Toronto-based Dominican Justice Dr. Irving Andre is of the view that Dominicans who have resided abroad for five years should not be allowed to vote during General Elections.
He made the remarks during a series of consultations on electoral reform for members of the diaspora held at the State House Conference Center on Thursday night.
“You have hundreds of persons in the diaspora, many of whom have been abroad for 10, 15, 20,25 years having the ability to come to Dominica, courtesy of a free ticket to vote and to go right back,” he remarked. “Because it is the same reason that justifies why in other Eastern Caribbean countries you have that stipulation.”
Dr. Andre continued, “Persons who have been away from the jurisdiction for five years should be removed from the voters list.”
According to him, this is to preserve the integrity of the vote and to enable those who live in Dominica to have the benefit of choosing which political entity should in fact win the polls.
“It is why furthermore in November 2018 the then Attorney General of St Kitts, a gentleman by the name of Mr. [Vincent]Byron, he recommended that the legislation should be changed to ensure that only St Kitts, ordinary residents in St Kitts and Nevis at the time of the elections should have the right to vote,” Dr. Andre explained.
He continued, “He said why should 20 percent of the voting public living abroad… have the untrammeled discretion to decide an election and go back the next day after election? It is patently unfair.”
The consultations on electoral reform will resume next week.