Opposition Leader, Lennox Linton, has responded to statements made by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit on the dismissal of Dr. Thomson Fontaine of the United Workers Party (UWP) as a senator in the Dominica Parliament.
On Tuesday evening, during a special interview in which Skerrit was questioned on the government’s performance in 2018, he disclosed that Fontaine is no longer a senator because he missed three consecutive sittings without the expressed authority of the Speaker.
Skerrit blamed what he described as a weak UWP leadership for not taking decisive action and correcting the situation.
However, speaking on Q-95 Radio on Wednesday, Linton, who said he disagreed with the decision made by the Speaker, revealed that Fontaine had already planned to resign from the senate position.
“Thomson had already decided that it would be better for him to move on and he was going to resign the senate position anyway, nothing to do with leadership or anything of this sort,” he said.
According to Linton, Skerrit is entitled in this democracy to his views and to the action he takes as the leader of government businesses in the Parliament.
However, Linton noted that it was in April of last year that Mr. Skerrit announced a reshuffle of his cabinet in which he assigned the responsibility of parliamentary secretary to Ivor Stephenson, “And since he had made that assignment in April, 9 months have passed and the person he appointed, the Parliamentary Secretary, has not been able to come to the Parliament.”
“He wasn’t there in the budget, he wasn’t there for the meeting after the budget, he wasn’t there for the December 12th meeting of the CREAD legislation…he has not been able to work,” Linton remarked.
He went on to say that any public officer or ordinary employee in the country who is incapable of working for a continuous period of 6 months, is medically boarded off.
Linton stated further that in the meantime, Fontaine is under pressure because the speaker will not accept his notification or his word to the speaker that he cannot attend Parliament.
“She decides what she want…so everything that is sent on behalf of Ivor Stephenson is fine? Whatever Thomson sends saying that he is not available or cannot make it to Parliament scrutinized…,” he remarked.
Dr. Fontaine was appointed senator in the parliamentary opposition, led by UWP leader, Lennox Linton, after the last general election in 2014.
The UWP has not publicly announced who will replace Dr. Fontaine as a senator in parliament. However, Dominica News Online (DNO) has been reliably informed that the replacement is Attorney Ronald Charles, the UWP candidate for the Roseau Valley.