The Salisbury constituency has been lacking proper representation for over a decade and on Friday its constituents will have another opportunity to avoid this from happening by voting for the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) at the bi-elections.
This is according to Bentley Royer, the DLP candidate who will come up against United Workers Party’s (UWP) Hector John, for the chance to represent Salisbury, Morne Rachette and Coulibistrie in Parliament.
“I know I can make a change this time around because the United Workers Party has not represented the Salisbury constituency… They failed to do that 10 years ago as opposition and this time around the new parl rep has failed to represent the people in Parliament … I believe the people need representation,” Royer remarked in a telephone interview with Dominica News Online Monday night.
The former school teacher said he is confident and satisfied with the constituents’ responses. “I think I’m well prepared. I have been going house to house speaking to the people,” he informed.
John defeated Royer at the December 18, 2009 General Elections. However, John did not attend any sittings of the House of Assembly following his victory because of his party’s decision to boycott Parliament.
According to Royer, the constituents should do the right thing and vote him because if John is victorious he will boycott Parliament again.
“I think he said so on several occasions. People have told me he said that… I foresee us going into another bi-election which we all know that we cannot afford; we cannot afford to be involved in bi-elections over,” Royer noted, accusing the UWP of using the constitution to sabotage everything.
He believes John has not provided proper representation to the community since he vacated his seat intentionally, adding “It’s more than 20 years the people voting UWP and nothing has been done substantially because of lack of representation.”
His immediate plans focus on the youth, development of sporting facilities and enhancement of feeder roads. Royer also intends on placing emphasis on care for the elderly in the constituency.
He recognized the basketball courts in “Salisbury and Coulibistrie are in need of repair.
“Work has to be done and I think I am in a better position to get these things done… I believe the UWP’s aim is to get the people to suffer so they would say is under Labour Party they suffered …
I can recall even when the roads were bad [UWP] supporters had to go about begging for money so that they could repair the road … I have not seen that under Labour Party …The feeder roads have not been repaired as it should have been … all roads are in a bad condition everywhere,” Royer said.
However, despite UWP supporters cry that the DLP administration has not done anything for the constituency, Royer said that is not so.
“Social needs [and] health-care were catered for; [ITSS] students have free transportation to school, farmers received subsidies and after Hurricane Dean all farmers who sustained devastation got compensation. This Government has done a lot for this constituency despite the lack of representation by elected members of parliament all under UWP,” the DLP senator remarked.
“I am sure the people will make that drastic change … this constituency has been held back … we need to mobilize our people; we have to bring unity and that will not be done with the UWP because all they’ve been preaching is division,” he stated.