The United Workers Party (UWP) has said that it will contest the upcoming general election without electoral reform.
With the recent announcement by Prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit that the election date will be December 6, 2019, it has become clear that the prime minister does not intend to implement the electoral reforms which the Opposition United Workers’ Party (UWP), the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) and other civic groups have been campaigning for. One of the slogans of the campaign was “no election without electoral reform.”
But UWP leader, Lennox Linton, speaking at a public meeting last week, indicated that the party had reconsidered that strategy and would now contest the election without electoral reform.
“While we were saying no elections without electoral reform in order to pressure Christian people who we thought had a good conscience to do the right thing for Dominica, he [Skerrit] was seeing for him, an opportunity to stay in government,” Linton told a large gathering at a public meeting on Independence Street. “Because if we say no elections without electoral reform and he doesn’t give us electoral reform, and we don’t contest the elections, then the dictator has his dictatorship on a platter and we are not going down that road with him.”
He pointed out that it is the only way that “we will make this the last election in Dominica that we will contest, or we will have without electoral reform.”
He said his party will continue to insist that reform is put in place, “but we are contesting the elections…and we are going to win the elections.”
Linton argued that Skerrit has a plan to stay in office regardless of whether Dominicans wants him there or not.
“But once Roosevelt Skerrit remains in charge, there may never be electoral reform,” he said. “For the simple reasons, we didn’t have it in 2009…we didn’t have it in 2014 and he is telling us now as far as he’s concerned, we are not going to have it in 2019.”
Linton said his party will do what’s necessary to ensure that regardless of what the DLp tries, the UWP will be victorious in this election.
“This means ladies and gentlemen that there is a lot of work for you do to do; there is a lot of work for us to do,” Linton stated. “The power in people is greater than the people in power and now the people in power want to tell us, those who have the power, what to do.”
He added, “We, the people who have the power, will ensure that they do not steal this election.”