Former President of the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM), Loftus Durand is encouraging the Dominican public to turn out in large numbers outside Parliament today to call for electoral reform.
The CCM has been actively advocating for electoral reform in Dominica since January 2018, through its weekly radio programmes, public education campaign, and a number of public protests against such issues as the government’s proposed amendment to the Elections Act.
“Outside our parliamentary building where laws are supposed to be enacted, to ensure that at least that very long drawn out situation of electoral reform, just making the process free and fair, putting the mechanism in place that, that will be done,” he said.
He continued, “So whenever the next [general] election is called in Dominica, the Dominican population, by and large, should be much more satisfied…”
Durand added, “February 7, 2023, that is the first sitting of parliament. We are calling the people of Dominica out, we are not calling party supporters, we are calling on Dominicans, those of you who believe in your country, those of you who believe in democracy, come out and be counted on that day.”
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit told a press conference last week that consultation with the renowned Caribbean jurist, Sir Dennis Byron took place on Monday, January 23.
He described that engagement as “very constructive” where they both looked at some of the recommendations.
“I really have no difficulties with the recommendations,” Skerrit stated. “I have reminded him of the urgency of getting it out of the way. Ideally, the Government would like to go to parliament before the next session of parliament, that is to say before June 30, 2023.”
The prime minister said Byron indicated to him that, “all things considered, he believes we can go to parliament in April of this year to pass the necessary legislation.”
Meantime, members of parliament will take the oath of allegiance at the First Meeting of the First Session of the Eleventh Parliament this morning.
President of Dominica, His Excellency Charles Savarin will deliver an address while Prime Minister Skerrit is expected to present proclamations for the dissolution of parliament.