Open Letter: Prevent political bloodshed in Dominica

November 25, 2019

 

Luis Almagro

Secretary General

Organization of American States

 

H.E. Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

CARICOM Election Observation Mission (CEOM)

communications@caricom.org

 

Gaston Browne

OECS Chairman

 

Open Letter: Prevent Political Bloodshed in HaitiVenezuelaBolivia Dominica

Dear Sirs,

Nine days away from national elections, Dominica is locked in an electoral crisis that risks devolving into deadly violence. Protestors are resolute in their demands for electoral reform after enduring more than 10 years of patient action and broken promises form the government. The government of Dominica seems committed to using any means necessary to curtail civic dissent and carryout an openly flawed election. Unfortunately, your calls for peace and offers to observe an election already proven to be corrupt are woefully insufficient to ensure a peaceful and just election cycle.

To prevent political bloodshed in Dominica, regional organizations need to provide technical assistance to support our electoral commission in cleansing the voter list before the nation goes to vote. Our constitution allows 90 days from the dissolution of parliament to hold elections, leaving a narrow but feasible window of opportunity for regional organizations to act. If your organization is committed to a peaceful election, preventative action on electoral reform in Dominica is the only reasonable course to ensure free, fair, and peaceful elections.

Electoral violence in Latin America and the Caribbean region is a real and pertinent issue, with regional bodies seemingly intensifying efforts only after lives are lost. Dominicans do not want to join the ranks of nations experiencing political violence, when our constitution clearly outlines the procedures to enact reform before elections are held.

We ask that you intercede in Dominica’s electoral crisis now by providing technical support to the President of Dominica and the Electoral Commission to postpone elections until the voters list is cleansed, and/or the institution of Voter ID cards is enacted. Without these measures, Dominica’s peace remains fragile, as citizens are no longer willing to risk another fraudulent election with results that are deleterious to their standard of living.

The call for electoral reform did not begin with the recent spate of protests. Consider that:

  • In 2012, the Government of Dominica promised the issuance of National ID Cards, but never upheld this commitment;
  • The 2014 election was conducted with a severely bloated voter list, as noted by the OAS, along with importation of hundreds – if not thousands – of overseas residents to vote.
  • Between 2014 and 2019, several protests, town hall meetings, petitions, and open letters were conducted to persuade the government to implement the needed electoral reforms, all to no avail.
  • This year, 1,343 objections to names on the voters list were submitted, and are constitutionally bound to be reviewed before the official list is published.
  • Dominicans desiring a peaceful resolution to this electoral crisis have created petitions with wide support for a postponement of elections. One such petition can be accessed here: http://chng.it/CvY8dDvyqN

Dominican citizens have grown weary and frustrated with an electoral process that is in open opposition to electoral laws, and results in the stagnancy of their economy and standard of living. In a period when the rest of the Caribbean has enjoyed economic growth with record-breaking accomplishments in the field of tourism, many Dominicans make less than $2 USD an hour and rely on migration as the pathway to personal economic improvement.

Our region is small, and any crisis that occurs in Dominica will impact its neighboring islands as history has repeatedly confirmed. If your organization truly desires peace in Dominica, and the region by extension, it is incumbent upon your organization to help usher in electoral reform in Dominica, NOW.

 

Sincerely,

Cherry Pacquette and Concerned Dominican Citizens

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19 Comments

  1. look it
    December 1, 2019

    RE:_ Hurricane Maria. whether it was Skerrit or Linton as PM,he took risks,create chances, negotiate well and done well, in order to rebuild Dominica. Three cheers. He should have had a run away victory in the general election. Due to lack of discipline with subordinators,acting on who you know and not what you know,divided the people. Proper records must be kept and obtain signatures where necessary. ALL VISITORS to the PARL REP OFFICE, must be entered in a log book with name ,address and contact numbers.These little mishaps prompt the OPPOSITION LEADER to request for Electoral reform.

  2. November 30, 2019

    The UWP and its acolytes are trying their best to suppress votes using threats of violence and Intimidation, the question is will it work.?

  3. candid
    November 30, 2019

    Dominicans have created a crisis that cannot be rectified by themselves. Being indecent,they will be forced to seek outside help.Dominicans are well known to be living other people lives and not their own. Jesus was nailed to the cross for telling the truth. CBI are develop the country, and they must be listening attentively about their life ,safety and security of their wealth. At the age 18 years one is not sensible enough to know where and how to cast a vote. All needed are observers. The first Doctor was created by observation. Too many cooks spoil a broth.

  4. shrewd
    November 29, 2019

    Win lose or draw Skerrit must GO! not even the world can stop a people movement.

  5. It's MissAlie
    November 29, 2019

    How is an island of 79,000 people could be embroiled in so much entanglements? It’s too much politics, but not enough people who have solutions for anything.
    In the past, Dominicans have been a people who crafted different destinies. For example, bouyon was created in Dominica; the first female Prime Minister in the Caribbean was from Dominica; R. Douglas formulated international relationships with other countries and started a legacy for citizens of Dominica to travel abroad. The island is still very young having secured Independence in 1978.
    How did it get to this? This mayhem of stagnance with inflation still high as ever, and the average Dominican still struggling. The political parties want power, but cannot solve anything. The people of Dominica should demand a different pathway for ALL Dominicans. Release those old political ideologies, which are causing chaos and unrest, and focus on the betterment of Dominica. It’s in our blood to change things.

  6. The Truth Be Told
    November 29, 2019

    It would seem that we are no longer civilised any more. Civil Servants got double salary after hurricane. A first in Dominica. I myself see the onslaught on the PM is a matter of sheer jealousy. God is a merciful God but he is also a God of Judgement. Read the history of the Israelites in the Wilderness. See what disobedience did to them. Thety never saw the promise land. We are not thankful to even God the Creator. For his merciful kindness. Look at what is happennign around us. God does not like war, strife etc. He is a loving God. Why do u all hate Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit so much??? Peace and Love. He is a Dominican like you and I. And you know he has done good. Why Why

    • out of south city
      December 1, 2019

      Do you know that the most religious Christian countries are the ones that have waged war on innocent indigenous lives around the world? Do you know anything about history or do you just read a book that was given to you by Europeans so that you would never emancipate yourself from religion as a black person? Religion and Politics are intertwined. You cannot have one without the other. That’s why the religious institutions have so much control in Politics. Don’t you realise that when these politicians are sworn or inaugurated, they swear on the BIBLE? Open your eyes and brain to see and know what is really going on instead of living such a passive lifestyle that will NEVER get you to HEAVEN
      UNAPOLOGETIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. En BA LA
    November 29, 2019

    I hope with you all OAS reform and calling for preventing violence and blood shed remember
    1. consider remember AMERICA use these words “GRANDFATHERED” I want the GRANDFATHERED IN ON THE VOTERS LIST MOVEMENT STARTED

    Laws that were never enforced how are you so selective – You ARE CLEANSING YOUR VOTERS FROM A LIST. ETHNIC CLEANSING NOW CITIZENS CLEANSING.

    YOU all have submitted and removed peoples names from a list of voters – are you serious? DR. DALE DANGLEBEN there are issues within the HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IN THE UNITED STATES YOU NEED TO ADDRESS – You are a US citizen.

  8. Efficacious
    November 29, 2019

    You had long time commitments and plans, Lady Maria change all that,you had to start all over, in order of priorty.Time is of essence. Election is going ahead without reform. Suppose UWP win the election without reform which I know they will do, would the results stand. The mistake is not Linton, the mistake was taking independence. Sensible people would go quietly and cast their vote and hope for the best. Dominicans are way back behind time. All countries have a system, rules and laws that must be obey by all.

  9. Da
    November 29, 2019

    I also endorse this letter

  10. Eaisy
    November 29, 2019

    it said that the PM is blamed for unproductive UWP leaders. so many of us have to employ foriegner because of poor work principles by some of our people. no matter what it still the voters who decided

  11. Arthur R. Smith
    November 29, 2019

    I wish to be associated with this initiative which I endorse wholeheartedly. From my vantage point, the current situation in Dominica is very, very serious. This is not a cause for spectators. Everyone will be affected if the situation is not given the attention it deserves. The majority of Dominicans want change, but they have lost all confidence in the existing electoral process. This is akin to the “match fixing” phenomenon where the out-come is always predetermined. Dominicans will not accept stolen elections for the fourth (4th) time, consecutively. Therefore in the name of Peace, I give my full support to this petition seeking the intervention, sooner than later, of people focused regional institutions of goodwill, if we are to avert a national disaster likely to occur in this Yuletide Season of “Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards men!”

    • The Truth Be Told
      November 29, 2019

      Arthur the processs they won oin 1990; In the last election they gained three more seats. Arthur get serious. What election was stolen. Since 1960, we have used this method in 1990 the Freedom Party lost most of their seat to the UWP. Come on let us not be biased. New methods have more frauds. I am old enough to know that with all the technological advances, we have more hacking which was uncommon. Stop this foolishness of making it look that election reform can fix things better. What is Election Reform? Dominica is not a very big country. Infact everyone knows each other. Just copy cats u all are. The Country is a very good country but for love of power, some want to become it by any means. Stop the hypocrisy. God does not like ugly. it is 2 years after we were all saved from the fury of Hurricane Maria a Category 6 we can say. Lest u all forget, the hurricane (Dorian)over Bahamas stayed 36 hours (hmmmmm). All of u are forgetting the Creator. God is love

  12. Calibishie Warrior
    November 29, 2019

    “SOME Dominican citizens have grown weary and frustrated with an electoral process that THEY THINK is in open opposition to electoral laws, and results in theIR IMAGINED stagnancy of their economy and standard of living” .. There’s.. I fixed that for you. In the meantime, the rest of us are getting on with the work to develop our country and we will not take kindly to any attempt to deny us our right to self determination on Dec. 6th as provided for by the blood of our foreparents and our constitution. Doubly so if external entities are involved. Please,as the say here, be guided accordingly.

  13. November 29, 2019

    I must add here however. Meny attempt have been made by the Government for electoral reform and the same UWP files an injunction to block the matter in court. I must say. The vas majority don’t care about E-reform. The only people the goes around causing trouble. Is the UWP. Infact. We have seen all the political party govern under the same law which went very peacefully. Dominica has one of the most peacefull collection in the Caribbean. From the time Lynton came into politics and leadership was handed down to him by the ex leader we have seen countless acts of violence.

  14. RandyX
    November 29, 2019

    Skerrit has to go. He is cheating the people of Dominica and has done so for the past 10 years.

  15. My Bad
    November 29, 2019

    Very good letter. The only thing missing is the fact that since during the 2014 election campaign Prime Minister hinted of blood shed if UWP won the election. As we know, it was stolen and the threat of bloodshed was put to rest. However, Skerrit once again resurrected that bloodshed talk earlier this year and unlike last election I don’t believe he can steal it and as a result I can see bloodshed. Since we are bent on preventing him from stealing it this time, I see bloodshed if the OAS in particular do not SOS immediately, since we already know that Gaston Brown and CARICOM are bent on helping Skerrit stay in power by all means necessary.

  16. Johann W. Henry
    November 28, 2019

    I endorse this message
    Johann W. Henry

  17. %
    November 28, 2019

    I fully endorse this letter.. After 10 years no move for Electoral reform?
    Unbelievable!!
    The people will most likely be the ones to determine if this is allowed!!!!
    Skerrit
    Whey is di money?
    Whey is di money?
    Whey is di money?

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