Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has vowed to defend the right of Dominicans who live overseas to vote in elections in this country.
Skerrit was speaking this morning at a meeting held by the government with visiting Dominicans.
“And let me tell you something. As long as I am prime minister of this country and from what some people are telling me, it will be for a very long time to come, we shall defend your right under the constitution of Dominica, to vote in Dominica’s election,” the prime minister told the gathering. “We will defend your right because it is a right and there is no institution in this country that has any legal or constitutional authority to remove your name on the voters list unless you are a dead person in Dominica because voting is too much of an important, fundamental right.”
Skerrit went on to say, “People die to vote, people shed blood to vote and we want to go back to the days when only land owners could vote? No way!”
He added, “We making progress and we have to be progressive in our thinking and we cannot go back to old days. Those who want to go back to the old days, will stay where they are and we’ll continue to move forward.”
The United Workers Party and others who have been involved in a longstanding campaign for electoral reform maintain, based on the Registration of Electors Act, that although some one’s name may be on the elector’s list, they become disqualified to vote if they have been absent from the country for more than five consecutive years.
This point of view is supported by Chapter 2:03, section 7 (c) of the Registration of Electors Act as shown below.