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.