DFP to focus on rebuilding, education

Michael Astaphan

Acting political leader of the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP), Michael Astaphan, has said that in 2013 he will focus on rebuilding the party and educating Dominicans on what he described as “the mismanagement of Dominica.”

“My present mandate from the party is to rebuild while educating the people on the mismanagement of Dominica  and how the DFP could manage it differently and better,” Astaphan told Dominica News Online.

In late October Astaphan took over the helms of the party after its then leader, Judith Pestaina, confirmed that she was stepping down for ‘personal reasons.’

Astaphan is acting as political leader of the party until a more permanent replacement is found.

He said his strategy is to “check the heartbeat of our people on the ground” while making decisions that are in the best interest of the country. “We are going on the ground, hear what our people are saying, what they want us to do, where to put our energy and how to focus on rebuilding the party,” he stated.

He is also going after mismanagement, which he said is evident in Dominica. “It is a fact that this administration put Dominicans last,” Astaphan said. “When you have projects, Chinese come first, then you have Cubans, then you have Venezuelans. Nobody is saying that you shouldn’t take these people but it should not be done to the detriment of your own people.”

Astaphan wants Dominicans to understand that a party that is interested in them always put Dominicans first. “We cannot be bringing people from overseas to push barrow and to mix cement and to measure drains,” he argued. “We have many competent people here in Dominica who can do that and who are willing to work.”

He said no one should support a party who put other nationalities before Dominicans. “China wouldn’t do, Venezuela wouldn’t do, Morrocco would do it. Why are we doing it? ” he asked.

Pressed as to whether  the DFP would be forming alliances with the Dominica Labour Party or United Workers Party if the need arises, Astaphan said all options are on the table. “We are not closing our doors on anything. Dominica always comes first,” he said.

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40 Comments

  1. Grammar police
    January 5, 2013

    It looks like the DFP is abiding with Eugenia’s last wishes of not ever letting the UWP back in power; they refuse to join with anyone because they fraid of dishonoring Eugenia’s wishes. The country should be governed by technocrats and not politicians. The population is too small for all this political division; democracy does not suit every situation….Country first, everything else secondary…one man one vote does not mean a thing …

  2. Anonymous
    January 5, 2013

    People here are saying how well Dominica did or was doing under the freedom party as if to say the party itself was doing things so right to make it better. When the freedom party came into office we had just realized our independance so ofcourse you would expect it would seem that things were under control because England favoured us some what as to still be buying our bananas heavily. The world has changed alot since then and England took the gloves of that to me is normal if you man enough then fight your battle. Nothing was so great under the freedom party of it own self that it did, there were alot of misoppotunities but I guess people have short memories. It’s a human cry everywhere that can’t and will never be satisfied, not even God as far as humans are concerned much less governments, I’ve never been to a country without some sort of complain as if to expect a government to do everything for them. Listening to the talk shows and even here one would get the feeling in their emotions and confidence that to put in a man/politician that their problems will be solved, while time and time again haven’t proven so my advise to them is keep dreaming. To solve you all problems get of your lazy asses and get to work hard to maintain your survival and maybe then things will work in all you favour that’s what I do and is why I have less complain.

    • ^
      January 6, 2013

      What was different was that the leaders of the cabinet Of Miss Charles and the head of government was not as corrupt. There were less stealing, cheating, lying, cursing of the people. The government was more country centered.
      Presently leaders are greedy as hell.They have forgotten totally about country, and are busy accumulating wealth.
      Everything will be brought to life one day.

  3. gwada man
    January 4, 2013

    that is great news, because we need an alternative party in dominica seein that the UWP is all confused presently, i am with u whole hattedly just try to get some Young enthuastic people onboard, i will approach u in the near future i wish u good luck we need that presently in dominica.

  4. J.J.John-Charles
    January 4, 2013

    DNO with your permission,because I know this is not the subject.
    In the nineteen nineties, Tony Astaphan was vehemently opposed to the Caribbean Court of Justice.I can remembering him saying on DBS news. There is no need for the court.Quoting his own words
    “There are eminent Caribbean jurist who are part of the supreme court in England.” and mentioned Sir Shridath Ramphal.
    He also said politics will always interfere in the final decisions.
    Now,this same QC is on the same DBS radio saying today friday.
    “Thank God for that atlas” and even praising the PM.
    Well, well.

    • Cant't Find a Job
      January 4, 2013

      In the 1990 are young lawyer named Barack Obama was vehemetly opposed to gays and gay right. In 2012 his position has evolved and has pass lwas in such support.

      The story here is people evolve and do change.

      So my friend JJ….The only constant is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.

  5. Sofie
    January 4, 2013

    Mr. Astaphan I will write the epitaph for your party for free: With the Dame Charles gone and the other r Charles sold out; DFM is gone:

    Please talk about coalition Sir to get Skerrit out.

  6. J.J.John-Charles
    January 4, 2013

    Things were much better under the DFP.It is an undeniable truth.Dominicans used to go about working 4 their daily bread,not depending on handouts from the government.Also not having a feeling of second class in their own country.
    The ministers were never accused of dipping their fingers in the cookie jar.
    Those who are finding fault with the DFP for joining with the dirty DLP in 2000.To me it makes no sense.If the shoe was on the other foot,for example in the 1990 election, would the UWP form a collation with Miss Charles to keep her in office?,we all know the ANSWER.
    In retrospect, best the party had remained independent with the two seats or negotiate more vigorously because they had the trump card.Again in retrospect I know TOO TOO FOR NANA,like Judas of old, would sell his seat for a monthly salary as it is right now.
    Today is not carnival tuesday, so I am not calling names.
    This is a good move by Mr. Astaphan.Remind Dominica’s of the good works of the DFP,especially the young ones.
    The UWP supporters will say, just join us.Dirty Labour have a vested interest in keeping the DFP in the status quo.
    The only people who have never failed,are those who have never tried a thing in life.So Micheal expect oppositions There is no crown without a cross.

    • Cant't Find a Job
      January 4, 2013

      JJ DFP was 1980 and Mamo lost a golden opportunity with her BF Reagan. I think Mamo made us to much a a rural farm land place and her men ministers were all pussy-cats and couldn’t say crap.

      I know the 80 and the 90s and we were backward….Things were not better.

  7. Gary
    January 4, 2013

    Wow,Why is it talking so long to rebuild the DFP. That should be done months ago or a year ago. The Party should have gone back to the drawing board and by now have a viable Party up and going for the next election.This does not sound like a Party at all but rather one man crusade beating a drum.

    It seems none of the Political Parities in the Country have any stagey in place to present an alternative to the DLP. To tell the electorate that you are going to educate them about the mismanagement of the DLP and making that the focus of your Party 2013 is a big joke.Why would the DFP beat the same drum as the UWP, it tells me they to have no vision to take the country forward.

    The DFP is operating on old political principles and expect to Govern, which is, tell the people what they want to hear. The strategy outlined by Mr. Astaphan quote is to “check the heartbeat of our people on the ground” while making decisions that are in the best interest of the country. “We are going on the ground, hear what our people are saying, what they want us to do, where to put our energy and how to focus on rebuilding the party,” he. Wow, does that sound like a Party with a strong confident leadership with a vision to Govern a country of course not, relying on people to get input, where is the Party Leadership showing innovation and vision.The DFP have not presented any plan as to where they intend to take the country if elected to be the next Government.

    Why is Mr. Astaphan using such rhetoric quote “We cannot be bringing people from overseas to push barrow and to mix cement and to measure drains,” he argued. “We have many competent people here in Dominica who can do that and who are willing to work.” Mr Astaphan must be honest when making such statements and not manipulate the facts to for good sound bites. Another of his rhetoric “When you have projects, Chinese come first, then you have Cubans, then you have Venezuelans. Nobody is saying that you shouldn’t take these people but it should not be done to the detriment of your own people.” I wonder if the DFP was in power and given aid for large projects and in the agreement for the aid money towards the project would he violate the procurement rules dealing with such project. You can criticize the Government in power but when you are put in to Govern it is a whole new ballgame.The world has changed Governments do not receive money freely to do things without procurement procedures stipulated by the the donor. If the DFP intends to be a viable Party in the next election i do not see them doing so with such strategy.Good luck.

  8. Free Mind
    January 4, 2013

    I don’t vote based on party
    So if they bring good ideas to the table and a viable plan then my ears are open but if it’s more Skerrit not good then they can go suck salt cuz crying down someone else doesn’t help me and it definitely doesn’t help Dominica

  9. ROSEAU
    January 4, 2013

    To all the self made intellectuals who want to tell the DFP how to go about and kick-start its revival, I want to tell you that before anyone can form an alliance they must first self-identify.
    So the Dominican Freedom party has to rally up its troops to see how strong they are before they can go to the table to be recognized as a viable force.
    Micheal is doing the right thing by going out there to feel the pulse of the electorate.
    All Dominicans know that more than 60% of the people who have voted for the DLP in the last three elections , at one time in their life have also voted for the Dominica Freedom Party or were themselves Freedomites, including many of the current ministers and Pal Reps.
    The Freedom Party has the best reputation and many of our younger people need to be reminded of how happy Dominicans were when this party was in power. We never used to hear about corruption,election fraud and all the ailments that is plaguing Da today, during the DFP reign.
    So now is the time if you love Dominica, to open up our minds and explore all options for a better Da. Come one come all.

    • Tri-State Beauty
      January 4, 2013

      ..”” The Freedom Party has the best reputation and many of our younger people need to be reminded of how happy Dominicans were when this party was in power…””

      You meant that for amusement right?

    • Roseau-Cental Passe
      January 4, 2013

      @ Roseau I don’t think DFP should dismantle and rebuilding the party base is their perrogative but alas you stretching it wi. DFP is doing the same thing they’re slamming Labourites for when it comes to Skerrit..i.e. feasting on Eugenia Charles’ image to win people over.

      Really and truly what did DFP do for the average Dominican who pounced around in Viva Mama Eugenia T-Shirts and helped them stay in power for 15 years? This was and will always be a party of elitist and truth is you can defend you party but to state DFP had the best reputation is laughable. A party that was so hell bent on hate and victimization, manipulation, class and ego you can’t be real. Look at who benefited from Freedom and look at who benefited from UWP and Labour to date and tell me the difference. UWP and now DLP took malaway children and gave them a rightful place in society based on their hard work irrespective of colour. That is not to say there was or isn’t any nepotism but alas DFP was skin tone to the core. Give me a break! if DFP keeps sending up Alvin Bernard I will keep voting Prevost. I was born and raised Labour but I believe in the better man for the job.

  10. Jay
    January 4, 2013

    If Mr. Astaphan was interested in “the best interest of the country” he should champion the removal of the 20% import duty on solar water heaters from outside the ORCS, designed to benefit his own company. There should be no duty on any equipment/merchandise designed to produce clean, cheap renewable energy, regardless of its origin.

  11. January 4, 2013

    The political joke so far for 2013,was when a caller to Q95 made a recommendation that Michael Astaphan should replace Mr. Norris Prevost as the candidate in the Roseau constituency for the proposed alliance political party. We must not forget that the last time Michael ran as a candidate in a General Election,the man did not receive ten votes,therefore,what will be different the next time around. The two major political parties,even Pappy have a weekly radio show in order to EDUCATE their supporters and others about their plans and programes,presently, the Freedom Party appears to be broke because they can only afford a Monthly Radio Show,therefore, what the hell is Michael talking about. Garson,come joint Mr. Edison James and the UWP in an effort to remove that currupted Government from office.General elections could be called sometime this year,now de man wants to talk about rebuilding.

    • Peace
      January 4, 2013

      When is Pappy Show? On what radio station is the Pappy Show?

    • hmmm
      January 4, 2013

      The suggestion that a incumbent MP should move over for a candidate who has no political capital is a statement that is unworthy of a serious response. Those delusional freedomites are so tormented with the guilt for the major role they play in putting D/ca on the scary path we on now, that they can’t find an ounce of forgiveness in their bones for the UWP bugging allegations, and removing them from what they thought was everlasting power. WAKE UP freedomites, the country is much bigger than your foolish egos.

  12. BRA
    January 3, 2013

    Most of the Labourites are former Freedomites. Goodluck Mr. Astaphan trying to get them back to the DFP.

    We need a strong opposition in DA. We need to put Dominicans first. Get the message to the masses.

  13. Anonymous
    January 3, 2013

    ….now is not the time for any one party show… 8) …so true bro.. :oops:

  14. not a herd follower
    January 3, 2013

    The DFP is attempting again to rebuild. I hope this time they make significant strides although I have my doubts.

  15. Lougaoo Mem
    January 3, 2013

    Dear Mr. Michael Astaphan,
    To say that your focus in 2013 is rebuilding your party, and educate the D/can people on the mismanagement of the country, clearly says that you are not in tuned with what has to be done to get the current government out of business. May I say that Dominicans don’t need any education on mismanagement? He/she who feels it, knows it. The jobless rate, crimes, drug & alcohol abuse, and most importantly, the continued violation of the Constitution, to include the manipulation of the judicial system, are evidence that cause the excrutiating pains we now feel.
    What we need are serious leaders from each and every constituency on the island to form an alliance, and start the ground work to elect the patriots to get us out of the mess Roosevelt Skerrit and his regime has gotten us into. It is rather late to think that our people need education on the pressure that they’ve been feeling. What we need is massive demonstrations from the North, South, East & West, demanding that the regime is held accountable for the allegations and accusations of corruption. Any undisclosed wealth not supported by their wages, accumulated by members of Parliament during their tenure in office, must be investigated and brought to trial. The time has come to react to the injustices that plague the nation. Too many of our youths has disapeared or incarcerated with no resolve in sight. Too many lawyers in high places continues to get rich by means of all types of shenanigans, to include denial of needed funds to the treasury. These are the pressing issues that you need to take to the masses. Q95 has done and is doing its share; this is not the time for any one party show. A collective effort by all the concerned citizens and political parties is the only way to get the movement on track.

    • BRAIN DAMAGE
      January 4, 2013

      I back you up on that brother.

    • Cant't Find a Job
      January 4, 2013

      How did you know to select this moniker for yourself…

      Boy oh Boy, your party operates like the real Lager-Bless

    • lion
      January 5, 2013

      you hit the nail right on the head my Brother

    • ??????????
      January 6, 2013

      @Lougaoo. I could not have said it better.
      The high level of corruption is the populations main concern presently. We need to team up to get the rogues out. Too musch lying, stealing, cheating, etc.

  16. January 3, 2013

    see mister making a fool of himself. please please….any friend of this man….advise him to stay away from making stupid comment. be wiser!

    no chance to do it alone
    we the ppl seeing how greedy you guys are
    stop showing your true colours….atleast, try to fool us a bit!

    • Anonymous
      January 4, 2013

      How is he any more greedy than UWP and Labour?

      There is nothing stupid about his comments either other than Dominicans are willing to work. Had Dominicans been working the State Palace and the roads, under the cliff would not be finished neither the Prtsmouth road and only the foundation for State palace would have been laid at this point. Thats a fact! Will never forget fixing the ferry terminal after Dean they were still fixing meanwhile stadium built and open.

      Agree its for Domincians to work but we are not ready. Curious though to find out how those Dominicans who did get jobs working alongside the Chinese, if their attitde and skills have not increased 100 fold.

  17. Dominiquen
    January 3, 2013

    Espwa mal papai :lol:

  18. January 3, 2013

    Michael have to remember he’s just acting as leader of the DLP untill a more permanent leader is appointed therefore he cannot believe that the DLP party can win the next election on their own they didnt even won a seat in the last election .
    Right now we need all opposition parties to come together to get this DLP out of office so we can try to rebuild the Island they all need to go out and recruit the best men/women out there and the people will follow .
    As for those in the diaspora take heed you come down voted for this GOVT therefore you helped to put us in the situation we are going thru a mess because of you all ask yourselves are you satified with the way things are unfolding on the Island. Right now it’s not about parties any more it’s about Dominica and all the people we need to come together as people not as supports of any of the parties or groups.
    DOMINICA NEEDS A NEW DIRECTION .

    • January 3, 2013

      My comment were of the DFP (Michael Astaphan) of cause it was an error and I just want to make the correction.

  19. street side
    January 3, 2013

    DFP is long extinct in my view..

    Not sure where they planning to have a re birth
    Maybe at the Boiling Lake…
    They were so bent on getting UWP out at all cost

    So their sins committed to Dominica in 2000 General Elections have made them DOOM FOREVER!

    • Malatete
      January 4, 2013

      Dynosaurs in all parties, harking back to old times, old feuds and intrigues. You overlook the young electorate, now in the majority, at your peril. Most of them are fed up with that partisan outlook. Many unhappy DLP members would like an alternative too. Learn from the past but don’t stagnate there. Time for a new, fresh movement.Don’t say it can not be done. Both the DFP and UWP were born out of exactly such sentiments. Voters are like shoppers, they want to see new stock!

  20. White Plains Rd
    January 3, 2013

    Even though Dominica is the Poorest Eastern Caribbean islands under this Corrupt Labour Regime
    Labour will still be able to sneak a win out at Any Elections, id cards or not..

    What folks need to get it that you need 11 seats to Form a ruling regime, where is it going to come from Will there be a landslide Victory for the Opposition Sounding distorted and Completely Blinded and not understanding the Common Cause.

    Dominican in the Present mind set will still Gravel at election time for the few pennies the Red Camp will handout and will be happy to say Thanks for Labour…

    Folks need to realise this is not the 60s-70s era
    Dominicans are extremely timid and can’t show any Success Pointers for all that radio chatter Daily.

    They as a Society lack Guts to be firm and take Action…

    So with all said Labour Party surely knows where They will target seats to win…

    St.Joe which is the Poorest Community on island
    Will be fooled by a few pennies..

    So DFP AND UWP…sorry Dominicans are quite Happy With this Corrupt Regime!

    • not a herd follower
      January 3, 2013

      As much as it saddens me to say so, there’s a lot of truth in what you say about what the masses have become

  21. dominica born britis
    January 3, 2013

    you need to also teel them about international airport.

    • dominica born britis
      January 3, 2013

      they keep on lying about international airport.skerrit dosn’t want to build an international airport.

      • Anonymous
        January 4, 2013

        The money was there for an international airport under uwp. Why didn’t they build it then?

      • Anonymous
        January 4, 2013

        Great! Then Skerrit gets my vote for sure! :mrgreen:

  22. james
    January 3, 2013

    LOL.

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