The Concerned Citizens Movement of Dominica (CCM) is taking its fight for free and fair elections in Dominica to the door step of the Electoral Commission.
The CCM has been actively advocating for electoral reform in Dominica since January 2018, through its weekly radio programme, a public education campaign and a number of public protests against such issues as the government’s proposed amendment to the Elections Act.
Now, in its latest move, the CCM plans to hold a protest on Saturday, December 15, outside the Electoral Office on Turkey Lane in Roseau.
The president of the organization, Loftus Durand, said in an interview with DNO, that this time, the CCM decided to hold their activity on a Saturday because of the success that similar activities have yielded in other Caribbean islands where they have been held on the weekend.
“And so we decided to go out of the box a little bit in terms of this time around, this protest action, standing up for the whole idea of a free and fair election process in Dominica. We’re asking the government and well, the Electoral Commission, that is, to implement some of the reforms that we have been talking [about] for a very long time now.”
Durand says that the gradual increase in support for the activities of the CCM since January, has been commendable and attributes the absence of massive turn outs to what he describes as “the level of victimization and intimidation that goes on.”
“But nonetheless, we are still calling on the people to stand up for their democratic rights,” Durand said. “We had a meeting with a very high level team of persons from the US who came down here to visit us and they told us basically, what we need to do more of is to have more persons in the streets talking about their rights, demanding their rights, because if it is just a few of us on the streets, let’s say 50 or 60 of us, it may not be so, but it would seem as if is just a disgruntled few that have, you know, some personal vendetta, whatever, against the government.”
However, he said significant participation in such protest activities would be a more effective representation of the wishes of the people “and they now, would do what they have to do in terms of intervention.”
When questioned about the team of “high level people” from the US who he said visited his group, he said for reasons of confidentiality, he was unable to mention their names but revealed that they had US government connections.
“What they told us is that they are basically monitoring things on the ground in Dominica as it pertains to elections, as it pertains people’s rights in Dominica, as it pertains to the every day dealings in Dominica…and they are doing what they have to do to monitor the situation in Dominica,” Durand stated.
The CCM leader made it clear the activity to be held on December 15th will be a peaceful protest and not a demonstration.
“We are not having a demonstration. We will not be moving from any one point to any one point. What we will be doing, we will be having a very peaceful protest, I must say, in that we are using the right of our constitution to come and assemble together as people of Dominica and basically, plead our cause to the Electoral Commission, plead our cause to the government, plead our cause to the regional community, plead our cause to the international community that there are people in Dominica who will obey the constitution and basically stand in defense of their country,” Durand explained.