President of the Dominica Business Forum, Severin McKenzie and member of a group of church, business and civil society leaders says the group will be focusing on indelible ink used for the upcoming general elections as it is the only mechanism in place to prevent Dominicans from voting twice.
McKenzie made that remark on the Hot Seat on Q95FM this morning, ahead of another panel discussion on electoral reform which the group is staging this evening at the DPSU building in Roseau.
“This time we are actually going to concentrate on indelible ink because as you know indelible ink is the only mechanism that is in place right now to prevent people from voting twice and one of the questions that are coming up is whether indelible ink is still an effective mechanism that can be used in 2019,” he explained. “We will be focusing on that and also, the practicalities of the cleansing of the voters list and issuance of voter ID cards. This discussion is going to take place at the PSU at 7’o’clock and we are asking the general public to come to have an interactive discussion.”
McKenzie stressed that the objective of the electoral reform group, is to ensure that the next election which is constitutionally due by 2020, is free and fair.
“We do not care who win since it is done freely and fairly, and we realize that if we do not do the work for us to achieve that objective, then its not going to be done,” he said.
McKenzie maintains that the responsibility for electoral reform and consequently, free and fair general elections, lies not with the government but squarely in the hands of the Electoral Commission.
“We want to let the Dominican public know that the whole process of organization and preparation for general elections isn’t really in the hands of the prime minister, it rests in the hands of the Electoral Commission…the government is not the one responsible for implementing electoral reform, it is Electoral Commission that has the responsibility and we have to recognize that,” he insisted.
He contends that if it is the Commission’s chairman [Gerald Burton] who’s “messing around, or seems to be “biased” with the electoral reform process, then his group would have to call the president who appointed him [Burton] to withdraw his appointment and “do what has to be done to get him out if he’s not doing what he is supposed to do.”
McKenzie also said that the group welcomes the initiative announced by the prime minister to invite the Commonwealth Secretariat, Organisation of American States (OAS) and CARICOM to Dominica to assist in this situation so that the country can move this process forward.
Attorney General Levi Peter, Electoral Commission, Gerald Burton and a member of his group will participate in the discussion. He is asking those who attend to be respectful and disciplined.
The meeting starts at 7:00 o’clock this evening at the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) building.