A special sitting of parliament has been convened for Friday to officially inform members that the office of the president is to become vacant.
“It’s simply to inform the parliament of the vacancy which will exist in the Office of President,” Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit explained.
According to the Prime Minister the nation’s current president, Dr. Nicholas Liverpool, has made it known that he is unable to complete his second term on the job which ends in September 2013.
“Therefore we will need somebody to replace His Excellency the President for the balance of the term up to September 2013,” he said.
Skerrit and Leader of the Opposition Hector John have consulted on the vacancy but according to the Prime Minister there was no agreement between them on a choice of president, hence the reason for the special sitting.
He said after tomorrow’s sitting, there are 14 days in which nominations will be put forward by the government and the opposition, after which another sitting of parliament will be convened for the actual election of the president.
It has been reported in the media that Prime Minister Skerrit’s choice for president is former public servant Eluid Williams. However,this has not been confirmed by the government.
Opposition Leader John has said that someone has given consent to be the United Workers Party nominee but did not make public the name of that person.
According to the Constitution of the Dominica: “Whenever the office of the President is vacant or the term of office of the President is due to expire within not more than ninety days, the Prime Minister shall consult with the Leader of the Opposition as to their joint nomination of a suitable candidate for election as President”.
If the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition agree on a joint nominee for the Presidency, then the Speaker will be advised in writing and the individual will be elected without putting the question to a vote.
If they do not agree, the Speaker will be advised and the House of Assembly will be informed accordingly. Then, within 14 days, “the Prime Minister or the Leader of the Opposition or any three members of the House” may submit to the Speaker “by writing under their hands, nominations of candidates for election as President”.