Final proposal for Electoral Reform plagued by delays

(L-r) PM Skerrit, Sir Byron

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has expressed disappointment in the delay of the final proposal from Sir Dennis Byron to modernize Dominica’s electoral system.

Sir Byron was tasked by the Government of Dominica to be the sole commissioner to advance efforts towards electoral reform in Dominica.

“In respect to Electoral Reform I wish to assure you that we remain committed to the passage of the necessary legislation in Parliament to modernize Dominica’s electoral system,” Prime Minister Skerrit said during a press briefing held recently. “I will say to you that I am very disappointed that as of April 21, 2023, I have not received the final set of proposals to advance to the public and ultimately the Parliament of Dominica.”

He said however, this is by no means a criticism of the efforts of Sir Dennis Byron, “but more of a commentary on challenges besetting us in a Post-Covid environment and the backdrop of the tremendous consultations and research that go into the preparation of the needed report on subsequent recommendations.”

The Prime Minister shares the general view that this is a matter that must be addressed with urgency.

And according to him, upon the receipt of the report, the necessary consultations will be conducted in an expedited manner as much as possible with the objective of implementing the recommendations to the satisfaction of the Dominican populace.

“As a matter of fact I took the opportunity on the margin of the recent symposium in Trinidad to update CARICOM Heads on our efforts with regard modernization of the electoral process and also seeking the further involvement of the CARICOM Secretariat in the effort of advancing the Electoral Reform process in Dominica,” he stated.

He added, “Ideally I really want to see this thing done with and set aside and we focus our energies on our resources, on other equally important issues confronting the Dominican population.”

The Prime Minister hopes that “very soon” his government shall receive the final set of recommendations and present it to the Dominican population for consultation.

In the letter dated November 6, 2022, Sir Byron – a former President of the Caribbean Court of Justice, former Chief Justice of the OECS Supreme Court, and Privy Councilor, who was appointed by the government to investigate and advise on the issue of electoral reform- revealed to the former leader of the United Workers Party (UWP), Lennox Linton that he will be presenting his long-awaited report in two phases.

“Phase I will deal with the Registration of Electors and Phase II with the Election Process. I am in the final stage of the Phase I report,” he said in the letter copied to Mr. Duncan Stowe, Chairman of the Electoral Commission.

In the said letter, Byron acknowledged that his engagement “carries the expectation of bridging the sharp divisions of opinion that have handicapped the completion of this reform exercise.”

Against this background, he declared that legislative support is required to give effect to the recommended reforms, noting that the existing legislation is “quite old, and it has been a flashpoint for political disagreement and community dissatisfaction.”

Sir Byron also highlights in the letter that consultation took longer than anticipated as it was characterized by robust discussion and even resulted in several modifications to drafts of the proposed legislative instruments.

He went on to point out that the draft legislation which was presented to Linton has the consensus of the Commission.

As such the Caribbean jurist noted, “I will present Phase I report during the month of November 2022. Parliament tables the Register of Elector’s legislation in December 2022 with the plan to enact it in January 2023, so that the Register of Electors could be compiled in accordance with the recommendations during that calendar year.”

He noted further, “I will present Phase II of the Report, after a consultation process similar to that undertaken for Phase I in February/ March 2023. Parliament tables and enacts the Phase II legislation in March/ April 2023.”

Byron, who spoke to state-owned Radio DBS last year, revealed that the process has been taking longer than he had anticipated and would not be ready in 2021, as initially promised, and instead gave a new target date of January 2022.

This present delay with the recommendation isn’t the first that the public has experienced since Skerrit broke the news of Sir Byron’s assignment at the swearing-in of his new cabinet in December 2019.

The process, which was originally due to commence in March 2020, finally got off the ground on February 1, 2021, with over 35 organisations, including political parties, recognized civic groups, and non-governmental organisations, invited to make written submissions by Thursday, February 11.

The Prime Minister had initially announced that Sir Dennis would visit Dominica in March 2020 on an “information-gathering exercise and once he comes into Dominica, he will be exposed to all the relevant stakeholders including the media.”

The onset of COVID-19, which led to the closure of borders, forced a change of plans, and the start of the process was rescheduled to September 1, 2020, with an end date in December of the same year. However, DNO was told that the eminent jurist refused to begin unless the Electoral Commission was properly constituted.

The original plan called for a series of town hall meetings with the public, but with COVID-19 many of the consultations and citizens’ surveys on electoral reform were held virtually.

Copyright 2012 Dominica News Online, DURAVISION INC. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

Disclaimer: The comments posted do not necessarily reflect the views of and its parent company or any individual staff member. All comments are posted subject to approval by 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:

  • contain any material which violates or infringes the rights of any person, are defamatory or harassing or are purely ad hominem attacks
  • a reasonable person would consider abusive or profane
  • contain material which violates or encourages others to violate any applicable law
  • promote prejudice or prejudicial 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 off-topic and/or excessively long

See our full comment/user policy/agreement.


  1. Batibou
    May 2, 2023

    Right from the onset I knew it would end like that. Skerrit was desperate at the time so he splashed our a huge sum on somebody with a fairly good name. Once Skerrit was in possession of the report/suggestions he put his own version into it. The other one isn’t happy about that, nor should he be, nor should the citizens of DA be happy about it. Once again, that charlatan is trying to pull the wool over your heads. Hands up who still trusts that CM with the disappearing dimples.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
  2. Bad Negros
    April 27, 2023

    Two Negros to never trust. Satan puts the future of the Dominican people in the hand of his Demon. But I keep asking myself this question over and over again….WHERE ARE THE DOMINICAN PEOPLE, NUH? Where have the gone? Are they so satisfied with crumbs that they are will to forfeit the blessings of this country and the bright future of their children? You who are complacent and you who are lacking in morals, will one day walk the streets of Dominica with both your hands on your head. But I know full well, that the TRUE PATRIOTS of this blessed land will not allow foreigners to dictate to us, won’t allow foreigners to throw us out of our homeland. Chinese are trying us but they will be surprised. Those hungry hyenas are are bent on selling our country…we have news for you – you will not succeed. Hungry murderers and evil to the bone. Hell is waiting for you all like Dives. Homo quidam erat dives. Your money will be the fuel that burns you in Hell. Take your hands off Dominica!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0
  3. Lin clown
    April 26, 2023

    You are right L C,when you have the support of the majority,and you pay attention to a handful of rabbid dogs with flees,then your A is grass.Skerrit does not have to block electoral reform.Mr.Jacka electoral reform is a recommendation .Every team of election observers has said Dominica election is free and fair and has ALWAYS reflected the will of the people.It is a corrupt team of power hungry LOSERS who a bursting braincells about electoral reform.The majority of Dominicans are hearing but not taking the fake news,gossiping,propagandists serious.Same BS different day.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 14
  4. Lin clown
    April 26, 2023

    The Dominican PEOPLE has never asked for electoral reform.The Dominican PEOPLE are not interested in electoral reform.We the PEOPLE are asking Mr.Skerrit to leave election reform alone.Election reform will come when it will come.Allow all DON keys to bray.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 12
  5. Man bite dogs
    April 26, 2023

    When the electoral reform put into place I want to see how you big mouth running nasties handle it.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 12
  6. If we knew better
    April 26, 2023

    alas wi. All you still banking on that? Even the man he brought in to make it seem like some reform was actually being considered is frustrated with you Skerro. We know what you need to do. purge the list, provide the id cards, ammend laws if need be. How many recommendations will you need. Then again we all know mr. doesnt do anything unless it is beneficial to him.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  7. MEME
    April 26, 2023

    I have already given up on Electoral Reform. I will take no more tear gas as i did next to McMillan gas station, i stop walking on Wednesdays. I will read, but not listen to talk shows. It does not worth it…We bla! bla! bla! on TALK SHOWS and peddle Skerrit’s agenda only, when the ONLY thing on the TALK SHOW i am alluding to, should be ELECTORAL REFORM..
    The opposition is weak, the UWP is weak, and the UWP supporters are largely responding to anything Skerrit says… We solve matters/issues one at a time…We have no opposition leaders that can mobilise, and that’s shameful. UWP contested 21 constituencies in 2019. Each candidate can’t even mobilise 30 people to follow them at a demonstration or protest, to total 630!! They rely only on Q95!!
    WEAK! WEAK! WEAK! Skerrit is laughing!!
    I am no “Labourite” or “UWPite”, or any other “ite”, i am just a Dominican!!!

  8. L C Matthew
    April 26, 2023

    When you play with a tick infested dog you will surely get ticks yourself. This guy stained his reputation for a few dollars. Byron should have known from day one he should not have gotten involved in another country internal affairs and should be wise enough to realize he was played in the game of deception.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 3
  9. Lin clown
    April 26, 2023

    Fools are fools,but it does not mean fools cannot learn.The majority of Dominicans are NOT interested in electoral reform.The bums continue to preach electoral reform to a majority that’s not listening.The people talking electoral reform are the ones who rejoiced and celebrated the destruction of Dominica after Maria some ran away and are now Prodigal sons.Electoral reform will come when it will come.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 12
  10. Pipo
    April 26, 2023

    One cannot escape the notion that mr. Skerrit so far has not been successful in swaying Sir Byron to modify his proposals to fit in with the P.M.’s designs and therefore feels unable to put these unedited proposals to the House for approval. Whatever inducements he offered to Sir Byron, if any, evidently have not persuaded the gentleman to modify his recommendations for electoral reform and may well find the P.M. snookered. So be it!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
    • Marie
      April 28, 2023

      I would agree with you. If one would ask me who I would trust, it’s no competition. Byron would always get my vote. Skerrit is a lying and cheating demon that can’t be trusted.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
    April 25, 2023

    A person who lies hates the individual they are lying to (Proverbs 26:28). And if you hate another human being, God views the hater as a murderer (1 John 3:15; 1 John 4:20). God hates the sin of lying because it is deceptive.

    False prophets and teachers are equally condemned.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1
  12. Goolus
    April 25, 2023

    Boy look at trash I reading there! This guy is so dumb and thinks that everyone else is like him. Now, he is disappointed for the delay, but not in Denis Buyrum. But in the post Covid-19 saga. But we’ll make it after all. Bad days and people are just for a short time.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1
  13. Ibo France
    April 25, 2023

    Let us assume that Roosevelt’s hiring, Dennis Byron.completes his highly paid assignment, the report of electoral reform. It will be compromised. Nothing Roosevelt is involved in is ever above board. Why do I say this? He brought in CARICOM, Commonwealth and the OAS elections experts. They did a thorough job, presented creditable document, and the unscrupulous autocrat openly rejected it.

    Mr. Byron, if he were a person of integrity, he would have declined Lying Roosevelt $500K offer. The final report, when it is eventually placed in the public domain, will be soundly disapproved by ALL right-thinking, patriotic citizens.

    Roosevelt is an algebra Liar. He figures two good lies make a positive.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3
  14. Chantelle
    April 25, 2023

    Wow, this man is a liar! He even manages to keep a straight face nowadays. OMG

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 2
    • Mimmy
      April 26, 2023

      Dominica needs to get rid of the CM. He lies to all of us looking in our eyes. Total disrespect. We deserve better!!!!

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2
  15. Jonathan Y St Jean
    April 25, 2023

    Despite the glowing accolades given to Dennis Byron, the proof of the pudding is in eating the darn thing. Dennis has proven to us that he is not to be trusted. Five additional months have gone by since November 22nd. and he’s yet to keep his word. He should be asked to repay a portion of the sweetheart deal the “me-the-people” leader gave him for each additional month he doesn’t hand over the goods. Dennis and Skerritt are two peas in a pod. Liar, liar your pants are on fire.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1
    • MEME
      April 26, 2023

      @Jonathan Y St Jean
      Very frank and sensible comment. Support you fully…Let Dominicans keep being blinkered and blind.

    • WonTon
      April 26, 2023

      I think that you should find out what Skerrit said, if anything, about the recommendations made by Byron on the draft laws for registering people.

      It seems to be that it’s Skerrit that is not be trusted. He has had the report now for months.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0
  16. MEME
    April 25, 2023

    I do not see any ELECTORAL REFORM before the next poll in 2027. Skerrit sets the agenda. He bombards Dominicans with all kind of juicy stories, geothermal, airport project, apartments, how he loves Dominica, and Dominican children, etc, etc, and even those who were clamouring for reform dance to his tunes!!!
    Skerrit is smarter than you all (not me)!!!..
    Juice give them “BEF”w and they forget about reform!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0
    • WonTon
      April 26, 2023

      I agree with you. I think that the government is trying to see how they can block some of the recommendations from being implemented.

      For example, I don’t think that the move to remove the requirement for Dominican passport holders to fill in the ED form was a simple one. And even not stamping the passport when persons leave the country.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
    • Ibo France
      April 26, 2023

      Even if this long overdue electoral reform report is finally handed over for public consumption, it’s not going to worth the paper it is written on, nor the time it takes to peruse it.

      Nothing Roosevelt does inspire confidence in the systems and organs of government. It is strictly to cement himself in the hierarchy of government until death do part.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

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