“The calling of an early election is no grounds to throw an emotional political tantrum,” political scientist Alex Bruno has said while addressing the opposition’s stance of “no reform, no election.”
During a nearly one-hour Facebook live yesterday, the general secretary of Team Unity Dominica (TUD)- the only opposition party contesting against the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) in the upcoming general election- used the opportunity to criticize the decisions taken by the three other opposition parties to not contest the snap December 6 general election, due to the absence of the long-awaited electoral reform.
While acknowledging that Dominica’s political system needs to be reformed, Bruno opined that the country is now at the crossroads of a major shift in Dominica’s politics.
He stressed, “I will say again, that this notion of no reform, no election is a and `is probably even a fraud notion. You can call for reform and say it is a necessary prerequisite in a democracy to have free and fair elections. But to sell the people this false hope is not fair. “
Bruno further declared that the mantra which is now widely used by the opposition parties and a few civil organisations, is only hurting a lot of people who believe that they will be able to stop the elections from taking place.
He adds that it has been discussed for far too long and has now become an old strategy, which will get those who have adopted it nowhere.
With nominations taking place this past Friday- November 18- and six out of the 21 constituencies already being declared for the incumbent DLP, because no other candidates were nominated, he asserted that opposition parties have done nothing but given more authority to the Prime Minister.
While many have said that the election may be delegitimized by the international and regional community if no one participates, Bruno labelled such as a misguided theory.
“The notion that the world will see and they will come to our rescue is a fallacy,” he stated. “Yes, pressure will be brought to bear if let’s say, no one went up and all 21 seats were given no, that would have been the ideal situation for the man who wants the ideal situation and a total blackout on the authority and administration of our country.”
He went on to stress that such a situation will never benefit the people of Dominica, hence the reason his team decided to “step up” and contest the elections.
Bruno further deemed the opposition’s choice to abstain from the elections as unwarranted, stating, “there is also no excuse for giving up what you have and staying outside and making noise for the things that you had.”
According to the political scientist, the strongest place for the opposition which forms part of the legislature of the government is the parliament, therefore removing themselves is nothing more than an “emotional reaction to a lot of wrongs.”
“Now, I’m not saying that what the Honourable Prime Minister has done is right. It can’t be right that you can just willy-nilly do this because you have the power to do what you want every time and I think you can get away with it…so I get it. But I do not get it that you retreat. You surrender and then you’re going to fight. How the heck you can surrender, retreat, and fight after that? It doesn’t make sense. You have to fight,” he declared.
According to him, the minority who are shouting against what he is doing is comprised of nothing more than “bullies and political troublemakers” who he alleges have benefited nothing for the past two decades.
He further aired that history has not been kind to parties who have taken the decision that the opposition has.
Though he alluded that the prime minister has the right to call a snap election, Bruno is also of the view that the constitution should be amended to include a fixed date for elections to better prepare all political parties.
His comments did not sit too well with many, including Chiketo Thomas who reacted by stating that no party in Dominica can win an election without reform.
“So [what] I am trying to understand is, you think they should go in this election knowing that they’re going to lose the election without reform, is that making sense?” the Facebook user commented.
Throughout the hour, Bruno failed to address his party’s plans, only alleging that TUD had 15 candidates go into nomination, but chose to only nominate five as he says, “that was enough and that’s all that I can say for now. Parties do things for a particular reason.”
Many of the viewers highlighted this as a deficiency.
“But Alex you only have five candidates, what will your five do?” asked Victorious AsGod’splan
“Alex talk about your plans and stop focusing on UWP. We know what they are saying already tell us what you saying and what you going to do,” Valda Bruno-Durand also added.
Prince BEE, also urged the political scientist to discuss TUD vs DLP.
Other comments came from Claudius Sanford who called on Bruno to stop his attack on the UWP, as he notes that such actions “[make] you appear that you are actually rejoicing that the DLP has mastered the art of stealing elections.”