Leader of the United Workers Party (UWP), Lennox Linton, has issued a challenge to prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, to participate in a debate on the economic issues facing Dominica.
Linton told privately owned Q95 on Thursday morning that the debate would be between the prime minister and the UWP’s chief economist, Dr. Thompson Fontaine, and would take the format of “an exchange on where exactly the economy of Dominica should be heading.”
The debate on economic issues is one of several the UWP is challenging the government to take part in.
Linton said other debates the UWP is proposing would be on foreign policy and good governance and rule of law. He said while Fontaine will debate the prime minister on the economy, Linton will face the prime minister on the other two.
“We are issuing the challenge,” the UWP leader stated. “It is necessary for us to debate. We cannot be the last country in the world where no debate takes place, no debates take place among politicians from either side of the parliament. It is totally disgraceful. It is unacceptable.”
Linton noted that during election time in other Caribbean countries, politicians actually debate each other on relevant issues.
“Members of political parties stand up side by side with each other and say, well here is what we going to do, no I don’t agree, this is what we should be doing instead,” he noted. “Out of that, the country gets a better sense of where the country needs to be heading.”
Linton said the debates should take place within the next three months.
This is not the first time a political leader has asked for a debate to discuss matters of national importance.
In November 2012, acting political leader of the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) Michael Astaphans issued a call for “debates where the main candidates went head to head on topics which are deemed relevant to the electorate.”
He said in Dominica, politicians tend to go on radio stations or political platforms “to spread rumors” and it is time they stop “lying to the people and be prepared to face opposing parties and show their competencies.”
Dominica News Online would like to get the opinions of readers in a new poll.
Should politicians participate in debates concerning matters of national importance?
- Yes (86%, 1,404 Votes)
- It will make no difference (8%, 138 Votes)
- No (6%, 97 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,639