Hilary Shillingford dismisses AG’s call to remove certain commissioners from Electoral Commission

(l-r) Hilary Shillingford, Wayne James, Levi Peter

Commissioner at the Electoral Commission, Hilary Shillingford, has strongly rebuffed a call by Attorney General, Levi Peter, for some members of the Commission to be removed for “bringing the Commission into disrepute” by publicly commenting on matters discussed at Commission meetings.

Peter said during the debate on the 2017/2018 National Budget, that this type of behaviour was “absolutely disgusting and unacceptable.”

“It cannot be right, Madam Speaker, for persons who have been appointed to the Electoral Commission, a body of the significance of the Electoral Commission, to be sitting on that body, and then leaving that body and going outside and discussing in public what takes place in that body…that behaviour is the behaviour that has to be condemned. In my humble opinion, those Commissioners, if they cannot conduct themselves in a proper way, they should be removed from the Commission,” the attorney general stated.

Although he did not mention their names, Peter was clearly referring to the two UWP appointees on the Electoral Commission, Wayne James and Hilary Shillingford, who have recently been publicly voicing their dissatisfaction with the manner in which the Electoral Commission is dealing with the matter of electoral reform.

Shillingford has dismissed Peter’s argument, saying that when he was sworn in by the President, he took no oath of secrecy to hold the position of Commissioner.

“When I was appointed and got sworn in by the president, I took no oath of secrecy to hold that position as a commissioner, I continued to make clear to the Commission at the Commission’s meeting that I will not be surrounded by any oath of secrecy and I am here to represent the business of the people,” he declared.

Shillingford stated that the Attorney General would realize if he was listening, that matters he (Shillingford) discussed outside the walls of the Commission bear no level of confidentiality, but are simply, issues of national interest.

“We speak about matters that have to do with the people of Dominica. If we are in a Commission where members of the Commission are supporting things that are against the interest of the public, are we supposed to just sit there and stomach it?” he asked.

Shillingford made it clear that he is not daunted by any call for his removal as no one can remove him from his position as a Commissioner.

“The Attorney General has asked to take us out; I hope he is not referring to any illegal means. So whatever pressures the AG or whoever is trying to bring, Lennox Linton cannot take me off the commission, I am not subject to any direction of Lennox Linton neither the Labour Party, nor the Chairman of the Commission,” Shillingford stated.

The outspoken Shillingford vowed to use his “independent” position to bring free and fair elections to the people of Dominica through electoral reform; this, he believes is his primary aim.

Wayne James, the other UWP appointee on the Electoral Commission, has also fervently refuted Peters’ call stating in a radio interview that his main purpose on the Commission was to serve the interest of the Dominican people.

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  1. August 8, 2017

    Good points Commissioners

    However, please stop hurting the country by personal involvement in illegal activities. Don’t you see the paros on the roads?

  2. viewsexpressed
    August 8, 2017

    Mr Levi, please be quiet with rubbish unprofessional utterances. This country of ours you and inept Skerrit are running along with your corrupt Labour government is hurting us with n pain to you and your rougues. Go mind your business and clean-up Dominica from bobol and corruption, let Hilary and James do their jobs at their ends, they are dong a great job for Dominica. Discovering the weaknesses and corruption and deceitfulness of the this corrupt Labour government, full of so called educated people who have no clues of how best to run a small poor island like Dominica. You all are hopeless, clueless and dangerous to Dominica. Skerrit must Go, Skerrit must Go, and yo pack your bags and go with him.

  3. August 7, 2017

    The disappointing presentation by the AG during the Parliamentary budget debate is further testimony that the AG either does not know his constitutional function or is deleberately avoiding carrying out his sworn duties and instead paying homage to an administration which is hell bent of subverting the course of justice. Bro you must speak out and intervene when the rights of the people and our constitutional way of life is threatened. It is downright shamefully that members of this administration and their cabal blatantly flaunt the laws and you come to their defence but willing to prosecute those who rightfully oppose and speak out against them. I have warned before do not push a people to anger, the majority in a country have never always led in the changes which have occured, they often just follow.

  4. Malgraysa
    August 7, 2017

    The A.G. is way out of line. First of all, since he is not a Minister of Government and therefore a public officer and by virtue of his office is disbarred from being a member of the Electoral Commission and should not even try to interfere.
    A member of the Electoral Commission can be removed by the President only, following proper procedure and the institution of a tribunal form that express purpose.
    However, the most important legal provision, enshrined in our Constitution (56.11) is that such a Commission” …shall not be subject to direction or control of any other person or authority”. The A.G. used parliament privilege to make his outrageous and misdirected demand. The Speaker ought to have recognized that and stopped him.

  5. Me
    August 7, 2017

    Those two beg belly young old men better find work to do. As for Hilary he will be screaming on Q95 for the next 20 years

  6. Democracy
    August 7, 2017

    The AG should be asked to step down for turning a blind eye to various infringements against the rule of law committed by Skerrit and his cabal. Were you not AG when Skerrit tried to amend the House of Assembly Elections Act to make it legal for him to fly in voters when he is criminally charged with treating before the court of law??? Why didn’t you speak up when he tried to change the very law under which he is charged with a criminal offence?? His criminal charge of treating is still pending before the Court of Law. Stop being a puppet and leave these Commissioners do there job! Smh

    August 7, 2017

    These uwp appointed commissioners appear to be the only independent ones in that body. In all their public statements nothing to do with uwp agenda has been said. Free and fair elections have always been their motto

  8. Ibo France
    August 6, 2017

    The electoral system is critical to any true democratic country. There can be no real democracy when politicians and government officials try to mess with the electoral process. The officers who are appointed to oversee and conduct the affairs of the electoral office should be persons of impeccable character. These officials should not be malleable and cave in to the pressures of any political party or individual. Anytime a Cabinet Minister is making loud pontification about the electoral office or system most likely the ruling party wants to manipulate the system and becomes belligerent when people object. For democracy to prevail, the electoral system must be fair, it cannot become corrupt.

  9. Peeping Tom
    August 6, 2017

    AG, your call is timely….even overdue. The UWPwee has done its darndest to undermine nearly every institution of our democracy, ironically, in the name of democracy!

    Let the petition begin to remove these two. I am with you, AG.

    • Lang Mama
      August 7, 2017

      Try it you punk and you guys will see a people riding up. You can hide out in Florida and issue orders to the dumbies but one day karma will catch up with you

    • stupendous
      August 8, 2017

      Peeping Tom I will side with you 100 per cent if you let the petition also begin on the dubious and corrupt dealings for which Mr. Skerrit is known to be associated with just to name a few like the Bin bobool, the villas, the Monfareds, Alison Maduke, Francisco Corollo, the Baroness and the many others including the Panama Papers. Let the action begin Peeping Tom a deal is a deal.

  10. Shameless
    August 6, 2017

    Hold your own Hilary. Doh let mister push you over like the Punjabe Doctor does to them. Petter needs a life if you ask me.

    Assertive like Moses’ rod! :twisted:

  11. August 6, 2017

    Hilary Shillingford and Wayne James should not be on the electoral commision as they are political activist acting on behalf the UWP. These two gentlemen are only interested in having the dictates of the UWP imposed on the commission.

    • %
      August 6, 2017

      You are one of the blind Labourites who do not read or listen to news or even helping to inform yourself. You must be one of the slaves that follow Skerrit around the country clapping at his insults at your brothers and sisters. On whose behalf does Alic Lawrance act? Should he be there/on the commission?

    • Papa Dom
      August 7, 2017

      You are such a fool! The two commissioners appointed on the advice of skerritt are the political operatives of the Labour Party to the extent that they are members of the party and actively engage in campaigning and strategising on behalf of that party. So don’t be a fool and accuse those gentlemen of the very things which Lawrence and Williams are doing on a daily basis.

    • August 7, 2017

      Let me ask Dominicans a question, how come everything done in Dominica is the UWP do it, people have minds of their own if something is wrong it’s wrong what does that have to do with Linton or UWP, The people in Dominica that hate the party so much are the very same ones who are promoting the UWP and it’s leader to a higher level and they have a right to take the ride.

  12. %
    August 6, 2017

    Let me publicly give effusive plaudits to both commissioners for the manner in which they have served on the commission thus far.I further commend them for rubbishing this piece of nonsensical garbling which the AG made at the house.The Skerrit led Labour party is replete with blithering idiots,who believe that they can ride roughshod over the people.BUT THIS SHALL NOT HAPPEN!!!So they would go to the house and surreptituously make TREATING,and BRIBING legal,to maintain Skerrits corrupt and UNFAIR (according to the Commonwealth Observer Team) winning legacy,and to hell with the country that is plummeting into an abyss by those “”MISLEAXERS””.Well done gentlemen,I am confident that you all can face up to the corrupt crew!NO ELECTION WITHOUT ELECTORAL REFORM..They cant say that they did not have time!!!

  13. duck1951
    August 6, 2017

    the electoral commission must display impartiality . Therefore it is imperative that its members abstain from discussing any issues that were privately discussed in their meeting publicly . Otherwise they should disqualify themselves regardless of party .

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