Political leader of the United Workers Party (UWP), Dr Thomson Fontaine, has said that he is willing to meet with Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit if it is in the interest of the people of Dominica and to discuss many issues “that we can have a good conversation about.”
In an interview with the Caribupdate Channel, he said many members of his own party are opposed to such an idea but it is something that is not only about him.
“It’s about the party that I lead,” he stated. “It is about the interest of the people of Dominica and ultimately if the best interest is to speak to the prime minister, I will because we still have issues to discuss.”
Following the victory of the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) at the December 6 snap general election, Skerrit said he planned to meet with all candidates who contested the poll to see how they can participate in the “national reset that we have spoken about.”
He also said he will meet with the UWP leader although the party boycotted the election on the basis of the lack of electoral reform on the island.
“And of course, I will meet with the leader of the United Workers Party to discuss with him some of his views where the country is concerned,” the prime minister said.
He has already met with all those who opposed his party during the general election and it is unknown at this point when he will actually meet with Dr Fontiane.
But for the UWP leader, the door to a meeting remains open since there are a lot of issues that need to be discussed.
“I want to discuss the issue of electoral reform with him,” he pointed out. “I want to discuss the issue of the fact that more than eight members of the UWP are before the courts, including myself. I would like to discuss the issue of the number of persons from the village of Salisbury who are before the courts, I would like to discuss the issue of he major divisions in the country.”
He stated that these are issues which he thinks they can have a good discussion about in the best interest of Dominica.
“So yeah, I am looking forward to that discussion,” Dr Fontaine said.
However, he was mindful that many of his supporters are “adamant” that such conversation should not take place.
“But I honestly believe that there is nothing to be lost by speaking, especially where you are speaking about the issues that will ultimately bode well for the country,” he remarked.
He blamed such unwillingness to speak to the prime minister on the toxic atmosphere in the country but he believes it is his role to cool thing down.
“A number of them say that we should not meet because he has not been fair to the opposition,” Dr Fontaine, who was elected UWP leader on November 27, said. “A lot of it has to do with the recent atmosphere in the country, very toxic between the opposition and the ruling DLP and part of my role in all of this is to lower the temperature. You know, say after all we are all Dominicans, we can agree to disagree on policy issues. We can agree to disagree on how best we can move the country forward and at the end of the day we should not be at each other’s throats. We should really behave as Dominicans, be kind to each other, reach out to each other, love each other and really be one big family. And that is what I have been pushing and I think, also, that this is one of the reasons why I have gained so much support in those three weeks because people understand that I am sincere in my intentions to unite Dominica and Dominicans…”