Political Leader of the United Workers Party (UWP), Lennox Linton, said the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) won the Soufriere by-election on Tuesday because more interest was placed on handouts rather than issues and integrity of the voting process.
During a live interview on Q-95 Radio Hot Seat Programme on Wednesday morning, Linton also made allegations of bribery during the polls.
“We had nothing to pass because we don’t bribe people for their votes,” he stated.
Denise Charles of the DLP won the by-election with 1,342 votes compared to UWP’s Higgs Adams with 560. Charles in the by-election secured more votes than her predecessor Ian Pinard of the DLP who received 1,326 votes compared to UWP’s Higgs Adams who received 822 votes in the 2014 General Election.
“We all know what happened,” Linton stated. “Mr. Skerrit now speaks about the issues in the campaign; he didn’t seem to be interested in those issues when he was distributing loads and loads of materials to be transported in the community to be handed out to people as bribes for their votes,” He wasn’t concerned about the issues and the integrity of the voting process in Dominica. And so the people voted, the people have spoken. We contested the election, we did not do as well as we thought we would have done, but there are a lot of factors at play and we understand those factors.”
Linton gave a brief description of his party’s campaign strategy in the run-up to the by-election.
“We were around the constituency, we had over a dozen public meetings in different locations of the constituency,” he stated. “The Labour Party had three rallies…We had messages about the issues that we felt were of concern; obviously, the issues that we represent that would be of concern were not of concern to 70 percent of the people in the constituency. That’s what the result says, and so we wonder what really is going on?”
Linton thanked his team and commended Adams, who he said stood as a man of “honour” and represented his people.
“We had an excellent team on the ground throughout the two weeks, very committed, very devoted, very methodical in what they were doing, which is what allowed us to understand very clearly what has happened,” he said.
He argued that Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, ‘who stands and beats his chest after the victory in Pointe Michel,’ is the same person who has mismanaged the economy of Dominica.
“We see unemployment, we see decline in the performance of agriculture, of tourism, of manufacturing, construction and service sectors, we see an alarming increase in trade deficit, the massive national debt and we see the absence of good governance, conduct and procedures,” Linton remarked. “Is any of that important to the people of the constituency?”