Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has said the outcome of Grenada’s general election last week should not prejudice what may happen in Dominica when the next general election is held here.
Last Tuesday 65-year-old Keith Mitchell entered into the history of Caribbean politics when he led his New National Party (NNP) to a clean sweep of the 15 seats at stake in the general election, becoming the first political leader to achieve the feat, having previously done so in 1999.
Prime Minister Skerrit says each country has different political circumstances which determine the outcome of elections.
“I understand there are certain people in Dominica who are trying to link what has happened in Grenada to what may happen in Dominica. One thing that has to be made clear is that every country has its own circumstances and there were particular circumstances which existed in Grenada before and during the election campaign which led to the election outcome. We do not see any correlation to what happened in Grenada and what may happen in Dominica,” PM Skerrit pointed out.
Meantime Barbadian voters kept with tradition and provided the incumbent party with a second consecutive term in power following general elections in that country last Thursday.
The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) won 16 of the 30 seats in the elections with the remainder going to the main opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP).
Skerrit congratulated Prime Minister Freundel Stuart on his re-election as Prime Minister of Barbados.
“We want to again congratulate Prime Minister Freundel Stuart on his re-election as Prime Minister of Barbados. That too was a keenly contested election and at the end of the day the people spoke and they elected a Government,” he said.
PM Skerrit looks forward to working with the Prime Minister Freundel Stuart on matters of mutual interest to the region.
“We look forward to working with Prime Minister Stuart. I have worked with him since he became Prime Minister of Barbados at the CARICOM level. We also worked on International matters. He was very supportive of Dr. Carissa Etienne’s candidacy and also the appointment of Ambassador Irwin La Rocque as the Secretary General,” he remarked.
Prime Minister Skerrit says Barbados and Dominica have enjoyed excellent relations over the years.
“During our economic crisis, Barbados was one of the first countries which provided loan funds to the tune of 33 Million E.C dollars under the leadership of Prime Minister Owen Arthur. Barbados has always been at the forefront of helping Dominica from time to time,” PM Skerrit noted.
With the economic and financial challenges confronting the region, Prime Minister Skerrit is advising that Barbados and Grenada focus on strengthening their economies.
“Both countries have their own economic challenges. In Barbados for example they have had to increase the Value added tax (VAT) from 15 percent to 17.5 percent. They have had to impose other austerity measures on the citizens, not because the Government doesn’t like the people but they had no option, they had to take action. Grenada likewise has its own economic challenges. It is not a time for us to be engaged in partisan politics, it is a time for us to rise to the occasion of recognizing that we have to put country before party and work towards the well being of our people”, advised PM Skerrit.
The Dominica leader has also advised his regional counterparts to put structural and fiscal policies in place to assist in addressing the issues faced by their individual economies.