ERC convenes discussion on electoral reform one year after ‘sham election’ in Dominica

The Electoral Reform Committee (ERC) is convening a major public discussion on electoral reform in Dominica which it says marks one year since its founding in response to what it describes as a “sham” snap election that swept the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) into power for a fifth consecutive term.

The discussion will take place at the Dominica Public Service Union (DSPU) conference room on Thursday, January 11 from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the ERC, Washbourne Cuffy, said the event marks efforts by the group to protect the island’s democracy and to sensitize and educate Dominicans on the need for proper electoral reform leading to free and fair elections.

“The public discussion comes just over one year of the sham election held in Dominica and marking one year of the ERC which came about as a united front to oppose the snap election without the promise of anticipated electoral reform,” he told Dominica News Online.

On November 6, 2022, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, called a snap election in Dominica saying it was part of efforts in ensuring the renewal of his government, dubbing it a ‘national reset.’ However, the decision did not go down well with the other political parties and members of civil society who wrote an open letter on November 9 condemning the decision.

They argued that Skerrit had not implemented election reforms, especially in the area of voter fraud, recommended by the OAS, the Commonwealth, CARICOM, and the Caribbean Court of Justice. The election was boycotted by the main United Workers Party (UWP) and the lesser-known Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) but was contested by the newly formed Team Unity Dominica (TUD). The DLP eventually won.

The ERC was formed in the wake of the “sham” election and Cuffy said the group is using the anniversary period “to continue to defend and protect our democratic governance through sensitization and educational programs.”

“It is a much-anticipated discussion because we have as our featured presentation Senator Anil Roberts who will provide a Caribbean perspective on the whole topic (of electoral reform),” he said.

“Mr Roberts is experienced in the Trinidad and Tobago’s Parliament dating back to 2010 and given his work in Trinidad, we felt it would have been a very good person to sort of draw a line and look at what Trinidad is doing and the other Caribbean countries are doing vis-à-vis…what we are doing and not doing in Dominica.”

Cuffy said all Dominicans are invited to Thursday’s event, “so that we can make this discussion an important and successful one.”

He believes that the pace of electoral reform in Dominica is not what it should be even though in recent times Skerrit has said that the matter will be seriously examined in the first quarter of 2024.

“But we cannot take that at face value, we cannot take anything the prime minister says in regard to electoral reform as he sees it because he has made many utterances in the past in terms of dates and timing,” he stated.

“And here we are, 13 years now we have been fighting this fight. So we at the ERC, we believe that 2024, we should use this year as a new beginning in terms of our approach and to ensure that we really get this thing done because as time goes by, we are getting closer and closer to general election. So we would like this thing to be done and dusted away to make way for what we hope to be free and fair elections.”

Cuffy said during the discussion, various members of the civil society, religious organizations, and political parties that comprise the ERC will make presentations.

Meanwhile, Roberts, who once made fun of Skerrit in a social media video over comments Skerrit made concerning women’s eyelashes, said in a promotional video for the event that he looks forward to being part of it and providing solutions to what he described as “our dying democracies in the Caribbean.”

“Democracy is dying,” he said. “And if we the good citizens of the Caribbean do not wake up, our democracies will be dead.”

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  1. Mike
    January 10, 2024

    The opposition is making a laughing stock of Dominica? really? are you really that stupid? you have a PM who been in power for almost a quarter of a century and Dominica is worst off every year than the year before, a PM who loss Ross, decimated Agriculture and Manufacturing, destroyed the health care system in Dominica, sold Dominica Passports in Mini marts and supermarkets in Pakistan and Afghanistan. All the OECS islands have passed Dominica in GDP per capita, we are dead last and the worst thing is there is no hope for the future because the useless worthless idiots in Dominica have now out numbered the hard working and productive citizens.

  2. Lin clown
    January 10, 2024

    ERC is a handful of scumbags who want to FORCE election reform down the throats of the PEOPLE ,using the most corrupt politician from Trinidad and Tobago to try.That will NEVER happen.If Matt Peltier the media +++++ is man enough with balls let him interview Anal Roberts..Ask him about the corruption his name was mentioned in,in the sports ministry in Trinidad and Tobago.Next day crooked,puppet,house N,media whore is gone.They quick to post all kinds of nasty comments about Skerrit on DNO.But they inviting a rotten teeth to address the Dominican people.

  3. Ibo France
    January 10, 2024


    You are very consistent. Consistent with your unadulterated, odorous, written sewage that you choose to subject daily readers of this medium. Your comments have never resonated with sensible people only your bird-brain friends – Lying Clown, Dog Biter, d’s and One-Eye Tom.

    The electoral system is the most important structure to our democracy. When it is corrupted by unscrupulous politicians, the whole of the country suffers from crime, poverty, underdevelopment, dysfunctional public service, starvation wages, crumbling infrastructure, thievery, high unemployment, hyper-partisan political division.

    The members of the ERC should be highly commended for relentlessly pursuing a level playing field for all parties with the electoral system. Sometimes it only takes one or two people to make a world of a difference. Remember Rosa Parks?

  4. Ibo France
    January 10, 2024

    I commend the persistent efforts (never give up attitude) of the Electoral Reform Committee (ERC). However, it is my solemn conviction that electoral reform would only happen when the majority of citizens stand together and rigorously demonstrate and protest in the streets for this.

    Politicians are the servants of the people. The electors are the bosses. The problem is that most voters in Dominica think politicians are their gods and bosses. Ignorance, indolence, inaction are three of the most devastating enemies of Dominicans.

    Vision without ACTION is merely a dream. Vision with ACTION can change the world. ACTION makes the ‘impossible’ possible. The time for ACTION in Dominica is NOW!

  5. Lin clown
    January 10, 2024

    I HOPE that is NOT the former sports Minister who was asked to resign because of dishonesty,misuse,misappropriation,deception and stealing of money in his ministry.I see in DNO news item something about made fun of Skerrit.But I am sure DNO know about Anil Roberts and the big BOBOL he was involved in,in Trinidad and Tobago sports ministry.If that is the same Anil Roberts.IF that is the same former dishonest sports Minister then Choo Nu Fan.

  6. Martha
    January 10, 2024

    We mustn’t allow Skerrit to hijack the electoral reform process. Democracy in DA is under threat. Hasn’t this man done enough damage to our country already??

  7. Shake the tree
    January 10, 2024

    So what about the Dennis Buyrum? Will he return our money, or does he expect more money?

  8. Peeping Tom
    January 9, 2024

    A group of idle and irrelevant politicians who are struggling for attention, Anil included.

    Have you done a Google search on Anil, DNO? Of all the shady politicians in the Caribbean, Vita et al had to choose Anil, De same discarded Anil Roberts of Trinidad who still has a dark cloud over his head for his stewardship over a corruption scandal that still reverberates in Trinidad. And, by the way, what is Anil’s expertise in elections? Anil?? Skerrit gave us a distinguished erudite former judge and you blokes give us Anil, a political pariah in his own political sphere in TnT ?! 8-O

    Come on ERC, we know that you want attention, that you feel you must make your presence be felt and that the loud and nauseatingly rude Anil can do just that for you, but by associating yourself with Anil, you simply confirm what we all think of you all…clowns! Come on now!!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8
  9. Hardly Soft
    January 9, 2024

    There is very little regard for Mr. Roberts in T&T.
    Has he ever done any work on electoral reform in T&T?
    is he of good standing based on his political past?
    Was he selected because he taunted Hon Dr. Skerrit?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4
  10. January 9, 2024

    More rubbish! Do these people really want electoral reform? There have already been extensive discussions on this topic and any legislation that the government put forward must be as a result of those discussions. Everybody cannot get what they want, we have to agree to disagree. The opposition is making a laughing stock of Dominica.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

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