Today, November 9th is nomination day for the upcoming by-election in Grand Bay, carded for November 25th 2021.
Chief election officer, Ian Anthony announced this morning on state-owned DBS Radio that nomination of candidates will be held at the Grand Bay Youth Center from 9am-4pm.
“At Grand Bay between the hours from 9 a.m. and 4 p.m the returning officer for that by election, Mr. John Roach Will be at the Grand Bay youth center and he will receive the nomination papers of persons, who wish to contest elections. That would include the statutory declarations, as well as a deposit of $500 and accompanied by the six persons required to nominate their candidates,” Anthony stated.
Anthony said that once nomination closes, if there is more than one candidate, the by-election will take place on the 25th of November and until then, the rest of the preparations to conduct the election will take place.
He also noted that the electoral office will ensure a safe environment during this pandemic, not just for nomination day but going into the by-election.
“I want to say…that because we are in a pandemic situation, we will take extra precaution where COVID is concerned and then we provide education to electors in terms of the protocols that are being placed. I would also want to say that in terms of a nomination day, we have the protocols from the Ministry of Health and so persons coming into the nomination, would have to have the masks, will be sanitized and will require to maintain that six-foot physical distance.”
Former government minister and diplomat, Dr. Vince Henderson, will be The Dominica Labour Party’s (DLP) candidate for the by-election and Grand Bay bus driver, Julius Gabriel, popularly known as Handbag, has said that he will contest as an independent candidate.
All three opposition political parties on the island have stated that they will not be fielding candidates in the by-election.
The United Workers Party (UWP) which represents the parliamentary opposition said in a press release that it will not be taking part in the by-election but called for the independent candidate ( Julius Gabriel) to be supported by all patriotic, democratic and “honest Dominicans who desire a better Dominica.”
The UWP team said this by-election which it described as a “showdown of Skerrit versus the People of Grandbay” is no place for competition between political parties that will stand in the way of the people of Grandbay uniting as one behind an independent candidate to fight for their independence, their democratic freedoms and the right to choose their own representatives.
The Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) said their decision not to contest is driven by the long awaited implementation of electoral reform in Dominica, which has been widely discussed and championed by the opposition political parties, the Concerned Citizens Movement and a group of civil society organizations.
In stating its reason for not participating, the Executive and members of the Alternative Peoples`Party said the party’s focus at the moment is on institutional building and putting mechanisms in place for the next general election and is also “gravely” concerned about the long outstanding issue of comprehensive electoral reform.