United Workers Party (UWP) Member of Parliament for Roseau North, Danny Lugay, has said that there will be no election in Dominica unless there is electoral reform.
The statement was made at a press conference organized by the UWP on Tuesday afternoon at the Prevost Cinemal.
Lugay outlined a number of components to be considered under the electoral reform process.
“The United Workers Party today renews its call for electoral reform in the following; an accurate register of voters by effecting a total re-registration, cleaning the list by removal of the dead and persons living outside Dominica for five years; issuing of voters identification card with picture ID to all eligible voters; enforcement of provisions in our electoral laws against bribery…illegal voting, and election offenses,” he said.
Also included in the UWP’s demand for electoral reform is the granting of media access for the party.
“The United Workers Party and the people of Dominica demand fair access of Opposition to the news and current affairs programs of all state-owned, state-operated or state-controlled media,” Lugay added.
As a form of support from the public, the Opposition Party has included the idea of “campaign finance reform” where voters would pay a sum of money to aid in either party’s campaign spending.
“The UWP calls for campaign finance reform, declaration of campaign contributors, and election campaign spending by any political party of no more than E.C. $30.00 per registered voter, per election,” Lugay remarked.
This is not the first instance in which the UWP has called for electoral reform in Dominica.
In 2011, former Leader of the Opposition, Hector John, made an appeal on behalf of the party to the Prime Minister for funds to be made available for an electoral reform, or else the party would not have participated in parliament.
“That is what we are asking the prime minister, to make available the $5.2-million requested by the electoral commission. We will participate in parliament. We want to participate in parliament but no one is asking the prime minister when he is going to make the money available,” he said back then.
His view at the time was that for any democracy to “work and thrive,” there must be an electoral process, hence the electoral reform.
“Why should this not be a reality? For any democracy to work and thrive, you must have an electoral process that is free and fair,” he said to the media at that time. “To have an electoral process that is free and fair in this day and age, you must have electoral reform meaning ID cards for voting and cleaning up of the list.”