Parliament opened at 10 am today and in keeping with their promise, the opposition benches were occupied. However, not long after the first part of the session had begun they walked out.
Parliamentary Representative for the Salisbury and Marigot constituencies, respectively, Hector John and Edison James, had already taken their oaths while their senators – Ezekiel Bazil, Claudius Sanford, Ron Green and Ronnie Isidore – had been nominated and appointed.
In a press conference subsequent to this, Opposition Leader Hector John said that the walk out was as a result of the government’s refusal to address electoral reform.
When asked if the party will attend parliament, John indicated that it would be at the next sitting of the house. He however stated, “As soon as the prime minister is ready to move into the right direction, we ready to move into parliament. As we said we are ready. The United Workers Party is ready to go back into parliament.”
John said in a written statement: “There has been absolutely no action taken by the government to facilitate electoral reform which we regard as indispensable in bringing about free and fair elections which is at the heart of our democracy.”
“…This is why the United Workers Party has walked out of Parliament today. It is because the strength of our Party lies in its commitment to fight dictatorship, tyranny and victimization,” he stated.
The opposition leader believes that “walking out of parliament this morning sent a message to Dominicans, the region and even further beyond… we want to participate in parliament but we’re calling on the government to move in the direction of electoral reform. Make the funding available to the electoral commission for them to do their work, “he stated.
He called on concerned citizens to support the party’s efforts.
“We are doing it for our country, not for ourselves, not for the United Workers Party but for the people of the Commonwealth of Dominica,” he stated.