PM Skerrit says no plan to drastically reform constitution

PM Skerrit takes oath of office, flanked by Cabinet Secretary Felix Gregoire (r), and President's Secretary Donille Blackmoore (far right). President Nicholas Liverpool looks on (left).

Newly sworn-in Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said although his Dominica Labour Party (DLP) won by a large margin, sweeping 18 out of the 21 constituencies in Friday’s General Elections, there are no intentions to drastically reform the constitution of Dominica.

“I have heard much talk about now that the Government and the Party has 18 seats in the Parliament of Dominica that we will amend the constitution by almost every section of the constitution. Let me say, notwithstanding the fact that we have 18 seats in the Parliament, this Government will never exercise that authority in the Parliament to amend any section of the constitution without proper consultation with Dominicans in the length and breadth of Dominica,” Skerrit said this morning at the President’s office in Morne Bruce, after he took his oath in office.

The main Opposition United Workers Party (UWP) secured the Salisbury, Marigot and Roseau Central seats. Preliminary results indicated the La Plaine constituency had been secured by Opposition leader Ron Green; however, a recount on Saturday revealed that the seat had gone to DLP’s Petter St. Jean.

According to the Dominican leader, amendments or creation of any legislation will be circulated to the Bar Association and various stakeholders. PM Skerrit’s assurance to implement a 100 day plan after victory at the polls still stands.

At a grand rally at La Plaine last weekend, the DLP leader said if his party is returned to office a number of new initiatives would be implemented within the first 100 days as a Government.

“On the issue of cost of living as articulated in what many have dubbed the La Plaine Declaration where we articulated certain immediate actions we shall take in the first 100 days of taking office to seek to reduce the cost of goods on the shelves on Dominica, and one of them being the reduction of port charges by 20% which is in measure a significant decision by the Government, and I can assure that will be done in the first month of taking up office in January,” Skerrit added.

The Government will also increase the number of days goods can stay on the port from five to seven days, without incurring any charges. “As you know we did so in the budget of last year where we increased it from three to five,” he stated.

Dialogue with the private sector and the Government is expected to take place, to explore ways in which the cost of goods can be reduced at local supermarkets.

“Our hope is that in our discussions with the private sector that they could meet us at some point in the road to see what they themselves can do within our own pricing mechanism where they could give us a few cents here and there, and when added to what the Government has put on the table then they can see a significant reduction of price on goods on the shelves. The point is too many Dominicans are saying when they go to the supermarket  their $100 dollar bill is not buying them sufficient items, and they’d like to see their dollar stretch more to feed their families,” Skerrit said.

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40 Comments

  1. January 9, 2010

    What could the teacher, to act, evenif they do it carefully and faithfully.

  2. Stay focused!
    December 22, 2009

    Young professional, I have some homework for you: Go back to your books – read about Mugabe in Zimbabwe, read about Bishop in Grenada, read about Taylor in Liberia, Papa Doc in Haiti, Hitler in Germany, Fidel in Cuba, Chavez in Venezuela….and ask yourself a question. Here’s a chance to be a professional……research and report!

    I just had to repeat that! However, Young Professional did have some very good points, that any unbiased observers will DEFINITELY appreciate!
    Thanks to all those who take the time to think before the type. We must always remember that the world is looking at the Nature Isle.

  3. LookingFurther
    December 22, 2009

    Well … My PM said “no plans to drastically reform”, however this does not mean that there are not plans ‘to reform’, but ‘not drastically”. People please read between the lines, open your eyes and look DEEP, not just on the surface.

  4. concerned1
    December 22, 2009

    so who is going to be the leader of the oppostion?

  5. Eyes Wide Open
    December 21, 2009

    @ Young Professional:

    Sadly to say, you are proving that being ‘well educated’ does not mean that you are at all intelligent. You speak of ‘proper, educational, responsible and mature discourse, not petty politics, slander and mystery’????? What better medium to have a responsible and mature discourse than a debate, in the presence of us Dominicans, with educated, informed and learned moderators who ask questions that make sense; who challenge the party leaders to respond TO US – not AT US!?!!! Yet your PM declined, on several occasions. On one occassion, a mere two days before challenging Ron Green to a debate – anytime/anywhere, breaking his word even before the elections!!! A young professional like yourself didn’t notice that? Or did you just ignore that ‘small’ detail?

    The shouting matches that are woven in between musical concerts are unfortunately the most effective way of securing a captive audience, even if for mere minutes at a time. But then again, when ‘young professionals’ play online strategist and do not call for or support open debate, equal access to media, id cards, re-registration, or upholding the constitution which prohibits many of the actions which took place within this election – we end up with our present reality: A SELECTION ‘VICTORY’ 18/3….

    So, the UWP has failed to offer better options???? are you serious??? what they have failed to do is offer a red clinic, where our people are bought and sold into a world where a dream and strong determination is no longer enough…..where they must beg on consistent intervals for money, robbing from them the passion to acquire a skill that could be their means of a better LONG TERM life. This is not ASSISTANCE….this is pittance of which no records are kept to allow for a proper understanding of the needs of these citizens.

    You say that the UWP party placed their campaign in the hands of the media, but lets face it ‘young professional’…….look at you, educated, but not at all intelligent, can you imagine what the rest of our society is like, especially when they are bribed, bought and sold by men like the PM and Anthony Astaphan…a man whos company was to be investigated by the Inland Revenue and who placed an injunction on that government body to cripple its efforts!. This is your owner, Young Professional”… and you comment not on this but rather on “political strategy” ?! You seem to be quickly heading in the direction of those “young professionals” on the list “looking for their pocket”, one of those “i know, but its about the money” types, the, “so what if skerrit take a little extra” types…

    Young professional, I have some homework for you: Go back to your books – read about Mugabe in Zimbabwe, read about Bishop in Grenada, read about Taylor in Liberia, Papa Doc in Haiti, Hitler in Germany, Fidel in Cuba, Chavez in Venezuela….and ask yourself a question. Here’s a chance to be a professional……research and report!

    Eyes Wide Open

  6. December 21, 2009

    the heavenly father take no part in worldly gorvenments lead by man he is not on any party side when his son was on earth the roman gov. was ruling the jews were oppo. he did not try to takeover the roman gov. nor did he try to estab. a jewish gov. you know the rest he was put to death one day he will come again to estab the KINGDOM of his father on this EARTH by the way KINGDOM means GORVENMENT and KING YAHSHUA will be the ruler

  7. s.j
    December 21, 2009

    2o% is not nothing on food mr p.m while your pocket is getting big poor Dominican thats not good

  8. December 21, 2009

    I HOPE WHEN THE RAFT START FALLING ON THE PM YOU ALL FOLLISH DOMINICANS WILL GO TO BAIL HIM, OUT FROM HIS MESS. …HE WANT IN DA AND HAVE DOMINICANS LIKE CASTRO. YOU ALL DOMINICANS WILL FIND OUT LATER. NO ONE HAS POWER LIKE JESUS , SO TELL THE PM FLIGHT HIS KITE HIGH AS HE WANTS BUT WHEN THE ALMIGHTY IS READY, HE WILL HAVE NO WHERE TO HIDE

  9. Prophet
    December 21, 2009

    I’ll tell you where our country is headed, it’s like on a Saturday morning where all the sheep are being led to the slaughter house and they’re not even aware of it…..poor creatures. There is also a “personality cult” going on which is a very bad sign, slowly but surely things will unfold, but it is already too late because the butcher is ready to do his job.

  10. blue blue
    December 21, 2009

    give the man a break eh…just get the pic tsunami in dca lol lol dat killing some ppll…relax relax relax relax….look it he got sworn in and there aint nothing no one can do

  11. Peace
    December 21, 2009

    I would like to take this opportunity to extend congratulation to the Honourable Prime minister, Mr. Roosevelt Skerrit; my Parliamentary Representative of St. Joseph, Mr. Kelver Darroux and to all the other candidates of the Labour party that were successful at the 2009 General election. You guys did great.
    I would like to wish you all good luck in governing our beloved country DOMINICA and also for the lord to continue to bless and keep you all in the best of health. Alway remember to put God first in everything that you all are doing and he will take care of everything.
    We the Dominican people have put our trust in you guys to run the affairs of the country, don’t disappoint us.

  12. loveofcountry
    December 21, 2009

    Notice he said “there are no intentions to drastically reform the constitution of Dominica” the interesting word here is “drasticaly” so it means they may change parts of the consitution but in his eyes it will not be a drastical change.

    I wonder if the issue of dual citizenship or bribery currently outlined in the constitution falls under “drastic” we will see if that portion is changed in order to shield him for nay potential lawsuits. Alot of interesting things to come. I am looking beyond the word and will judge by only his actions as it has bene proven in the past his words have not always been honest and truthful

  13. Christian Volney
    December 21, 2009

    I hope the Prime Minister re-thinks his position on constitutional reforms. This election campaign has demonstrated an ‘awareness’ by the people of the need for reforms in assuring accountability, transparency and good governance prevails.
    Our Institutional governing Famework needs to be studied further and the ‘entrenched cancer’ that exist within the words of the law that allow for provisions that are ‘no longer’ acceptable to the people need to be addressed.

  14. question
    December 21, 2009

    wat did our PM qualify in before his position? and can any one tell me who his advisors are?

  15. vexed
    December 21, 2009

    stress on the word ‘drastically’

  16. sweetness
    December 21, 2009

    @spirit of possie…you can’t wait to c the day when personal income tax will be no more? c’mon ppl these are what helps run the hospital, schools, grants, renovations of roads,etc and etc. Dominicans need to get out of the state of mind of nothing for nothing (FREENESS)…Taxes helps the country. Ofocurse they should seek pay increase, but taxes are needed. Come over the US Of A.

  17. Chica
    December 21, 2009

    OH BY THE WAY, HE IS KING EVEN OVER Skerrit.

  18. Chica
    December 21, 2009

    There is only ONE KING. HIS NAME IS JESUS CHRIST.

  19. Dumb-Me-In-Can
    December 21, 2009

    To all voters in the island:
    Pm skerrit has shown he does not need your vote. More D/cans outside than Inside the country so the people on island votes are USELESS….

    Next 5 years – LET THE DIASPORA VOTE FOR YOU! Stay at YOUR HOME and CRY for your rights!

    Do we have an ECONOMY?
    Any employment for the people or more handouts? I expect a 700% + increase on the WELFARE list – Indigenously POOR—

    More lime importation from Guadeloupe……….
    Antigua will grow and ship Bananas to us…….
    More st.Lucia coconut will be imported ………

    LOOK progress…….We will see but many will go blind with the RED and BRIBE money …so they will never see—

    PM this is your time to be like RObert Mugabe(Zimbabwe); Idi Amin, Eric GARy, Kadaffi and many of the other AFrican states leaders….GOOD LUCK !DOMINICANS —JUST BURNT THAT DOMINICAN PASSPORT; IT IS USELESS! IT IS SHAMEFULL!

    AM A CITIZEN OF THE DIASPORA!! @##%% DOMINICA!!

  20. Kurt > D man 4 dem
    December 21, 2009

    it’s pointless 2 talk abt Skerrit and his ppl

    they won fair and what??????????????

    he will deal with Dominicans

    Good luck my ppl

  21. December 21, 2009

    Congratulations MR. PM and the Dominica Labour Party…
    I pray that god gives our PM the knowledge, courage, patience and skills to run our beautiful country DA.
    Wash away all the evil and negativity so that our country willprosper in Jesus Name..
    When there is development we all benefit from it, one way or another..
    We need to move foward and help build this nation together..We have a long way to go in development when compared to other caribbean countries.. we cannot afford to sit their and just talk rubbish and negativity..Let us all Bless our beautiful country and pray for our PM..

    God is control, Skerrit u are in God’s Hands…Keep ur head up

    Once Again congrats and please keep to ur words and trust me u will b there for a very long time..
    Guidance and Blessing !!

  22. rassulfur
    December 21, 2009

    Well wel well, hmmm 18 to 3. No major changes? The same way he got to steal Ron Greens seat, he will do it right in front of your noses, you will not realize untill it is too late. I tell you just give it time, give it 18 months and see what. oppsss did I say 18? no i did not. Election was on the 18th. 666 is 18.

    Red China, Red Russia, Red Cuba, Red Venezuela opppppssss Da gone red to. Enjoy guys!

  23. LMAO
    December 21, 2009

    let’s just wait and see…..

    PEACE!

  24. Shelli
    December 21, 2009

    I have not seen Voter and Patat posting comments since the results .

    These two Labour people made me laugh during the month of campaign.

    Anyway there appears to be a rather quick healing process taking place which shows that there is maturity among Dominicans.

  25. d/can 2 d bone
    December 21, 2009

    CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR PM… WE ALWAYS HAD FAITH AND CONFIDENCE THAT YOU WOULD WIN THIS ELECTION AND WE KNOW THAT YOU WILL TAKE DOMINICA TO THE NEXT LEVEL…GOD BLESS YOU AND MAY YOU AS YOU MOVE DOMINICA FORWARD.
    YES!!! IT WAS TIME FOR LABOUR TO CONQUER THE EAST…GRANDFOND- LAPLAINE …
    WE ARE SO HAPPY..
    IVOR AND ST.JEAN YOU’VE GOT A GOOD TEAM
    GOD BLESS YOU ALL
    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK PM
    FROM ALL OF US GRAND FONDIANS IN SXM
    TOGETHER WE MUST

  26. December 21, 2009

    I TRUST TO GOD THAT EVERYTING WILL GO AS PLANNED BY MR ROOSEVELT SKERRIT AND THTA HE DELIVERS AND PROVE ALL NON SUPPORTERS WRONG

  27. Cuban Grad
    December 21, 2009

    Long Live Roosvelt Skerrit! Dominica is Blessed to have you as a PM. We as Dominicans have to pray, no matter if we voted LABOUR or anyone else, we have to come together and pray for us to move Dominica to a next level.

  28. Proud Labourite
    December 21, 2009

    Congratulations to my PM … hearts off!!

  29. LABOUR TO THE BONE
    December 21, 2009

    Long live our king PM SKERIT

    JAH BLESS

  30. Lover of RED (Pal Rep)
    December 21, 2009

    CONGRATES……………….Cominig from my family in the country and abroad, to the Hon.Roosvelt Skerrit and the members of Parliment. Especially my darling Reping sen joe………………… hats off to you and my you continue to do the work that you are called to do.To God be the GLORY great things he has done and will continue to do for this our nature isle through these audatious, intelligent and caring people. for the love of country….would you give up all for love of country? They did! Doctors gave up, Computer Tech gave just for you and i. to make our country a better one. To take us to the next level.

  31. DISAPOINTED DOMINICAN
    December 21, 2009

    I HOPE HE WILL KEEP HIS WORDS, BECAUSE THE SAME PEOPLE WHO PUT

    HIM THERE TOGETHER WITH THOSE WHO WERE NOT THAT STUPID TO PUT

    HIM THERE WILL SURELY REMOVE HIM TAKE HIM OUT REMEMBER THE RIOT

    OF 1979 THEY WILL DEAL WITH HIM . I HOPE HE IS NOT GOING TO TAKE

    DOMINICANS FOR GRANTAGEEEEEE ANOTHER THING I HOPE HE TELL HIS

    COMMUNIST FRIENDS TO STAY OUT OF DOMINICA POLITICS AND DOMINICA

    AFFAIRS. WE ARE A FREE COUNTRY AND NO DAMMM BODY WILL TAKE THAT

    FROM US NOT EVEN SKERIT I HEARD HIM SAY THAT THIS COUNTRY IS TO FREE

    BUT HE BETTER WATCH HIS …. WITH THAT STATMENT

  32. December 21, 2009

    I know most people are expecting to hear about ID cards etc and electoral reform, but of course in everything there is a process. The OAS and CARICOM are to release their observations soon so it would be wise to make the pertinent reforms after careful consideration and not based on the ‘heat of the moment’.

    One thing I must say, is that after all of this campaigning, I feel a bit confused. But put aside the issues of the DLP bringing in voters etc., I am very disappointed with the UWP, as they placed their opposition and core of their campaigning in the hands of radio talk show hosts and could have done a better job. The DFP rank better than them where organisation and professionalism are concerned. Mr. Green was not given a fair opportunity to represent strong leadership for the party and was overshadowed by Edison on the left and Sandford on his right. On the eve of the election, the campaign strategy in Salybia was based on promoting Sanforf as PM, thereby practically destroying the image of Mr. Green whilst erasing the vision set in our minds of him as leader. This was unfair to the Dcan public.

    I am disappointed because I feel that our politicians are not doing right by us Dcans. Regardless of whatever party we support, we are Dcans first, and UWPites or Labourites second. We should stop playing this party politics, put things into perspective, balance the issues and demand the best from all our political parties. I heavily blame the UWP for the outcome of the elections because they failed to offer Dcans a clear and better alternative without all the anger and venom; hence causing general rejection of their message. If this hadnt been so, Im sure the Dcan public would have better supported the UWP and rendered the votes of Dcans residing abroad ineffective. Furthermore, we also see dwindled voter turn out in Salisbury and Marigot, where the total of votes for the winning candidates could have been much much more. In these constituencies, the UWP in my view, again, has lost popularity depsite having won the seats, as many people preferred not to vote for lack of a better option to the DLP and Im sure, voter confusion.

    To conclude, the UWP has a lot of work to do. 1. Deal and resolve leadership issues 2. Be more organised in a consistent and ongoing way 3. Decide on policies and ideologies for the country as these cannot only be based on the needs of people at the time of campaigning. A manifesto should be ever ready, campaign time or not! It shows you are working anf thinking for the country. By not preparing a manifesto on time, voter confidence was lost. 4. Practice what they preach because they too committed the same felonies they condemn the DLP about 5. As a potential government should also be transparent and public about source of funds.

    However, all in all, we as Dcans cannot be onesided as this is not a DLP, DFP or UWP issue. It’s an issue about Dominican politics and politicians in Dominica.

    Every Dcan casted their vote based on what they deemed as being in the best interests of the country. So we should not be pointing fingers at DLP, DFP or UWP supporters as having voted badly. Instead, we should hold the political parties responsible. And as for the oppositions, we depend on them for solutions, answers, and better options to our current problems through proper, educational, responsible and mature discourse, not petty politics, slander and mystery.

    People often fail to realise that here in Dca we have a very high percentage of young professionals who are very well educated, who listen, observe and analyze. It is time to stop that foolish party politricks, and that’s the lesson for all political parties, especially the UWP. It’s time to get the act together!
    Thank you.

  33. spirit @ possie
    December 21, 2009

    Thats a very good start mr.PM to bring down the cost of food and i hope all other basic needs which would include building materials for shelter ect. i am waiting to c that day when the personal income tax will be no more. mr PM you also neen to reassure your political opponents that D/A will never be a one party state under your watch.
    TO GOD BE THE GLORY FOR A GREAT THING HE HAVE DONE ON DECEMBER 18TH 2009. HISSTORY WAS MADE.

  34. well well well
    December 21, 2009

    with a name like Jahivah
    you would have fight God for his position
    no wonder you have little faith in anyone
    bitterness never saved anyone but got them even more bitter with their system destroyed by cancer

  35. sassy
    December 21, 2009

    @ Jahivah……lol…lol….lol u make me laugh…thanks for that.

  36. WOW
    December 21, 2009

    Hey Check out the TIE!
    No “major” change to the constitution he says…hmmm And circulating it to the bar association and “stakeholders”….How trustworthy are these? in a country when murderers are acquitted on the regular….

  37. CONGRATULATION
    December 21, 2009

    Just wants to congratulate the dominica labour party on its recent landslide at the poll on friday..could not make it home to vote but was listening to every single thing that was going on , so once again i have to congratulate the hon primeminister for keeping to his words .people on the other side tried to bring him down but he is a man of intergrity and i have no doubt that by the grace of god he will move dominica to another level. To my pal rep mr george hats off to u and u just have have to work a little hard for the people of roseau south.

  38. Wait and See
    December 21, 2009

    Mr. Skerrit as a citizen of the commonwealth of Dominica who have lived abroad for many years…do hope that you will be true to your word. Additionally those ridiculous signs that the shop owners put up stating “ABSOLUTELY NO REFUND ON CASH ITEMS” you need to infact re-visit the constitution manual and highlight to those persons that they are infact in breach of the consumers statutory rights on sale items. Persons should be able to return items within reason and if they choose too should be given a refund. Seeing that all customers purchase in good faith then they should and must be treated with respect within reason.

    This situation where some of the chinese shop owners have tazer guns in their possession you should ensure that the law requires them to be licensed to use those things on paying or non-paying customers.

    You must ensure that a proper census is carried out over the next five years to give a sound picture of the island population.

    Persons who live overseas should be allowed to vote at our Embassies, consulate and high commission offices where they live given the proper identification cards because some persons have lived out of dominica for more than five years and should not be allowed to vote unless they can give justifiable good reasons to do so.

    Access the files of the embassies and see the names of those persons registered or on the mailing lists. Some of them are dead now. I assure you.

    Persons returning home should be allowed to bring in relatively new items for the price that is expected to be paid at customs. It is no good encouraging persons to bring in used items that will be an environmental hazard in less than two years. This has to change when you say you are not going to make drastic changes to the constitution I will challenge you on this.

  39. Jahivah
    December 21, 2009

    Well the PM has proven to be a man of his word in the past.
    So we I am quite certain that this should put an end to all discussions of a one party state.
    Right?

    (Cough**Cough**Cough)
    Sacarsm Anyone?

  40. stained in labour
    December 21, 2009

    it is my firm belief that the labour party under the leadership of the honorable Roosevelt Skerrit will continue to lead and govern ourr country in the right way.
    Gods’ richest blessings on mr.skerrit and his team as they take our country Dominica to the next level.
    CONGRATS GUYS AND GOD BLESS OUR NATURE ISLE!!!!!

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