for government to do as you suggest would be a gross overreaction that would only promote further conflict.

  27. Not You
    May 31, 2017

    Are you talking on behalf of the union or you are trying to further your political agenda. To every action there is a reaction. Neither the union nor the UWP can shut down the government so wheel and come again?

    • Me
      May 31, 2017

      That is what Patrick John thought also in 1979!

      • Islander'
        May 31, 2017

        The difference is the majority of Dominique support the DLP. Now Patrick John is UWP gift ? DNO be honest and show % all the derogative articles that’s written about :?: :wink:

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2
    • Dominican
      May 31, 2017

      Good question, he is not even concerned about the public servants but he talking about elections

      • %
        May 31, 2017

        He is Dominican like you,so his voice can be heard,especially in that case, to legitimize BRIBERY and TREATING..
        Letang is a good citizen…Yes he cares about tbe public srvants.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
      • stupendous
        May 31, 2017

        not concerned about who? wheel and come again boss- why you think we saying no to zero, zero,zero! our leader is concerned about our plight wait to see what happens if public servants are not offered a reasonable pay increase. Just wait to see and not even taking about police; just you wait to see who concern about who just ensure the government negotiating team doh come back with the foolishness of zero, zero ,zero. garcon all I saying is garcon.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 8
      • Venezuela Sorry
        May 31, 2017

        People think outside the box, any bad decision by the Government will also affect his members. It cannot just be about money, stupes.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5
      • %
        June 1, 2017

        You dont know about the union.So just stay quiet bro..Your concern is your handout,but you need to demand a JOB from those that you are trying to defend.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
      • Ibo France
        June 1, 2017

        I agree with the comments of Venezuela Sorry. Too many Dominicans are too myopic, their minds are confined to a small matchbox. Bad legislation affects everybody and people in positions of influence need to speak out. These very same people who are severely critical of Mr. Lang for speaking truth to power on this issue were just as harsh when he (Mr. Letang) spoke about the salary increase for civil servants. These critics for the most part are diehard, fanatical backers of a conniving government that does no wrong. The changes to the Electoral Act brought by the government to parliament do nothing to enhance good governance. It should be fought tooth and nail by all right thinking citizens. If you don’t stand up for something you’ll fall for anything. Stand up Mr. Letang, do not waver.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
    • Well Well Well
      May 31, 2017

      I can see that you missed a very important point. The matter at hand is the act. The act that will give right to those living outside of the country to decide your fate. This is not fair to any Dominica living in the country. There are both good and bad in people. We must let them know when what they are doing is good and also say when it is bad. Talking about the bad, does not meant you are against anyone personally, as you are just in disagreement with their actions. There is no gain in giving feedback as many take it negatively. At the end of the day, if it is good we will all see, if it is bad we will also see. I just want Dominicans to look to the heavens as their source, instead of men.

    • %
      May 31, 2017

      He is talking on your behalf, because you are a scatterbrain…So you needed Letang to tell you that this move by Skerrit would cause civil disobedience? OMG!!! Well you need to attend night school with dispatch..Do you know why he wanted to make BRIBERY and TREATING legal?Many people know!
      SKERRIT MUST GO!
      SKERRIT MUST GO!!
      SKERRIT MUST GO NOW!

      • Islander'
        May 31, 2017

        The difference is the majority of Dominique support the DLP. Now Patrick John is UWP gift ? DNO be honest and show % all the derogative articles that’s written about :?: :wink:

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2
      • Shame
        May 31, 2017

        Are you really calling people name and using derogative terms %. That’s HOW gutter minded you are? Why would you in your psychological state of mind insult people when you % didn’t finish school.% you are a self centered devious person.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 11
      • Man bites Dogs
        May 31, 2017

        @ % Go take a bath in a pit hole, We do not need Thomas Letang to talk on our behalf. I always new Thomas Letang under panties was Blue, I also have a strong feeling this guy is Linton
        Twin brother they both look alike 8-O 8)

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 16
      • KID ON THE BLOCK
        May 31, 2017

        %, You are a sick MANIAC. You definitely need help.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2
    • concern citizen
      May 31, 2017

      Yes you,
      U are speaking against your self, stop harbouring INIQUITY, the support which U and the others are giving to the SCONDRELS of D/ca will kill the COUNTRY stop giving them support!

    • Voice of Reason
      May 31, 2017

      Myopic view indeed! Have you given any thought to the implications/consequences if this bill was to become the law of the land? Have you given any thought to its impact on your job, your future, your family? Consider the longterm effects; get your head out of the sand and stop living in the present.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

:) :-D :wink: :( 8-O :lol: :-| :cry: 8) :-? :-P :-x :?: :oops: :twisted: :mrgreen: more »

 characters available