Two members of the Electoral Commission have disassociated themselves from an Electoral Office press statement disseminated to the media regarding the suspected bribery of Dominican voters residing overseas.
The statement was aired on the day before and the morning of the December 18 general elections.
Bernie Didier and Attorney-at-law Don Christopher, who were appointed to the Electoral Commission by the United Workers Party (UWP), did not consent to the issuance of the document, according to a statement.
“I Bernie Didier, for myself, state that I contacted Mr. Gerald Burton, attorney-at-law, chairman of the commission about the suspected bribery in the Dominica Labour Party, bringing overseas voters treated to vote in Dominica. Mr. Burton told me this is a matter for the politician, not the Electoral Commission.
“I Don Christopher for myself state that on 17th December, 2009 that I was sent a draft press release in writing and virulently opposed its issuance, nevertheless the release was issued without my authority and read on radio the morning of the General Election,” the two Electoral Commission members said in a statement.
That press statement from the Electoral Office stated that it is not an offence for registered voters residing overseas to return to Dominica to cast their votes. “Electors therefore, ought not to feel intimidated by speculations and suggestions that they should or will be arrested merely as a result of having returned to Dominica to vote,” it continued.
However, Didier and Christopher regarded the dissemination of such a statement as a gross irregularity on the part of two other members of the Electoral Commission, who they allege are supporters of the ruling Dominica Labour Party (DLP).
Efforts to reach Gerald Burton up to press time proved futile; however Dominica News Online will try to get a response from him on the matter.
Tags: Election 2009