COMMENTARY: Save Dominica’s Democracy

Dominicans will go to the polls on December 6, 2019, with the will and the need to save the nation. But will the votes of Dominicans actually count?

The people will cast their votes in the face of an incumbent Government which has demonstrated that it will circumvent Dominican law, spurn public outrage, and defy the recommendations of the international community in order to stay in office.

The Commonwealth Dominica is an independent nation in the Eastern Caribbean with membership in the Caribbean Community(CARICOM), the Commonwealth of Nations, and the Organization of American States (OAS). On or about September 27, 2019, those international organizations rendered a report on electoral reform to the Government of Dominica.

Those recommendations included:

  1. Cleansing the electoral list of dead and non-resident nationals absent from the country for more than 5 years
  2. Issuance of voter ID cards
  3. The institution of measures to ensure that overseas voters, not within the bounds of the electoral law, are not allowed to vote.

On or about September 27, 2019, Dominica’s Attorney General, Levi Peter, immediately rejected the report as unacceptable and impracticable. That, despite numerous calls by the Parliamentary Opposition and the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) that the three recent elections on Dominica had been tainted by bribery of voters, the importation of voters from overseas who did not meet the residency requirements and credible claims of voting by persons using names of persons long deceased.

These common-sense recommendations to ensure that Dominican elections would be free and fair were not new or radical. They have been proposed consistently over the years, and the Government and its Administration have had ample time to ensure that Dominica could be a model of electoral fairness and transparency.

On November 5, 2019 in a stunning rejection of the recommendations of the international organizations to which Dominica belongs, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit moved to dissolve Parliament and called general elections for December 6, 2019. Prime Minister Skerrit acted in brazen violation of the tenets of democracy and rule of law. He acted with wanton disregard of the recommendations made by those international organizations to which Dominica claims association, and from which it gains its legitimacy.

Mr. Skerrit’s actions were despotic and tyrannical in that they came in the midst of calls by the Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lennox Linton and others that he the Prime Minister account for an estimated $1.2-billion dollars missing from Dominica’s 2018/2019 passport sales. The Government of Dominica not only refused to account for the missing State funds, but is using those funds to mount a lavish campaign of vote rigging preparations by enrolling non-citizens and others on the voter rolls, using publicly-owned media and state resources exclusively for the benefit of the ruling Dominica Labour Party and contracting with airlines and marine carriers to transport foreign-based voters to the polls at no charge to those voters.

Such actions are, prima facie, in defiance of the Constitution which was created to protect the rights of Dominican citizens.

The actions of the ruling Dominica Labour Party threaten social peace on the island, undermines rule of law, eviscerates our democratic tradition and prevents the pursuit of free and fair elections. We, therefore, call on the United Nations and, the international organizations which made the fair and just electoral reform recommendations, to condemn the calling of elections by the Skerrit regime without reform.

Further, we ask that CARICOM, the Commonwealth and the OAS immediately arrange to send election observers to Dominica to ensure that our democracy and rule of law is preserved. This must, of necessity, be an observer mission with deep ability to probe not merely the conduct of election-day events, but also to ensure that the electoral rolls have been verified; that vote counting is assured to be free from rigging; and that the electoral authorities themselves are able to be certified as being free from coercion or bias.

Finally, we ask that all freedom-loving nations and traditional allies act to bring pressure to bear on the Government to ensure that free and fair elections are held on Dominica, come December 6, 2019.

It is clear that neither the Dominican public nor the international community will tolerate, support, or deal with a Government which has no legitimacy and which has shown no respect for domestic or international law.

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  1. Lin clown
    November 17, 2019

    NEVER read any commentary by DNO about.The Dominica University of Medical Sciences.The Housing Revolution.The NEP.How Clear Harbour got to Dominica.The Rise and Fall of the Layou 5 Star Hotel.The road net work and the Yes We Care.No comments about BRIBING Dominicans by UWP with $25,000.I WONDER WHY.

    ADMIN: There is no need to be so disingenuous. You yourself (or at least this same name) commented critically about Lennox and UWP under this article about the $25,000 offer to each household:

    If you were referring to a commentary that we published that is critical then this one criticizes Linton for his offer of $25,000:

    Note that commentaries are not the opinion of DNO, anyone can submit a commentary.

    We receive and publish commentaries that are pro labour or pro UWP and everything beyond and in between. If you have a commentary you can submit it to:

  2. Aurora
    November 17, 2019

    U cannot come to a country to vote and pass as a deceased person that’s absurd not in Dominica in this country every body knows everybody. Stupes.

  3. I love my own space
    November 16, 2019

    I would advice that if we do not have the cleaning of the voters list and Voters ID Cards by the 6th of december 2019, that anyone coming into the polling station should show some form of photo ID e.g. a valid Dominican passport or social security card etc.

  4. Justice Herbert Volney
    November 16, 2019

    There is a statement purportedly of fact in this missive that is palpably defamatory of the Government, the Prime Minister, and the Dominica Labour Party.
    I say no more at this time.
    Herbert Volney

    • Triple kkk
      November 17, 2019

      Your comment is of no value and do is your vale threat Everyone knows you to be a DLP operative.

    • Ibo France
      November 18, 2019

      Justice Herbert Volney
      The correct thing should be: Ex- Justice Herbert ‘Useless’ Volney. The Trinidadian Government got rid of you. Great Riddance!

  5. November 16, 2019

    If a comment is not in DNO favor they don’t display it that is not fear why should one have to question about comment when it is not degrading

    ADMIN: ????? We had several hundred comments come in recently, in a relatively short space of time which took longer than usual to moderate them all. Check again your comment should now be posted.

  6. Charlo must GO
    November 16, 2019

    Why is it that the Dominica Labour Party, Labourites and President Charles Savarin are not concerned about preserving our democracy as Dominicans? What is wrong with these people? Have they collectively lost their minds? Have they all been possessed by an evil force? I am wondering, how does this blatant attack on our democracy by the Labour Party and our President benefit them? How? Money? Power? What they are doing must be of benefit to them, because it certainly does not benefit us as a nation.

  7. November 16, 2019

    As long as there is no Accountability & Transparency in Government generally the incumbent cannot lose an Election in our Never to be Developed Countries Post Independence in our Region Institutions that were not destroyed/dismantled were compromised There was no meaningful continuity in the Public Service With no Productivity as whole we went from a Nation of Producers to a Nation of Consumers hence the stress on the Environment We moved from a Nation of Functional Illiterates to Dysfunctional Literates We pay a high price for that forgetting there’s Dignity in Labour UWI has not focused Research and Development in our Plants & Herbs but instead think about a $100,000,000.00 US Loan for CCJ The intellectuals have failed us miserably Our people will always be misled & abused for the sake of wanting “to eat ah food” Generally do our Professionals give value for money “u mad or wat” Check the quality of our Health Care our Infrastructure our Development Projects The Lumpen Proletariats

  8. November 16, 2019

    I am glad that DNO allowed the truth to be told about the possible use of the missing 1.2 billion dollars that could have benefitted Dominica in so many way; instead of one person using it for his benefit to stay in power and enrich himself and his cronies

  9. November 16, 2019

    If it my time Jehovah
    Jireh My Provider
    Here am I Lord
    Send me
    Psalms 139
    Isaiah 55
    Jeremiah 1
    2 Timothy 4-1-8

  10. RandyX
    November 16, 2019

    In my opinion this is the last chance for Dominica to free itself from this tyrant and free itself from corruption, nepotism, general unfairness and exorbitant incompetence by its government in general and Skerrit in particular.

  11. Danziger
    November 15, 2019

    You all want to DAYMATAY LABOURITES take yr CONSEIL and bring it to Matt in the morning. YOU PLAYING SMART ummm we smart TOO,

  12. Insomnia
    November 15, 2019

    This election on December 6 (if there is one) we looking out for the voting deads, we looking out for all Haitians that will be lining up to commit crime against us Dominicans who have welcomed or rescued them from……. and the big one, we doing like what they did in St. Kitts— no plane landing.. :mrgreen:

  13. November 15, 2019

    always want to think Dominican are the dimmest people in the world now you want to tell me you just up and say I come to vote and no one ask you no question it does not happen like that why don’t you try it what is a voters ID all it is an ID card do you have a drivers license or a picture ID that’s all it is can you imagine an ID for every thing drivers license passport fishing license hunting license come people give your country a better grade than that now one more thing what is A NONE DOMINICAN US.CITIZEN where are you from if you were born in Dominica you are a Dominican if you are a citizen of America and from Dominica you are both US & DA.citizen because we do have dual citizen ship lets get educated folks don’t have people laughing at us.

  14. Da to d bone
    November 15, 2019

    DNO Why you did not asked Druand to take our tge caveat and let the process of election reform continue?
    Shame on you ….double standards..

  15. Truth
    November 15, 2019

    When the truth is spoken it is not necessary to hide your identity. That is if you believe what you pen
    Think DNO, in the interest of the “law of sunshine”. The “patriots” who pen these truths, must be brave enough to be identified.

  16. November 15, 2019

    I will say it again there is no money missing jump hi jump low this was made up by Linton he should have spent more time on a manifesto instead of this negative gossip now he trying to buy votes by saying he will give every house hold $25,000 if he win and get the money back now if he get the money would he give it up
    I would like to know what a cheap shot.

  17. Not Now
    November 15, 2019

    DNO, you have pulled every possible trick in the book, but listen to us we fully understand, we can comprehend, we are not walking with our eyes closed. Most of us Dominicans are well educated, therefore, we have researched and we are satisfied with the DLP. Your behavior and bombardment of Fake New won’t change our perspective on the DLP. Now as a professional, I will not choose a smooth talking HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT to be my representative. Yes DLP has faulted, choosing Lenox Linton as a substitute is outrageously idiotic. I spent six years in freezing cold to hundred degrees plus weather, so therefore, my education was not in vain. DNO count your losses and be better prepared, we are in The 21st century. Really you want to push a high school dropout down our throats. We a better than DAT!

  18. Ibo France
    November 15, 2019

    This commentary is perfectly spot on. It’s pellucid, corruption, cheating, the wanton abuse of the State’s funds and resources is used by the incumbent political party for the sole purpose of bribing their way to another undeserving win at the polls. I will repeat Haiti, Romania, Bolivia, Belarus, Dominica are some of the poorest countries in the world. Governmental Corruption got them there. Dominicans can never achieve their God given capability, a comfortable standard of living, once Skerrit led Administration retains control over the revenues of the country.

  19. Lin clown
    November 15, 2019

    Another piece of HOGWASH from DNO another UWP PUPPET.DNO ,UWP will Lose the election because with support from you,they refused to help the people of Dominica.The UWP have constantly called the DOMINICAN PEOPLE,Hungry,Beggers,Prostitues,Lazy.You have campaigned against the Government for years.You have posted unsubstantiated accusations against the Government,not even bordering to use the word ALLEGE.A recommendation was made to the Government it is a recommendation not the LAW.The law say to remove a person name from the VOTERS list there MUST BE AN OBJECTION,unless the person is dead.You,DNO has yet to produce evidence of a DEAD PERSON VOTING.Stop your BS about democracy.Registered Dominicans are going to vote against your UWP.If there was no democracy in Dominica your BUSINESS and the other UWP TRAITORS would be closed.

  20. The Truth Be Told
    November 15, 2019

    DNO where is my comment? And you are not even saying it is the Leader of the Opposition who wrote this article. Elsewhere it says who wrote this article. A good thing I do not listen to rumours and I read all and sundry. Why did u not say the article was written by Lennox Linton the Leader of the Opposition? We need answers. What is your role in the outcome of the election? May the best win with God’s help. God sees, hears and knows all. blessed day to you DNO. where is my comment? Why is it not there? I do not insult nor be disrespectful. I love facts. The Truth Be told. I think for me.

    DNO you should be one who encourages truth. Publish truth and encourage your reading public to be truthful at all times. Eradicate hatred from their vocabulary. U know is love we should love one another.
    Peace too to our country at this time leading to election. Do not discard my comment. Thanks DNO.

    ADMIN: We had several hundred comments come in, in a relatively short space of time which took more time than usual to moderate them all. Check again your comment should now be posted.

  21. Dancea
    November 15, 2019

    The biggest threat to democracy in our country is the barrenness and absolute embarrassment of our supposed main Opposition Party. The (obviously unbiased) writer had better spend his time fixing this major problem in time for the 2024 election.

  22. %
    November 15, 2019

    Skerrit’s corrupt practices re the way that election is conducted is supported by a section of the police service, one of our failed institution, and that is unfortunate.. Have the churches spoken out enough? It’s not too late! What I can sense this time around is a more determined public trying to react against this unfair and tainted election.Yes it’s already tainted, even before we go to the polls!!!
    Interesting times lie ahead, but our democracy does not belongs to one corrupt man!
    Whey is di money?
    Whey is di money?
    Whey is di money?

  23. Dancea
    November 15, 2019

    Must agree with the writer, (whoever it is), that the upcoming General Election will not reflect the will of the people. How can it — since it is the will of the [people that they be governed by Lennox, Spaags, Joshua, Monelle, Bazille, Soso and Lugay. What a bunch!

  24. Bring back the kidnapped Dominican parrots
    November 15, 2019

    All ballot boxes need to be watched like a hawk and a team of international observers need to be stationed at all polling places and to keep out the goon squads dressed in camouflage playing soldier from intimidating voters into voting a certain way. Tight security also must be maintained on the voting boxes with strict chain of custody, do not let the boxes out of the eyes of poll watchers. including the counting of votes. All incoming flights loaded down with paid voters should also be stopped at the airport.

  25. Lorraine GAYEWSKI
    November 15, 2019

    Thank you DNO and all LAW abiding citizens of Dominica to not accept what has transpired in past elections for the future of nature isle residents. It is past time to get democratic votes counted only for eligible persons with voter ID recognition. As a non Dominican US citizen I can come down, vote using a deceased person’s name and NO ONE can dispute who I claim to be since no voter ID needed. Change is a must for honest votes.

    • Dominican person
      November 15, 2019

      stay your behind where you are a citizen of and pay attention to the atrocity you have as a president.
      Dominicans know well its the OPP who blocked the reform in Parliament. why didn’t they cry reform when they won? and reform or not. The people have spoken for the past 20 years ..THE SAME WAY! Annddd they will speak ‘RED’ again! so sit down and mind you business NON DOMINICAN person!

    • The Truth Be Told
      November 15, 2019

      Prove what u say? Have u ever seen a dead person vote? There are agents representing every party. Dominica is so small that mostly everyone knows the other. There are other picture identification (SS) Passport, Driver license etc. Why GAYEWSKI u try to make us look foolish. When your preffered party won back then wasn’t it fair & free? You live in a bubble with your minds battling to make excuses for everything. Change your mindset. Voter ID because you know that it is a big exercise to have all the illegible voters with ID. What u and your cohorts think is mishief so perhaps some students, those away for perhaps medical or on vacation would not be able to get a card which will work to your favour. Alas u people sick!

    • Bravo
      November 15, 2019

      Listen, we do not want this bunch of power hungry destroyers in power and that’s that period . d evidence is there for d same international community to see. We gave them a chance in 1995 and they utterly almost wiped out our country and economy with their recklessness. Y do u think for the past twenty years the governing party keeps winning time and time again? I mean come on. The labour party keeps winning by thousands of votes more than the UWP. Not just a small margin but a huge one. We don’t want these people to return to destroy what the Labour party has worked so hard to build along with the citizens of Dominica and if u or the international community can’t accept that then too bad. We have our national laws that govern us and don’t need any international group coming to dictate what we should and should not do. Our elections are won by a Democratic process and whoever thinks otherwise then tell them back off and leave us b. Skertit is loved by Dominicans period

    • Da to d bone
      November 15, 2019

      Nonsense…the masses will endorse the government for 5 more years

    November 15, 2019

    Do whatever all you want…go in circles repeatedly at the roundabout in fort young after midnight…say whatever you all want….write to all organisations you all can think of but remember this…..LABOUR PARTY WILL WIN THE ELECTION ON DEC. 6th….

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