PM discusses electoral reform with Secretary General of Commonwealth Secretariat

Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma

Dominica is seeking technical assistance from the Commonwealth Secretariat for its electoral reform agenda, which includes the implementation of national ID cards For Dominica.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit held discussions with Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma on his official one day visit to the Dominica yesterday.

He says there is need for professional experience guidance for the implementation of the reform agenda.

“We discussed a number of areas and one of the most important points is that with regards to technical assistance with relations to our electoral reform agenda.They have had experience in that area and we would need professional guidance in regards to its implementation,” he said.

He said government’s role is to make the funds available to the electoral reform and wouldn’t want any further involvement “for various reasons”.

Meantime Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat told a press conference yesterday that the implementation of national ID cards is essential to the further development of the country.

He says the Commonwealth Secretariat will make quick progress in that area.

There has been mounting pressure on government for the implementation of Voter ID Cards but Prime Minister Skerrit said it will be too costly.

The UWP has threatened that it will not take part in any elections in the absence of Voter ID Cards.

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48 Comments

  1. FREE and FAIR
    June 20, 2011

    The political Directorate and their supporters are afraid of Electoral Reforms like the Devil ‘fraid GLO BENNI. Voter ID cards, Cleaning Up the bloated Voters’ List if done will be a huge thorn in the sides of the ruling DLP Govt because implementing those things would assist in making elections FREE and FAIR.

    Unfortunately, and sadly in the 21st. century, some sections of the Dominican society do not want the Electoral Commission to receive the money to provide Voter ID cards and to clean Up the Voters’ List? The Commission has the Right to request assistance to ensure FREE and FAIR Elections. Our Constitution gives the Commission that Right. NO politician, no Govt. no Lawyer have any right to mandate or influence the Independent Commission. It is against the Constitution and downright dictatorial to interfere with the work or operations of the Electoral Commission by refusing to respond positively to its genuine request for Electoral reforms — Voter ID cards and to Clean Up the List.

    History tells us that fraudulent elections in several countries have caused unnecessary turmoil, conflicts and even death. Why should Dominicans, therefore, not do the Right thing and demand that their Govt. ensure elections are FREE and FAIR?

    To whose benefit will it be with elections that are filled with irregularities, bribery and actions against the Constitution and Laws of the land? It would benefit those with DICTATORIAL leanings who live by and operate in illegalities. Who would benefit if the proper mechanisms are put in place now to ensure FREE and FAIR elections as recommended by the Electoral Commission? The entire country would benefit.

  2. Conscious
    June 20, 2011

    Skeritt has guts, eh! The man speaks of his Government electoral reform agenda. What agenda? The only agenda Skeritt and his fellow cabalists has is to thwart the electoral reforms (voter ID cards, cleaning the elecotal list) put forward by the Electoral Commission. Is this guy taking all of us for fools or is he losing his sanity?

  3. Sout Man
    June 19, 2011

    Cleaning up the voters registration list is the most important aspect of electoral reform. We have to ensure that the same person does not vote multiple times and in multiple locations. An ID card only matches a name to a face. So what does it matter if the ID is a driver’s license, a passport, a national ID card or a voter ID card.

    A national ID card, like the US green card will have a picture, bar code, finger print and other sophisticated security gadgets embeded in it. It may become the leading document for intra-regional travel. As Sure stated earlier, voter ID card is used every 5 years while national ID has everyday usage and you still have to register to vote in advance of any election. A birth certificate or naturalization card will be required before national ID cards are issued. Furthermore, in our democracy, majority rules. It’s not just what the minority says. Let’s get to work!!

  4. VOTER ID CARDS NOW
    June 19, 2011

    Only because the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat, His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma, was on his official one day visit to Dominica last week, that Skerrit held discussions with him on Electoral Reform? Where was Sharma all those years or other personnel of the Secretariat, in Mars, that Skerritt could not discuss the burning issue years ago?

    The ‘Independent’ Electoral Commission has been treated BADLY, with CONTEMPT, CAST ASIDE, made powerless, rendered INEFFECTIVE. ITS policies for elections to be FREE and FAIR are being DERAILED. In case people forget,

    The Electoral Commission is mandated, it has the POWER by our CONSTITUTION to implement plans and policies to conduct General and Bye- Elections in a manner that is Free and Fair and according to the Electoral Laws. NO POLITICIAN, NO PARTY IN GOVT., NO MINISTER have the RIGHT TO MANDATE ANYTHING TO THE ‘INDEPENDENT’ Electoral Commission. That is against the Constitution.

    The total Electoral Reform package that would ensure FREE and FAIR elections in the future in Dominica among others: ———– VOTER ID CARDS,———— ———Cleaning Up the Voters’LIST——
    ——equal access to state media, ———respecting/obeying anti-bribery and other electoral Laws, ———-campaign financing issues (people should know from which sources $$$$ come from for elections)—-

    The Electoral Commission, the Chief Elections Officer, opposition parties, the Dominican public at large for years upon years, pleading, calling for Electoral Reforms,to CLEAN UP the bloated Voters’ List for VOTER ID CARDS, specific for proper identification of legitimate Dominican voters for election purposes.

    The pressure must mount by all right thinking citizens to ensure FREE and FAIR elections in Dominica. Let us all support the recommendations from the Electoral Commission requesting for the funds to provide VOTER ID CARDS and for CLEANING UP the VOTERS’ LIST. Every Dominican, especially those yet unborn,would tend to benefit from Electoral Reform. It is not an Opposition thing. It is a DOMINICA thing. YES For that I AM DOMINICA, ARE YOU?

    My people there appears to be NO POLITICAL WILL TO PROVIDE VOTER ID CARDS, or CLEAN UP THE LIST or implement much needed Electoral Reform. FRANKLY Skerritt and his DLP Govt. are SCARED of ELECTORAL REFORMS which would prevent or lessen irregularities, FRAUD, Cheating, Stealing. Bad Elections lead to chaos and strife. Dominica needs Electoral Reforms NOW — Voter ID Cards, Cleaning Up the Voters’ List. FREE and FAIR ELECTIONS
    YES FOR SUCH THINGS, I AM DOMINICA, ARE YOU?

    • Anonymous
      June 20, 2011

      a speech that man? you expect people to read this?

    • Truth, Love, Peace
      June 20, 2011

      Will this aid to deter the chaos and fights of Party supporters which occur during the election campaign?

  5. legal?
    June 19, 2011

    Why were there no discussions with the legally votes members?
    Why is commonwealth secretary recognising and having discussions with an illegal man?
    Do they not know that this is interference in the coarse of justice?
    There needs to be an injunction set to fast track the legal process?
    If not this coupe will be irreversible.

  6. POSITIVELY DOMINICAN
    June 19, 2011

    He was paid and bamboozled by the Prime Minister to say that.

    We Dominicans are not fools and will not be fooled. We are ready for action.

    The PM wants to stay in power at all costs, but we Dominican will not be manipulated.

    We will not stomach any communist ideology in Dominica. We will take action to prevent dictatorship in Dominica. We will wake up and express our concerns!!! Voters ID cards are the asnswer to free and fair elections in Dominica> No Voters ID cards – No elections!!

  7. River Street
    June 18, 2011

    So freaking pathetic. A disastrous opposition, adding more power to a not all there government; and as the piper plays knuckleheads follow. Are election irregularities the biggest issue in Dominica? An extremely disorganised and infantile opposition, totally dazed and confused is worse than voter scam.For the record I have no allegiance to either party. I believe if peace treaties can be negotiated ,why can’t we in Dominica an island of 70,000 be less divisve and more constructive? Anger, na

    • Uncle Sam
      June 19, 2011

      Ithink the words Voters Identification Card scares every one assocated with the fraud currently associated with voting in Dominica under the current system .
      Whats wrong wit voters I D Cards ???

  8. June 18, 2011

    Dominicans are too rebellious. All ths talk of ignorance against National ID are from the foolish UWPIPES or Under Wear Pigs. Do what you guys feel like, saywhat you want but, the majority will alwas support Skerritt. God Bless DLP, God Bless Dominica.

    • Truth, Love, Peace
      June 19, 2011

      @ eagle

      From afar, I have noted that they can never see the good in others; their good deeds. They are blind and deaf to the good that Prime Minister Skerrit has done. He does not deserve their criticism. It is unfair to him.
      Those who criticize are doing absolutely nothing for their country and to enhance it. They are too bent on destroying it and all the good which has been done in Dominica, perpetuated by the Prime Minister and through him.
      Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. There are those who have projected that they are devoid of it and who do not possess it as projected in their heart, mind, thoughts, words and negative comments. Wherever they may reside, they are unfruitful Dominicans. This tells a lot about them.
      May God bless the Prime Minister, you and all others who stand up for what is fair, just and right to do and say and to enhance the beauty and progress of Dominica.

      • June 20, 2011

        I just don’t know what happen to dominicans. The island needs prayer, we have benn blinded by a demonic cloud that brings hate to our prosperity.

    • Uncle Sam
      June 19, 2011

      Did;nt the Electoral Commission decide that I D Cards are necessary for future electios on island ?

  9. %
    June 18, 2011

    PM you are the servant of the people and not the master…What Dominicans are asking for is a VOTERS ID CARD, so regardless of who you had discussions with,what Dominicans want is a VOTERS ID CARD….!!!

    • Truth, Love, Peace
      June 19, 2011

      Whatever the people want they must comprehend that they cannot always get it. Consider that Dominican taxpayers will have to foot the bill.
      If it is not feasible and too costly, they must abide with the result.
      Subservient my fellow Dominicans. It is a loving, humble Christian act.

      • Uncle Sam
        June 19, 2011

        Are we not immediately ready to spend 1.5 US million dollars to straighten the Registry ? …How much is that in E C dollars ? Is the egistry more important than the electoral process ??

    • Sout Man
      June 19, 2011

      Do you speak on behalf of the majority or the minority? An ID only matches a face to a name on the voters’ registration list. It does not guarantee an automatic vote if you are not registered to vote. So what’s the fuss. Many states in the USA rely on a driver’s license or a govt. issued ID.

    • Concern One
      June 19, 2011

      Do a pole and let us know what you mean by the majority of Dominicans want voters ID Card.

  10. The truth
    June 18, 2011

    how is natinal i.d different from a passport (which shows you are a national?) people just talk so much rubbish. if you are a dominican national you are considered or enjoy exactly the same privileges as a dominican citizen. it is the same way dominicans are allowed to vote in multiple parts of the world where gov decisions affect them as nationals. a national means that you have become a dominican citizen by satisfying certain requirements, or you was born dominican. personally, i see nothing wrong with people coming from overseas and making dominica their home as long as they dont mash up my country. not after we try so hard to enjoy making money in pther people’s countries.

    so, with that said, nationals are all allowed to vote. the gov decisions affects them just the same as (national born dominicans)

  11. Puskanie
    June 18, 2011

    Fire!!! pon de wicked. Look out evil doers…the people coming for, your time soon come. Get ready to burn!!!!

  12. whistler
    June 18, 2011

    Dominicans talk too much…skero continue to spin the minds of dominicans…i fully agree with you..

    why do dominicans just keep talking…

    uwp alone cant create a change..more interest groups have to come on board..

    i think dominicans are way way too weak and come up with very little to show by their actions….skero is way on the move to stay in power as long as he feels because the citizens dont want to take actions..

  13. Skerrit's Friend
    June 18, 2011

    Comrade I have been informed that Citizens’ Forum For a Better Dominica is capable of sourcing the VID at a cost of 25% of the 4 million dollars that you have been speaking about. You ought to be glad for this cost saving opportunity and be willing to engage these guys with dispatch, ahead of any othet elections. Mr. Skerrit, please project yourself as the statesman that you claim to be and let it not been seen or said of you that “Skerrit is bent on taking his people for a ride”…. When I rallied with you that is not the Skerrit that I had came to love and appreciate, BRING HIM BACK please my friend…..

  14. Anonymous
    June 18, 2011

    to bad for the loosers. the loosing party pwie

  15. Kryptonite
    June 18, 2011

    lol ha ha ha who this guy thinks he fooling

  16. doctor love
    June 18, 2011

    HOW CAN THE SECRETARY GENERAL APPROVE USING AN ID CARD FOR VOTING INSTEAD OF VOTERS ID CARD,WHEN ALL THE COMMONWEALTH NATIONS ARE USING VOTERS ID CARD.MR. SECRETARY YOU GUYS MUST BE HONEST TO TELL THESE POLITITIONS WHEN THEY ARE WRONG. :lol:

    • Breath of Fresh Air
      June 18, 2011

      Everytime people don’t side with you all, they are wrong. Stop being bias, you haters. You all are not always right.

    • Grand Bayrain
      June 18, 2011

      Doctor Love,
      Where you get that from? We had a Federal election in May, and all I did was show my drivers license. Where you got that facts about all Commonwealth Countries have voter ID card? lol.

    • 4 sure
      June 18, 2011

      Yes Dr Hate, It’s either you think that only fools read the comments, no Dominicans live in other Commonwealth countries, you are ignorant or you just write what ever untruths you want.

  17. only
    June 18, 2011

    Stay away from the National ID card idea which originated with the U.N. It is another tracking and separating device and by giving up some of your rights, they allow you certain privileges.
    Then again if you will trade freedom for security, in the end you will have neither. Read history and how the Jews were duped into compliance only to ultimately end up in enslavement and worse. And they were only one group of people, the same thing has happened over and over again throughout history.

    You already have a passport, that is enough.
    A voter ID card for a specific area and country is the way to ensure proper elections, something many politicians do not want.

    • no vote
      June 18, 2011

      u mean to tell me someone will take their time to write this crap? what you mean by this is another onthe UN? and what rights have to do with voter ID card when you all came into office without voter ID card in 1995? it was ok then but not now?

      IN 1998 THE ELECTORAL OFFICE ASK THE U.W.P GOVERNMENT OF EDISON JAMES AND RON GREEN TO IMPLEMENT VOTER ID CARDS FOR THE UP COMING 2000 ELECTION….HAVE WE SEEN IT IMPLEMENTED? WHY WASNT IT BEING IMPLEMENTED THEN? THESE PEOPLE THINKS THEY ARE SO IMPORTANT IN THIS COUNTRY AN THEREFORE WHAT THEY SAY MUST BE DON OR ELSE….

      EDISON JAMES IS IN NO POSITION TO SAY NO ID CARDS NO ELECTION. HE IS NOT THE ONLY PARTY IN DOMINICA. PLUS IF ALL THE PARTIES WERE TO SAY THEY NOT RUNNING….I WILL FORM A PARTY WITH 15 CANDIDATES JUST TO ENSURE THAT THERE IS AN ELECTION. U ALL NOT STOPING PROGRESS IN DOMINICA LITTLE BOYS. GO AND PUT ALL YOU ACT TOGETHER SO PEOPLE CAN SEE ALL YOU AS AN OPTION FOR THEM.

      AND EDISON GET OFF THE WAY LET THE YOUNGER GUYS BE FELEXIBLE. GO AND REST YOUR 70 YEARS OLD BODY. MAKE WAY AN GO REST YOUR SELF. DOMINICANS DONT WANT TO SEE NOR HEAR YOU EXCEPT FOR THE MINORTY.

      POLITICALY YOU TRY TO KILL TIM TIM, YOU KILL EARL WILLIAMS, YOU KILL RON GREEN NOW THAT MARGIE FROM BARWIE SPRAGGS JOHN IS DEAD BEFORE HE STARTED SO YOU CAN HAVE YOUR WAY. GET OUT BOSS….YOU ARE KILLING THE OPPOSITIONS.

      CAN YOU NOT SEE THE LONGER YOU STAY THERE IS THE STRONGER LABOUR GETS?

      YOU WILL NOT REMOVE THEM FROM OFFICE EVEN IF YOU TRY TO OVER THROW THEM. SO MAKE YOUR WAY OUT BOSS. YOU A POLITICAL WASTE.

      • They MAD
        June 19, 2011

        what a load of crap. work on your english too. You cya TRYING to diss people and using poor grammar and english. lol

    • Anonymous
      June 22, 2011

      :?: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?:

  18. Texas
    June 18, 2011

    Now that’s what I’m talking about!

    On the agenda should be

    trim down 21 constituencies to no more than 10.

    The Prime Minister and Opposition should be involved in setting an election date every 5 years or better yet make it a SET day

    All candidates on ALL sides declare their assets BEFORE running for offfice.

    CLEAN UP THE LIST, TOO MANY DEAD PPLE ON THERE

    • doctor love
      June 18, 2011

      PLEASE SEND YOUR ADVICE TO THE ILLEGAL PRIME MINISTER,THAT IS A GREAT PIECE OF ADVICE.

    • aserro
      June 18, 2011

      Texas, last year one of them like you who say it have dead people on the list take his fastness and send down six names of people who he say was dead. When the chief elections officer ask the assistant returning officers to check and verify, all them people alive and kicking. The fact is plenty of us have nick names and our real names appear on the list. Ironically three of the were his supporters and he claim they dead.YOU SEE THE DESPERATION AND NONESENSE.

  19. FLORIDA
    June 18, 2011

    IT IS TOO COSTLY FOR VOTERS ID CARDS BUT YET
    MONEY IS BEEN SPEND ON OTHER THINGS THAT IS NOT IMPORTANT.

    • Truth, Love, Peace
      June 19, 2011

      @ Florida

      Some people speak and make comments for the sake of doing so. This is your opinion from afar in Florida. How could you make such a statement that money is being spent on other things that is not important? When you make such statements you must be able to show proof.

  20. Ban Movay
    June 18, 2011

    I am so tired of this who insists on insulting people’s intelligence. To be a voter in the Commonwealth of Dominica, you need to be a citizen. Not just the holder of a Dominican passport but a citizen. A national ID card is given to anyone who is a resident in Dominica. That would include all foreign nationals who reside in Dominica. A voter ID card is given to citizens of the Commonwealth of Dominica age 18 and over who can legally vote.

    Mr. Skerrit, we are not fools. A national ID card is not a voters ID card. A national ID card would allow all and sundry including but nor limited to chinese, haitians and russians to vote. This is not the constitution of Dominica. We are not all fools. Stop playing the royal. We need voter ID not national ID!!1

    • 4 sure
      June 18, 2011

      The National ID card can serve several purposes. You have to be registered to vote. Your nation ID will prove that you are the registered voter. Think about it cost wise a national ID is for everyday use where identification is necessary, a voter ID Card would be used every 5 years.

      • Anonymous
        June 22, 2011

        THAT IS NOT TRUE IT CAN BE USE FOR OTHER THINGS LIKE TRAVELLING ETC. I JUST SAW ONE FROM ONE OF THE CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES. WHAT ALL YOU AFRAID OF NAH. IF THE PM SAYING IT IS TOO COSTLY, WHY ON EARTH IS HE DOING THE NATIONAL ID CARD WHICH IS FOR EVERYBODY COSTING MORE AND THE VOTER’S ID CARD IS FOR JUST A FEW PEOPLE WHICH IS COSTING MUCH MUCH LESS THAN HE IS MAKING US TO BELIEVE. PM STOP MAKING PEOPLE AROUND YOU MAKE YOU LOOK LIKE GOD KNOWS WHAT AND GET OUT OF THAT COMPLICATION YOU GET YOURSELF INTO. DO YOU HAVE A PEACEFUL SLEEP AT NIGHTS :?:

    • Truth, Love, Peace
      June 19, 2011

      @Ban Movay

      You remind me of Carnival in Dominica in those days of Ban Movay. :lol:
      Those who have a Dominican passport are citizens, whether they are born in Dominica or not. How else could those who were not born in Dominica have obtained a Dominican passport?
      Non-citizens cannot hold a passport. They are consided legal residents – not citizens yet if they do not qualify for citizenship. Therefore, they should not hold a Dominican passport.
      Residents could be citizens and non-citizens.
      I reiterate that non-citizens who were given legal entry to reside and also work in Dominica are obviously not citizens of Dominica and should not be regarded as such.
      You do have a point about giving them a National ID Card. They should not possess one if they are not citizens.
      In initiating, considering, discussing and implementing new systems, there are times that some important factors are overlooked.
      Some of you make some good statements and have some good points. You should write your PM and address this to him, respectfully.
      Help make Dominica a better place to live, work, happily and peacefully.

    • Concern One
      June 19, 2011

      I think you are just what you don’t want people to think you are.

  21. yout
    June 18, 2011

    is this another sham??

    • No Hogwash
      June 18, 2011

      You got that right yout! Skerrit’s party and the sSecretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma’s party will contest the election.. No Voters’ ID cards, no election. PERIOD! The party is over!

      • WAY PAPA
        June 18, 2011

        It does not have to take non issuance of voter ID cards to finish kill workers party. They were formed with vengeance, victimisation , greed and malice in mind. To fire all who were freedomites(scotland) comes to mind. They simply have to self destruct and unless they regroup with honest young men. This is the end for them. Angelo, Mat, and Lennox just driving the nail deeper in the coffin. Eddison James will not let go his party to any one and he is the scourge of the party. Greedy and vindictive.

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