General Secretary of the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP), Johnson Boston, has said that as the DFP moves forward, the main focus of its members is to rebuild the party in order to be strong and viable.
However, after the party’s delegates convention this weekend, the responsibility to lead this undertaking will fall either on economist Kent Vital or medical doctor Sam Christian
Boston has identified Vital and Christian as the two contenders for the leadership of the party that holds the distinction of producing Dominica’s first female prime minister, the late Dame Mary Eugenia Charles.
Speaking to Dominica News Online (DNO) on Thursday, Boston said the DFP has served in government for many years and though it has gone through its struggles over the years, a number of persons are still showing interest.
“As we go forward we don’t know what the future will hold, but at present our focus is on rebuilding the party, making it strong and viable to present itself at the next election to the people of Dominica and they will decide, based on our program, policies and plans to lead the country,” he said. “I must say to you the members are very solid, honest and strong vibrant Dominicans are coming forward to work with us.”
The DFP stalwart said the party has served in the government “and the people have seen development activities taking place in every sector and therefore people are remembering the work done” and they feel that the freedom party still has a lot to offer to the country.
According to Boston, in the interest of Dominica, “the freedom party is always willing to do what is best for Dominica and Dominicans and put the best things forward.”
With the belief that things can change drastically for the party and for Dominica by extension, party members have been in what Boston describes as an outreach program where they visit the various constituencies and engage people to receive their input.
“There is a lot of good will for the party throughout the country,” Boston noted, “There is a lot of encouragement out there…”
Referring to the 2000-2005 coalition between the Dominica Freedom Party and the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) which helped the DLP regain political power after 20 years, Boston pointed out, “We remained in a separate party, we accept our liability and responsibility so we have been an independent party.”
According to Boston, a few people remained in the coalition while others who felt that the country needs better, went back to the Freedom Party.
“And of course recognizing the role that the freedom party plays in past governments and on its own, we felt that we should reorganize the party and that is the task we have undertaken for the past years gone,” Boston said.
He said the new leader will be elected when the party holds its Delegates Convention on Sunday 6th August 2017 at the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) Building.
“At that convention, the DFP will be responding to the call, Uniting Dominica,” Boston noted.
The event will include an open session for members of the party, non-members, as well as specially invited guests and the media.
Former Dominican Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Crispin Gregoire will be the Guest Speaker and delegates will also be addressed by present DFP Leader, Michael Astaphan.
“At the end of the conference, Mr. Astaphan will be a member of the party. He is not vying for leadership,” Boston explained. “He will continue to be a part of the party; he will continue serving the party…”
A Deputy Leader, Chairman, Deputy Chairman, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer will also be elected at the conference.
The meeting is expected to begin at 3:00 p.m.