ROSEAU, Dominica, CMC – A former senior government minister Tuesday brushed aside calls by the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) for fresh general elections following the December 18 that resulted in a third consecutive victory for the ruling Dominica Labour Party (DLP).
UWP leader, Ron Green, said that the party’s executive had taken the decision in light of the “fraudulent nature” of last Friday’s general election in which the DLP won 18 of the 21 seats at stake.
Green, one of the casualties of the poll, said that there had been “gross and unprecedented irregularities, fraud and breaches of the laws of Dominica in this general election”.
But former energy minister, Charles Savarin, said the statement by the UWP leader that the party would also be boycotting the new parliament was laughable, given the fact that the December 18 general election had been monitored by the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
He said that the two overseas electoral missions had not found any irregularities and had even made recommendations for strengthening the democratic process.
“Therefore the question as to whether the elections were free and fair and honest…is not for Ron Green to determine or to announce,” Savarin said on the state-owned Dominica Broadcasting Service (DBS).
“It would be for the election observers to make a statement concerning the conduct of the elections and not Mr. Ron Green,” Savarin said, noting that the UWP had been clamouring for the elections and when it was called, was indicating that “the government still had another year to run until December 2010 and (was rushing) to hold elections before Christmas”..
Green said that the UWP would “boycott the parliament” for various reasons including “the unprecedented use of bribery to unlawfully influence the election result” as well as the “the denial of the opposition of access to state owned media which rendered the elections grossly unfair”.
But Savarin said that if the opposition party was serious about boycotting the new parliament, then its three victorious members should resign and allow for by-elections to be held.
“If Ron Green and the United Workers Party really wish not to come to Parliament and really wants an election all they have to do is resign from the three seats that they were elected to and there will be by-elections,” he added.
Tags: Election 2009