ROSEAU, Dominica, CMC – The Dominica parliament meets on Thursday for the first time since the December 18 general elections with the in-coming Speaker, Alix Body-Knights, saying that she is not worried at the decision by the opposition legislators to boycott the event.
I would not be surprised if the opposition decides they would want to come to the parliament. Their seats are there for them and they could certainly come in and take their place. “Until such time as I don’t see them appear, they are coming,” she told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).
Boyd-Knights will be reappointed as Speaker of the House of Assembly and has dismissed allegations that she has been biased towards members of the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) in the past.
“It’s a job that I have done to the best of my ability despite those persons who tried to say that I was biased and I did all the wrong things. I want them to remember that on two occasions that they took me to court, the court sided with me. That is extremely significant to me and it should be to those naysayers,” Boyd- Knights said.
The UWP had taken Boyd-Knights to court on two occasions in the last five years alleging that she was biased and had “hijacked” the parliament, making it impossible for the opposition to function effectively.
“I have never denied that I have sympathy for certain parties over others. But the fact of the matter is when it comes to interpreting the rules that does not have political colour. The rules are very clear,” she added.
The UWP has decided to boycott the Parliament to protest what it claimed were irregularities in the general election that the ruling Dominica Labour Party (DLP) won by a massive 18-3 margin.
Former opposition leader, Ron Green was among those who were defeated in the polls, but the party has since gone to the courts challenging the results in the La Plaine constituency that he represented in the last parliament.
The UWP said that it would participate in a “People’s Parliament” that will coincide with the official sitting of Parliament.
“I don’t know what their entire game plan is. That may just be their preliminary moves. I would say that (the late) Mike Douglas proved how effective one man could be and if I am to use that as a yardstick I would say if one could be so powerful much less for three plus the four senators,” she said.
President Dr. Nicholas Liverpool will deliver the Throne Speech at the start of the new parliamentary term.