Attorney Gildon Richards and DFP’s Astaphan to represent UWP at panel discussion on electoral process

Richards, Astaphan

Attorney-at-law, Gildon Richards and businessman Michael Astaphan, who is a former leader of the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP), will represent the United Workers Party (UWP) at the national panel discussion on the electoral process to be held from 6:00 p.m today (Wednesday May 22, 2019) at the Goodwill Parish Hall.

This was confirmed to Dominica News Online (DNO) by President of the UWP, Senator Isaac Baptiste. He would not comment further on his party’s selection of representatives for the discussion.

The panel discussion is organized by The Electoral Commission in collaboration with the University of the West Indies Open Campus Dominica and the Dominica State College under the theme ‘The Electoral Process : The Way Forward’.

A release from the Electoral Commission which was issued recently, stated, “It is intended that panellists will include the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, as well as two representatives of the Government side of the House of Assembly and two representatives of the opposition side.”

The release added, “It is anticipated that the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Attorney General will represent the Government side.”

One of the primary objectives of the panel discussion, according to the release, “is to advance the Electoral Commission’s mandate to inform and educate the general public on electoral matters and it has proposed to have the event covered by multiple media houses to allow for maximum reach of the information presented at the event.”

The Commission stated that stakeholders from all sectors of the Dominican society would be invited to send representatives to sit in the audience and to participate in the discussions which will include Parliamentarians, members of the Executive, church and civil society groups, social clubs and academic organisations.

According to the Commission, the discussion will begin with an overview of the topic where each panelist will be provided a maximum of 15 minutes to make their presentation.

 At the end of the presentations, persons in the audience, as well as listeners and viewers via electronic and social media, will be given the opportunity to present any questions to individuals, panelists, or to the entire panel.

In more recent release issued on Tuesday May 21, the Electoral Commission is encouraging “all persons to lay down, for a moment, any entrenched positions and openly, freely listen and on the basis of that, participate in the discourse via the radio, television and social media.”

The release goes on to state, “This process is too important to be examined with bias and we want to encourage doing so in an open forum that values the exchange of ideas on this issue.”

It adds, “We remain hopeful that representatives from both sides of parliament, as have been invited, will join the Chairman of the Electoral Commission in these important discussions.”

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52 Comments

  1. Islander in Texas
    May 23, 2019

    People who are ungrateful and unappreciative get just what they deserve. You people are going to cry blood when Mr. Skerrit leaves office. Look at the US we did not appreciate the previous administration. Now look at what we got – chaos and dysfunction.
    Right now I don’t see anyone in the opposition party with the kind of political know how and influential connections that Mr. Skerrit has. I don’t see any of them capable of standing before the UN Assemble pleading the cause of Dominica after that devastating hurricane Maria and doing so in such an eloquent way – I was very proud to be a Dominican at that moment.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      May 23, 2019

      We got what; if you were not a damn illegal culprit in America, or where you are hiding under some rock you would have a name!
      Roosevelt is not God, he might be a god to those of you and your families who survive on his handouts from the sale of Passports; …………… you would be asking Skerrit how could he allow himself to be fooled by Ralph Gonzales , causing him to spend more than five hundred million dollars on Melville  Hall Airport when he could have built an International Airport in Dominica for less!
      You crave Roosevelt; ask him how he manage to chase Ross University School of Medicine, out of Dominica after forty years?
      Ask him how he manage to chase Harris Paints out after almost sixty years, Colgate Palmolive after thirty years, and every other industry which operated in Dominica before he was born!
      Why don’t you shut up!
      The amount of money people made prior to Trump has not Change Okay!

      • Man bites dogs
        May 24, 2019

        @lslander in Texas, Hi I totally agree with you here in Dominica we have got some very nice people that would do anything for you. And on the other hand there is a cult so-called party pretending to be a political party their leaders and followers are the problem in Dominica Thanks, One love Dominica and Labour administration.

      • Man bites dogs
        May 24, 2019

        @Francisco, My friend you should be ashamed of yourself, do you know about passport money? Asked your friend Linton he will explain it all to you.

        • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
          May 24, 2019

          You are one of them who ran with Roosevelt lie you you know; talking about How Lennox promise EU people when he win election he will give free diplomatic passport to them eh! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

          I doh know who you and Roosevelt believe is dumb enough to believe his lie?
          You perhaps help him fabricate that lie he told about UWP plot to kidnap him in broad daylight with all his China trained para military goons with guns.

          He told you all how the UWP plan to drive to his office stop in the middle of the street, then reverse the truck in front of his office; jump out and grab him leave the truck and get into another vehicle and take off with him at high speed eh; so that his goons cannot catch the UWP abductors.

          Can you imagine; it takes an idiot’s, idiot to fabricate such a lie!
          Only a delusional insane corrupted warped distorted depraved mine could think of something so foolish!
          The man is insane!
          Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhah!
          Oh, well!

    • Ibo France
      May 23, 2019

      Unadulterated garbage!!! What is there to appreciate? Starvation wages, worst healthcare system, pothole diseased roads, astronomical unemployment, virtually dead economy, rampant corruption, thievery, mushrooming vagrancy, mendicancy, no transparency, no accountability, galloping dictatorship, a growing military state, no international news, 18th century port facility, nothing there to crow about. What a day of rejoicing when that corrupt crook exit government office!

  2. Islander in Texas
    May 23, 2019

    People who are ungrateful and unappreciative get just what they deserve. You people are going to cry blood when Mr. Skerrit leaves office. Look at the US, we did not appreciate the previous administration. Now look at what we got – chaos and dysfunction.
    Right now I don’t see anyone in the opposition party with the kind of political know how and influential connections that Mr. Skerrit has. I don’t see any of them capable of standing before the UN Assemble pleading the cause of Dominica after that devastating hurricane Maria and doing so in such an eloquent way – I was very proud to be a Dominican at that moment.

    • Shaka zulu
      May 23, 2019

      You one of those who think that only one person from Dominica that can be eloquent. Your comparisons with US is pure BS. The stock markets doing best, job market doing great except tbey have an idiot that creates crisis and rwplace with the same thing that exist before to claim action. You trying to equate the election of a nuisance that get a golden spoon in his family life and political life and trying his best to destroy. Dominica has a nuisance in office that elevate the talents, gift,and experts of other countries over his own. America has a massive private sector that is doing well. Dominica only has a public sector that only enhanced poverty over the years. Your interpretation of reality is off tangent and based on fear not analysis

    • Man bites dogs
      May 24, 2019

      @lslander in Texas, Hi I totally agree with you here in Dominica we have got some very nice people that would do anything for you. And on the other hand there is a cult so-called party pretending to be a political party their leaders and followers are the problem in Dominica Thanks, One love Dominica and Labour administration.

  3. J Prosper
    May 23, 2019

    I personally don’t think Electoral Reform is the problem in Dominica. Why? because its the same system that placed Patrick John, Dame E Charles, Ed James, Michael/ Roosevelt Douglas and P Charles in power. The real problem is the (opposition Leader)who have not make a good enough case / plans and impression for his party to convince the majority of Dominicans that it is ready to govern. Lennox has failed to make a case good enough case to derail the Skerritt administration. I will give an example. For a very long time now Lennox has been talking about the Selling of passports to vagabonds, dictatorship, one man show, Above the law, Layou river hotel scandal, miss handling of Dominica’s Funds and list goes on. Lennox had all the opportunity to find good lawyers in Dominica and the (OECS) on his side to derail Skerrit. But he had no proof for his allegations. That is where he failed. He just don’t know how win.

  4. Man bites dogs
    May 23, 2019

    I don’t have time for idlers and nasty rattling two heads snakes such as Viewsexpressed, Ibo France, %, Mr know it all Francisco are all big mouths liars and corrupt reptiles, just the same as the opposition leader when you have him on the back foot he would panic by telling people to shut up in a meeting last night this man Linton, is very annoying sick. And if Dominicans are stupid enough to vote ❎ Lennox Linton in office I will tell you people may the Lord have mercy on your Souls. This guy is wicked nasty and a bloody disgrace illiterate hooligan… If DNO don’t wish to post my comment it’s their personal problem I am talking and thinking of my beloved Dominica, who don’t like it tough sxxt.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      May 23, 2019

      You should be worried about all the two head snakes, especially the rattlers, because by the time the 2020 election comes around the two head’s rattlers who are tired with Roosevelt and his (forty sons Ali Baba’s) who cannot keep their fingers off the wealth of the nation are all going to get bit!
      Can you imagine me with my two head teeth sharper than a razor blade biting you and the other red devils in your behind, then I will use the rattlers on my tail in which the deadly venom is stored to lash you in your face, and watch you and Roosevelt and all the rd devils go down!

      Mind you some of Roosevelt supporters have already turn vipers and begin biting him in his butt!
      Money and bribery has their limits, sometimes when people are suffering bribes for one day is not enough to shape their discussions!

       This time around it is not about bribes, the economy of the country takes precedence! 

      • ///////////////////////
        May 23, 2019

        Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        It was your leader who had a mob by the parish hall. Did u listen to your 2 representatives – pathetic? I always viewed you as an intelligent man but you seem to be just like your leader. Disrespectful, conceited, proud, know it all and instigating strife and violence. It seems that the wealth of the nation is what you guys want to put your hands to. PM went got it after Maria and although many persons supporting your party benefitted a lot. Many of their houses covered. You are not a man to say when something good even if you do not like the PM. For what I cannnot understand. Francisco time to rid yourself of hateful thinking and be a loveable person.

        • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
          May 23, 2019

           “It seems that the wealth of the nation is what you guys want to put your hands to. PM went got it after Maria and although many persons supporting your party benefitted a lot. ”

          I deeply regret I have to respond to “a thing like you; something without a name, is a thing!

          Therefore thing; I advised you to read your comments in the quote perhaps you will discover how stupid your comments are!
          There is a difference in someone going out and seek something; and international donors donate money to help a nation recover from a disaster!
          Roosevelt did not go out and get squat!

          And if that is the case you should be ashamed, because after nineteen years in office, after a disaster; most of our people should be able to rebuild on their own; rather than depending on handouts!
          Where is Dominica’s economy; on what is it based?
          The sale of Dominica passports?
          Guy only labor supporters gets help; and many don’t get squat!

  5. Ibo France
    May 23, 2019

    Dominica can be designated a police state. The evidence is quite conspicuous. Whenever the incumbent political party becomes unpopular, they use the military might of their armed forces to intimidate and suppress the people. The Dominica Police Force is used as an extension of the Skerrit-led regime. Even though the meeting amounted to nothing more than a rehash of a decade’s old issues, the people had a right to attend. There was no justification for the heavy military presence and the preclusion of members of the general public from attending the people’s business. Baby Putin is walking in the exact footsteps of his idol father. Dictatorship has taken root in Dominica and the country is galloping towards a fully fledged DICTATORSHIP while good citizens remain ear-shattering silent.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      May 23, 2019

      Dominica is indeed a police state: I mean these people called for discussing electoral reform, before the meeting was convened we saw the goons; the China trained para military came  by buss loads brandishing military AK47’s ready for war!
      How can a government prepare for confrontation when there is no hint, or sign of trouble or disturbances?

      That is provocation, the government: Blackmoor, Skerrit and old Peter the so called AG are instigating civil war in the country!

      I am reading a caption where a puppet in the office of the so called electoral office said they need more time; more time for what?

      The Antiguan’s demanded Electoral Reform, they debated, and in less than (6) six month, that was accomplished; voter ID was issued to the population of Antigua which is larger than that of Dominica!

  6. Ibo France
    May 23, 2019

    Nothing, absolutely nothing the Skerrit-led regime does is for the benefit of the people. It’s all about self-preservation; keeping themselves in power. The meeting/discussion on electoral reforms was a hoax. These people bend the truth to create a certain narrative that fits perfectly into their nefarious plans to maintain power. How could influential do many Dominicans stoically silent when their country is being dismantled and dismembered? If these villains manage to cheat their way to a next election victory, there will be hell to pay.

  7. Lin clown
    May 23, 2019

    Time has told.Two (2) representatives of the opposition.These two guys are not opposition members.They are UWP puppets.Now the news has turned out to be fake news.What don’t you uuderstant?.

  8. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    May 23, 2019

    The focus discussion should be clean the voter list, and the immediate implementation of voter ID (Identification Cards); only!
    Dominicans, over-talk they make long speeches, and write long episodes about nothing, and by the time everybody goes to bed, and wake up in the morning with amnesia set in; they forget all about what the argue the day before, until it is time for more talking, and no action!
    Roosevelt does not have any intentions to implement electoral reform in the country because the way things are  benefits him.

    The man is a dictator, and no matter who say what in public those working in reform office they are powerless to implement any sort of change unless the dictator instruct them do something.

    In public they play big men and talk, behind closed doors they are nothing more than Roosevelt puppets on a string!

    • Ibo France
      May 23, 2019

      EACTLY! This is so well put. If I were to grade this comment, it would have gotten 100%. Superbly said!

  9. Ibo France
    May 22, 2019

    I listened to the electoral reforms discussions and it was just what I expected. Nothing of substance as gained from it. Firstly, it was poorly structured and organized. Some of the panelists hardly got an opportunity to answer a question. The moderator was more involved than she should have been. This was an embarrassing exercise in futility. Everything that is done or organized by Skerrit and his miscreants is corrupt, worthless and deflating. How such an uncouth, ………. became prime minister is shockingly unbelievable. Dominica will remain at floor level as long as Skerrit remains at the helm of the government.

  10. Dr. Clayton Shillingford
    May 22, 2019

    We have had ENOUGH discussion on this matter of flawed electoral system I see no reference to previous recommendations to implement voter ID cards and cleansing of the lists I sincerely hope these two items will be key recommended ACTIONS coming out of the panel discussion .

  11. May 22, 2019

    Am I correct in my assertions that the head of the Electoral Commission is also a CBI passport agent?
    if that’s the case then why should we be surprised that he has no interest in electoral reform as this could result in a. change of govt. and his lucrative income would be severely curtailed.
    In fact I may go so far as to suggest that he may end up with some legal challenges resulting from his role in the CBI commess

    • Ibo France
      May 22, 2019

      Everybody who works under the guidance of Skerrit has a price. It’s a disincentive for them to do the right things. Nothing is mentioned as to what will be done with the most pertinent recommendations from the discussion. It a photo opportunity to mislead the citizens, the region and the international community that electoral reforms were rigorously debated. The chairman and his pliable colleagues are just water carriers for probably the most corrupt Caribbean leader at present. Boycott the discussion! No good will come from it.

    • Gary
      May 22, 2019

      You are making an assertion – a statement or declaration, without support or the use of reason. You are not correct. Why believe you are correct, you are not correct. You cannot ignore facts and the use of reason, they will not disappear by your ludicrous assertions under the dictates of your partisan political beliefs.

      • RandyX
        May 23, 2019

        Why are you lying, Mary? You spent to much time with your master and you pick up all his nasty trades.
        Of course Zabboca is right. He has been a passport agent from the beginning.

        • Gary
          May 24, 2019

          Sometimes I wonder if you understand what you read, no wonder you write such nonsense. My comment was not about whether head of the Electoral Commission is a passport agent or not. I’m addressing the assertion made regarding the head of the Electoral Commission that he may end up with some legal challenges resulting from his role in the CBI programe. There is no valid evidence or facts to support such scenario, so long for your lack of understanding.

  12. Ibo France
    May 22, 2019

    I’m still adamant that this is just a political stunt by a cunning and conniving politician and his enablers. This is just a photo opt as nothing will change. Fair and sensible reforms will create a level playing field for all contesting political parties. The DLP is acutely aware that they have to employ skullduggery and shenanigans to squeak out a win at the next polls. Re-registration of all eligible voters, voter’s ID cards, equal access to DBS, campaign finance reforms, set election date, no overseas registration must be part and parcel of the reform package. No more chartered flights by any political party of Dominicans living in the Diaspora to come home and vote. That amounts to bribery. This administration will stubbornly resist for it is relentlessly corrupt.

  13. J Prosper
    May 22, 2019

    As i read, the word impressive is used a lot. I remember back 1979 when Dame Eugenia Charles (may her soul rest in peace). Charles looked, sound and at the time one of the most well educated Dominicans to run the country. So i thought. Charles was the most well positioned in terms of her education, smarts, professional background. So i thought. But after 15 years of Charles leadership, i can say without any doubt Skerrit has done a better job with Dominica. As impressive as these guys may look, Skerrit will still be Prime Minister next general election. Dominicans will vote Skerrit another 5 years. With all the set backs from natural disasters, Skerrit has been tested. His party will win.

    • May 23, 2019

      You sound death and blind….yes death….you snakes under grass….the ceo hss been in the national refrigarator to long..its not healthy to do so….help stop it ye wickid men

    • Rupert
      May 23, 2019

      DNO, once upon a time this comment would probably have been “hidden “ due to low rating because of its “low rating”. Was the editorial policy of DNO then a strategy to manipulate information a’ la SCL methodology? Just asking!!

  14. flat tire
    May 22, 2019

    this uwp is so open and inclusive . impressive stuff

  15. Lol
    May 22, 2019

    Are they two parliamentarians

    • %
      May 22, 2019

      It’s inclusiveness .Have you asked why the DFP was not invited?

  16. Shaka zulu
    May 22, 2019

    I love that move by opposition side. Excellent choice. It is not just UWP but freedom party included in process. When UWP comes in office i want them to select Gildon Richards as Attorney General because if history is any good teacher this guy was responsible for exposing the dirtyness in the CDPF that resulted in the removal od Blanchard, deputy valerie and a few high ranking inspectors. He would be perfect to lead [r direct the investigation into the DLP 20 years of corruption. I know he will not rest until they in jail. Skerrit should be peeing on himself at that prospect and so to should the current commissioner of police. Oh how the wheels would turn.

    • Gary
      May 25, 2019

      Your party has not yet won the elections but you are on the vengeance path, let the flames begin, vengeance the great monster appetizer. Just to remind you in Dominica we have a judicial system, it does not function arbitrarily or with the absence of evidence, people are innocent until proven guilty. As to Gildon Richards, are you not ashame to talk about such thing of the past which the UWP under Edison James engaged in. The electorate of Dominica is the force behind the turning wheel and they will decide the direction the wheel spins, so long for your bitterness.

  17. Jonathan Y St Jean
    May 22, 2019

    Why didn’t the chairman of the electoral commission invite the Freedom party as well to be a part of the panel? This is glaring disregard for openness and full participation. The chairman wants to make it look like it’s a war between the Labour Party and the UWP.
    The public should turn out in large numbers and let the chairman and government representatives hear in angry, loud and no uncertain terms that the cleaning of the voter’s list and issuance of voter id cards should have been done long ago and must be done before the next general election.

  18. Lin clown
    May 22, 2019

    RANDYX.you cannot see through the Police Force because your party the UWP fired Mr.Blanchard and his Deputy Mr.Valarie,and replaced them with UWP puppets.They paid the guy $ 250 000 to build to build a FOUNTAIN which never worked CORROPTION.Leave the Police alone foolish man.

    • RandyX
      May 22, 2019

      You are totally of your rocker! My god.

      • Gary
        May 25, 2019

        What God are you referring to as to oh my God. I will tell you, ignorance. Where is the Fountain that was supposed to be built at the Bay front, so long.

    • time has told
      May 22, 2019

      It worked, but wasnt properly maintained. Blanchard’s time was up. Clown what is your point. wonder about your ability to argue objectively. i wonder if you are someone worth arguing with.

  19. We should have already pass that stage all because of one man who wants to stay in power for ever

  20. Omg
    May 22, 2019

    We hear of resilence almost everyday on the radio stations but the only area the Gov’t of Dominica is afraid to deal with is resilience in electoral reform.

  21. I Still Red
    May 22, 2019

    Wow! This UWP continues to impress me with their very wise selection. I still red but I must say that I am extremely impress with them. I know these two gentlemen will put Dominica first and and the outcome will not be based on their political party but rather on what is best for Da

    • May 22, 2019

      Stop your lying ways, you are not red. What’s so wise about this decision? Michael Astaphan is anti government to the bone Gildon Richards is a UWP Lawyer and operative. They will only be there to push the agenda of the UWP. It is not Dominica first for you and the UWP it is always party first. Mr. Astaphan is looking to be relevant as the party he once lead is dead.

  22. RandyX
    May 22, 2019

    I hope they will ask some serious questions and demand demand straight answers. We can’t afford any longer to have a opaque government with an even more opaque and illustrious PM, a opaque police force and an opaque electoral commission. Dominica needs to return to a proper democracy not Skerrits dictocracy.

    • Gary
      May 25, 2019

      Saying you hope they will ask some serious questions
      is laughable. Linton is the one that should be there to ask the serious questions and demand right answers, again that just shows how silly you are.

  23. time has told
    May 22, 2019

    trying to figure out why the state college is involved in the coordinating. Can anyone help me.

    • %
      May 22, 2019

      Trust me…
      It’s a tactic to delay time !!!

      • time has told
        May 22, 2019

        Im not sure what you mean. Please explain further. I am not saying the state college should partake or be present, but what is their role in the coordinating, especially if the event will be done at the Parish Hall. I mean i know the President of the college is aligned with the ruling government administration, but i still fail to see what role the state college administration has in the coordination of the discussion of this national issue of electoral reform. Will classes be cancelled so students can attend?

      • Gary
        May 25, 2019

        Wow, explain to me how such discussion is a tactic to delay time, only you could come up with such nonsense.

    • Gary
      May 25, 2019

      Trying to figure out why the State College is coordinating such event is irrelevant. No matter who was coordinating such public event Linton would not show up, except if it was held in the studio at Q95 organized by The Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM). Linton can only function in an environment where he has control.

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