ROSEAU, Dominica, CMC – Opposition legislators on Monday continued their boycott of Parliament to protest what they claim were irregularities in the last general election that was won by the ruling Dominica Labour Party (DLP).
The three members of the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) insist they will not give “legitimacy to an illegitimate parliament” and are instead participating in a “People’s Parliament” organised by opposition groups on the island.
“Although I have been elected parliamentary representative for the Roseau Central Constituency, I have not been to the Parliament and on Monday I will not be going to the parliament,” Norris Prevost said over the weekend.
His UWP colleague, Hector John, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that the party was not backing down on its position.
“We continue to take this action because nothing has been done. We are not moving in the direction of electoral reform and addressing the problems that transpired during the last election, so we will be staying out of the Parliament today,” John said.
The UWP, which has gone to the High Court challenging the results of five constituencies including that of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, wants fresh general elections within 18 months of last December’s polls.
In addition, the party wants electoral reform with the provision of voter identification cards and a new voters’ list.
The UWP faces the prospect of having the seats of the three opposition legislators, including former prime minister Edison James, declared vacant.
Skerrit recently announced that the DLP is preparing to contest the seats in by-elections.
“We are going to parliament for a second time on March 29…and in April for a third time and we will go back for a fourth time and those who want to miss three sittings of the Parliament and make the seats vacant, the DLP shall file candidates to contest by-elections in these constituencies and I have no doubt the DLP candidates will be voted into Parliament,” Skerrit said.