President should “communicate” his intention to resign to all relevant parties – Dominican attorney

From left: Opposition Leader Hector John, Speaker of the House Alix Boyd Knight, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and President Nicholas Liverpool

Attorney John Elue Charles is offering what he considers to be a lawful solution to the dispute on the constitutionality of the procedure for the election of a new president for Dominica.

Dominica News Online (DNO), has obtained a copy of a document containing solicited advice from Mr. Charles in which he recommends that President Nicholas Liverpool communicate orally, to the Prime Minister, the Speaker and the Leader of the opposition, his intention to resign his office.

At a special sitting of the House of Assembly on August 24, the Speaker, based on communication which she received from the Prime Minister, informed members of parliament of the President’s intention to resign his office . She said the Prime Minister had informed her that he and the Leader of the Opposition had held consultation but there was no agreement between them on a choice of president, thus prompting the special sitting. When questioned by UWP Opposition parliamentarians, Prime Minister Skerrit confirmed that he had received a letter from the President stating his intention to resign his office for reason of illness.

Leader of the Opposition, Hector John raised concerns about the procedure and requested that the Prime Minister or the Speaker of the House produce a copy of the letter indicating that the President intends to resign his office.

Despite the objections of the Opposition United Workers Party and their contention that the procedure followed so far is “null and void,” Prime Minister Skerrit has announced that Parliament will meet on Monday to elect a new president and has reiterated that his choice will be retired public servant, Eluid Williams. Mr. Skerrit says there’s nothing constitutionally wrong with the process which has been employed  and the “Doctrine of Necessity”  is being used based on the advice of his Attorney General.

In his advice document, Elue Charles states that having regard to the issues of integrity, transparency and good governance, “it is my considered view that the ideal approach would be for the President to communicate (in a form other than writing that is to say, orally) simultaneously and directly with the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the Speaker respecting the intention of the President to resign his office”. He continues “Moreover, I’m of the view that the oral communication would be sufficient to permit the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the Speaker and, by extension, the House of Assembly, to make the requisite preparation to facilitate the expeditious election of a successor President”

Stating that he does not intend to set out the provisions of these sections in full, , Charles refers in the document, to sections 19, 23(2), 29, 58(1) & (2) and 119 which he considers to be the relevant sections of the constitution in the matter.

In keeping with section 119 of the constitution, Charles emphasizes in his advice that “the office of the President becomes vacant when the Speaker receives a writing respecting the resignation of the President under his hand addressed to the Speaker. “ In these circumstances” Charles states, “the action of the Speaker informing the House of Assembly of the intention of the President to resign his office cannot bring section 19 of the Constitution into operation, without more.”

However, he goes on to say “but nothing in the Constitution prevents the Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition and the Prime Minister, and by extension the House of Assembly, from agreeing to take actions preparatory to the President resigning his office if the President has communicated to the Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition and the Prime Minister, his intention to resign.”

Charles says as a result, the Leader of the Opposition is likely to be disadvantaged as regards making the necessary preparation for the election of a successor to a President who intends to resign his office, “if the President fails to furnish the Leader of the Opposition credible information respecting the intention of the President to resign his office simultaneously as such information is furnished to the Prime Minister and the Speaker.”

Charles advises that “every action ought to be taken” to prevent the Leader of the Opposition from being so disadvantaged.

Charles also maintains that while the actions of the Prime Minister and the Speaker in dealing with the intention of the President to resign and the nomination of a candidate for election as President “appear in the circumstances to be seemingly unusual and unorthodox, these actions in my view do not amount to unconstitutional acts but must be viewed as actions only preparatory to the election of a successor President where the current President has communicated his intention to resign his office.”

However, a number of other voices, including those of former Ag. Chief Justice Sir Brian Alleyne and attorney Gildon Richards differ with Mr. Charles in their interpretation of this part Constitution, and consider the process being pursued by the Prime Minister and Speaker of the House to be unconstitutional.

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  1. January 21, 2013

    I’m a fast reader and fairly ruthless when I detect evidence that the commenter has not read the post. Gee whiz, it’s
    not that hard. All it really takes is a little PRETENDING to have read
    the article.

  2. Anonymous
    September 18, 2012

    ROSEA VALLEY – you are making me laugh ‘fold and dissapear’ I guess we were in the same court room when that was said by Justice Cenac a couple years ago. What a day !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Dominican abroad
    September 17, 2012

    why Does a small Island like Dominica need a President, it has a PM, That wage/salary packet would be better spent elsewhere.

  4. Anonymous
    September 17, 2012

    Is there something preventing President Liverpool form stating his intention in writing ?????? Wow this is sick.

  5. September 17, 2012

    One thing that is clear for sure, the PM has no use for Liverpool. HE WANTS HIM OUT.

    September 17, 2012


    Edison, Prevost, Hetor, Lugay, Isidore, Bazil et al should go parliament and physically try to stop the election of the President. Fight for your rights in the inside while the people protest on the outside.

    I see parliamentarians in South Korea throw fist punches in the Senate for much lesser matters.
    The elected and nominated opposition members of the House should represent. They must go to parliament and try to stop the Speaker from swearing in Mr. Eluid Williams.

    Edison, Prevost, Hector, Lugay, Isidore, Bazil et al please go Parliament – Disrupt the process. If that fails walk out or let the Speaker charge you with contempt of parliament but in any case, you will not be part of this mockery of our constitution.

    Go to parliament- let the people protest outside.


  7. Peace
    September 17, 2012

    Skerritt will still remain a true leader of this country. God Bless you Sir. Don’t let the opposition choose your president, Eddison James and his goons are waititng to dragg this country to the ground. God placed Skeritt there to prevent the Blue Devils from taking over.

  8. Right thing to do
    September 16, 2012

    The ongoing controversy over the position of President, although revealing the spirited and opinionated nature of our people, is also showing some people up as lacking the goodwill even to listen to what makes sense for the Country. All HR people should be itching to see the related clauses in the Constitution revised to reflect today’s realities of hiring an executive officer or director.

    The Constitution was developed under duress by imperfect men and women at a time that was quite divisive in our nation’s history. Like all man-made guidelines for harmonious societal living, it is long overdue for a revision that would better reflect the realities of our people in these times. How can the president’s contract have no “out clause” in case he is not performing as expected or if he wants to quit before his contract expires?

    If President Liverpool resigns tomorrow morning, then there would be a vacancy. According to the Constitution, it is only at that time that a replacement can be sought, firstly by the PM consulting with the Opposition leader and if there is no agreement on the nominee, the matter goes to Parliament for a vote.

    The messages here are very simple: no advanced preparation is required to fill the post of President when he or she intends to resign and that position can remain vacant as long as it suits the Speaker of the House.

    So what is the controversy really about: is it the PM’s failure to follow the sequence of actions as stated in the Constitution OR is it that if this “breach” of the Constitution is allowed, then it somehow grants permission to “breach” other aspects of the Constitution, such as the required criteria for nomination to contest elections? Which is it?

    Finally, if I were in the place of either the PM, Speaker of the House or Mr Eluid Williams, to bring some peace to this situation, I would let the stated Constitutional process take effect. It is not too late…and besides that: what is in a contract, is in a contract, even if it makes no sense to the spirit of what could have been intended.

    September 16, 2012

    Time to unify the leadership of the UWP

    I listened to ‘This Week in Interview’ conducted by Dr. Thomson Fontaine on TDN Radio and Q95 FM on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 in which they discussed the fiasco involving the presidency of Dominica.

    I must compliment Mr. John for his performance. He certainly displayed some signs of growth and development. He is learning under the hand of the more experienced leader of the UWP, Mr. Edison James.

    Mr. John appeared to be relaxed and humble in his inexperience. His performance has augmented my confident that he is interested in learning and improving his skills of communication, use of language, political strategy etc, etc. I was pleased with his performance.

    HOWEVER, please understand why I plead to the UWP that the time is right without any further delay to consider the immediate unification of the office of the leader of Opposition and the Political Leader of the UWP.

    It is time that Mr. Skerrit face up to his nightmare and greatest of fears when consulting with the Leader of Opposition as the constitution demands him to do.

    Roseau Valley

    September 16, 2012

    I hope that Justice Gertel Thom is reading and listening to the cries of Dominica. I hope that she will demonstrate sufficient maturity to apologize to Dominicans as she realizes how wrong she was in depriving Dominica of justice.

    Justice Gertel Thom should come back to Dominica and stand in solidarity with us when we celebrate the victory from the OECS Court of Appeal on or after 13 November 2012, if by that time Dominicans have not taken action under the authority of the coolwash brigade to take back their country from this illegal Prime Minister.

    September 16, 2012

    Explaining the meaning of the word “WHENEVER” to the AG

    I am just a simple, ordinary citizen from the ROSEAU VALLEY. I do not know English as well as Dominica’s English AG. However, we have schools in the Valley and parents and teachers are diligent in ensuring that dogs do not eat the recess bought from J. Astaphan’s & Co. Ltd.

    So please allow me, as a product of the education obtained in the Roseau Valley to invoke the doctrine of necessity in advising the AG of Dominica of the meaning of the first word of Section 19 of our constitution. We the People of the Commonwealth of Dominica understand that the AG does not comprehend the meaning of the word “WHENEVER”

    Well Sir, WHENEVER, you come to your senses and recognize the value of your manhood, I am afraid that you will understand the meaning of the word- “whenever” as used in Sect. 19 of the Constitution.

    AT THE RELEVANT TIME, when you wake up from your deep, comatose state, you will realize that Dominicans have a reputation for dealing with their AGs in a certain manner, when these AGs fail to implement our constitutional provisions.

    AT WHATEVER TIME, you were to receive your LEC to practice law in the region, you will realize the benefit of having the legal training of a UWI trained Attorney.

    AT ANY TIME WHEN, you realize that you are no longer free to walk the streets of Roseau, you will understand the meaning of “whenever”;

    AT EVERY or ANY PARTICULAR TIME that you Mr. Peters were to be true and honest with yourself and your profession, you will understand that WHENEVER anyone decides to repeatedly violate our constitution, the coolwash bridgade shall be legal;

    WHENEVER you realize Sir that you are a functionally illiterate boy occupying the office space set aside for the Attorney General of Dominica; and

    WHENEVER you get it right, you will realize that there is no need for me to explain the meaning of the words “Vacancy” or “Resignation” as the earlier you understand this- the faster you should immediately resign- fold and disappear into the unknown.


  12. joan
    September 16, 2012

    how can anyone say the UWP hated the president ?He was the representative of Dominica at the U>N when UWP was in power.And Mr.James without hesitation agreed that he should be president. I too thought Mr Liverpool would have been the president of All Dominicans and not just of the people in the Labour Party I am very disappointed with the president .I was always kind of wary about him I was proven right shame on you sir.

    September 16, 2012

    More lies, legal doctrines and theories from the AG

    Now, Mr. Peters (AG) is raising a new principle of law i.e., “generous and purposive interpretation” following the illusive “operations of law”, “the doctrine of necessity” and the “rebuttable presumption of regularity”.

    It was rather sad listening to some intelligent gentlemen on the Upper Level programme on Kairifm on Saturday, 15 September 2012 as they collectively tried to justify the government’s position on the issue of the pending election of the president. I was not convinced by the arguments of DR Honeychurch, Mr Lawrence, Mr. Astaphan and Mr. Peters (the AG).

    Having raised the doctrine of necessity, the AG now argues the principle of “generous and purposive interpretation” as yet another legality to justify the fact that the government has failed to follow the Constitution.

    The AG did a great job in explaining Section 19 of the Constitution, except that he left out the Vacancy part and explained that it did not say that the president should first resign. How dishonest? Why should the constitution be so repetitive? when it provides for resignation under Sec 119 and clearly sates under sec 19 that there must be a vacancy.

    According to the AG, there is nothing wrong with the process and nothing that the government is doing infringes the constitution. The process adopted by the government, he said, is to ensure that there shall be president in accordance with Sect.18.1. (I guess the same can be said about the provision that there SHALL be a Parliamentary Commissioner).

    First of all, while we are grateful to Dr. Honeychurch for his historical perspective, this is not a lesson in history. This is a matter of law and in which the law has been implemented as exist and given purpose and meaning. How the provisions were formulated is irrelevant for the present discussion. The constitution is not so ambiguous as requiring the doctrine of necessity.
    Furthermore, the reference to the constitutional provisions of our sister Island States like Antigua and Barbados are is inappropriate.

    In Trinidad, there is a provision for an acting president (Sect 48.1) and in Antigua and Barbados, the Head of State is the Governor General. In these countries, the Prime Minister advises the Governor General represents the Crown. In Dominica, we are a Republic. Her majesty has be replaced by the president. Unlike,, England (the crown), we have a written constitution to guide us.

    For the same reason that Ms. Knight, the PM, the AG and Mr. Astaphan keeps referring to the fact that the constitution specifically states in Sect. 18 that there shall be a president and Mr. Astaphan references Sect.22(5), we refer to Sect. 19, Sect 28 and Section 119, albeit the provisions do need to be amended.

    The constitution does not have to say specifically that if the president is ill, he should follow a specific procedure. This is unnecessary. Sections 19, 28 and 119 already deal with the situation of the resignation of the president and the vacancy of the presidency. Why does Dr Honeychurch assume that Sect 19 applies to the regular course of events when the president serves his term? The constitution did not say this.

    You know, in all this debate, I wonder why these same people are relying on an argument that the constitution does not provide that any letter should be released by the PM and why the heavy reliance on the provisions of Sect 22(5)? Why are we so comfortable in picking and choosing which provisions of the constitution is relevant and should be respected? Why the argument that there is no constitutional provision to reverse a consultation.

    Please, let’s give the constitution a generous and purposive interpretation in accordance with its letter and spirit according to Lord Diplock and Lord Wilberforce. Let’s do so by respecting the provisions of the constitution in strict compliance with its intent and meaning.

    Thank you again DNO for this special privilege

    • profiler
      September 17, 2012

      Which part or section of the constitution did the process contravene?

        September 18, 2012

        As your PM has aptly advised — Go to Hell .. Go hell.. Read the constitution for yourself. Not my dam business that you are so stupid.

  14. Citizen K
    September 16, 2012

    I am no legal scholar or anything of that nature, but i go by what is called common sense and logic. what is the big deal if the president intends to resign…. ok he intends… but has not. OK, why is a replacement being publicly named for him when he only intends? Ok, it’s alright to have someone in mind, surely, common sense would allow that.

    Ok, but what does the Dominica Constitution say? I am lead to understand that it boldly states that a replacement can only be name when the president has announced his resignation thus creating a vacancy. Ok, that’s what they say the constitution say. So why are big men and women defending what is going on.

    Again, it is not a big deal to find a replacement, but why not just go the constitutional way unless the constitution is just a piece of paper with antiquated ramblings.

    I listened to the radio yesterday and heard the attorney general trying to operationally define certain words. I mean all that is good and well, but I now need to understand why do we need a constitution?

    what is the importance of a constitution if we are going to do things our way. If that is the case let us amend the Constitution and let us stop doing things against the intent of the constitution. I am a citizen and I want to show citizenship, i do not like my little common sense to be insulted and to be left confused.

  15. 4progress
    September 16, 2012

    It is really a SHAME to see that people in such powerful positions, some elected and others who are suppose to be educated, who should lead by example have brought us to this crisis. What is the purpose of all of this.

    WHAT EXAMPLE ARE WE DEMONSTRATING TO THE YOUNG. We are told we must follow the law. The constitution may not be perfect, but there a reason for its construction and existence we all need to adhere to. The President, PM et al can not and should not pick and choose which part of the constitution they want to follow.

    The opposition for their part should refer this case to the courts, if the case can not be resolve professionally, respectfully and CONSTITUTIONALLY.

    We must not let the PM have his way, otherwise we can kiss democracy goodbye.

    Mr PM please do not let the 18-3 majority turn you into an arrogant disrespectful person. Show the country how things should be done properly….transparency is the key….try to reach that higher standard for us to follow. Currently your actions are somewhat dubious, lacking style and suspicious.

  16. Papa LeBlanc
    September 15, 2012

    The actions taken by the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the House of Assembly is nothing short of shameful and a gorss disrespect for the constitution of the Commonwealth fo Dominica. It is also shameful on the part of the President of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Dr. Nicholas Liverpool, who has tremendous knowledge on Constitutional Law… These actions send a wrong signal to future leaders of this country and the region on a whole. I am very disappointed with the direction that the Dominica Labour Party led government has taken but then again… DLP is only a Wolf in Sheep clothing hijacked by disgruntled Freedomites and Corrupt Labourites… Genuine Freedomites and Labourites need a new home… the leadership offered by the current DLP is not only sour but acidic and poisonous… keep your children and families from this satanic institution where witchcraft, corcery and evil of the highest level prevails… PRAY for the delivery of Dominica from the claws of this DEMON people of Dominica… only prayer will set you free… :twisted: :mrgreen: :?:

  17. Just Asking
    September 15, 2012

    “…while the actions of the Prime Minister and the Speaker in dealing with the intention of the President to resign …. these actions in my view do not amount to unconstitutional acts …”

    Sorry, counsel, these actions are unconstitutional because the correct procedure is outlined clearly in the Constitution. There is no skirting around it. The President MUST state in writing to the Speaher – and to no one else – his intention to resign.

  18. jojo
    September 15, 2012

    And to PAPEEEE TOO.

  19. Disgusted
    September 15, 2012

    Small island states demand independence with ambiguous constitutions. The result? Vitriolic rancour.

  20. yow
    September 15, 2012

    DNO be careful what u let people say about others na. these little things go to the man’s reputation as an attorney and could hurt his business.

    This is a small island…I’m just saying be considerate.

  21. Opinionated
    September 15, 2012

    The Office of the president should be done away with. This is simply a replacement of the monarchy which gets fat on a $100,000 a year. This is one of the issues on discretionary spending Mr. Skerrit should think about.

    People may argue about having a “figure head” however we have a global crisis. How could we waste as a nation over $100,000 for a man to simply sign documents, drink wine, attend functions? On top of that these “presidents” held prestigious jobs thus they received their gratuity and are receiving their fat pensions.

    In closing, our economic policies are very unfair especially towards the poor; it stifles their every last pint of blood so that the rich can continue getting rich.

  22. anonymous2
    September 15, 2012

    Can Domanicans do anything straight forward?

    September 14, 2012

    With all due respect to all the constitutional legal experts and PHDs, Dominicans (not the UWP) should give clear notice to Mr. Skerrit, Ms Knight and Mr. Astaphan that we will not stand for their nonsense any longer.

    Whether it be by the Operation of law or by the doctrine of necessity, we shall challenge the election of Mr. Eluid Williams before the High Court pursuant to section 103 on the basis that Section 19, which is referenced under Section 22 (5) has not been duly satisfied
    – in declaring a vacancy of the presidency;
    – to allow the PM to engage in lawful consultations with the Leader of Opposition specifically with regard to the election of a new president;
    – to allow the Speaker to call a special sitting of parliament; and
    -to cause the Speaker to issue a certificate under her hand to declare the election of the new president.

    The constitution does provide that where the High Court makes a declaration that a provision of the Constitution has been or is being contravened and the persons on whose application the declaration is made has also applied for relief, the Court may grant to that person such remedy as it considers appropriate, being a remedy available generally under the laws of Dominica.

    The violation of our constitution of Dominica is becoming common place. It has happened one time too many. We shall no longer remain idle and allow Mr. Astaphan to invoke legal principles and technicalities to allow Skerrit to rule this country by decree and according to his whims and fancy. Enough of this nonsense.

    S’enfant negre in the Roseau valley and all over Dominica may have bough their uniforms and recess from Astaphan’s but we have comon sense and some of us went to school and have degrees too.

    September 14, 2012

    I am glad that lawyers are now talking. Who I am- a nobody, ordinary citizen, to disagree with Mr. Charles, Mr. Alleyne and Mr. Richards with LLB, LEC, LLM etc when even Anthony Astaphan S.C, BA, LLB, LEC would not disagree.

    I listened to Mr. Astaphan on DBS news on Friday and the learned S.C would not address the incorrect procedure adopted by the Prime Minister and the lack of due process in electing a new president pursuant to Section 19 of the constitution. He would not address the fact that the provisions of Section 19 have yet to be met.
    Mr. Astaphan did not focus on what the constitution provides. Instead, he focused on what the constitution does not prevent such as consultation between the PM and Leader of Opposition at anytime.-which is irrelevant to the current situation.

    Sadly, shamefully and rather dishonestly, Mr. Astaphan shifted the onus on the Leader of Opposition to act in the best interest of the public in this matter and suggested that it is not the responsibility of the PM to follow the constitution. But what was particularly interesting is the fact that Mr. Astaphan quickly jumped to the real rationale behind the PM’s infamous statements that no law, no constitution can prevent him to do what he wants.

    The learned Senior Counsel, invoked Section 22 (5) of the constitution, which is an exception under which the original jurisdiction of the court cannot be exercised. He exposed the rationale of the Skerrit’s doctrine that he could go ahead and do as he likes because it is their interpretation of the constitution that in any event as long as the Speaker issues a certificate under her hand declaring that a person has been duly elected under section 19 of the Constitution, this shall be conclusive evidence of the fact so stated and shall not be questioned in any court of law.

    The constitution is clear and unambiguous. Note the phase- “duly elected under section 19”
    Like all legal presumptions, this one is rebuttable, which can be successfully rebutted by adducing sufficient, appropriate and relevant evidence to show that there was no due process in accordance with section 19 of the constitution. The above then invokes a legal principle of “Regularity”, which assumes that the responsible actor exercised her constitutional and/or statutory responsibilities in strict compliance with the prescribed law. The presumption is that there was due process under Section 19. (i.e., there was a vacancy, followed by consultations, then election of a president) .
    Clearly, there is plenty of evidence to rebut the presumption of regularity in the instant case- to show that the Speaker acted illegally, unconstitutionally and failed to follow the due process prescribed by law.

    As a citizen of Dominica, ROSEAU VALLEY has legal standing in bringing this matter to the attention of the court. Like every citizen of Dominica, I have a significant stake and relevant interest in the outcome of this matter.

    It is, therefore, for this reason that I shall petition the court to exercise its original jurisdiction under Section 103 of the constitution to hear and determine my allegations that the provision of the Constitution, specifically Section 19 and 119 have not been and are being contravened by the government. I shall request the court to declare the election of Mr. Williams as unconstitutional and null and void as it was in breach of the provisions of the constitution of Dominica.

  25. him
    September 14, 2012

    @ Citizen…And you are the WORST citizen on island.

    September 14, 2012

    Why? because he has the integrity and guts to stand up for what is right.
    Because he is professional and intellectually honest;
    Because he is willing to voice his opinion publicly on matters of national importance
    Because he does not follow the unconstitutional brigade

  27. ras
    September 14, 2012

    If the UWP leaders are so convinced about the unconstitutionality of the process being used for the election of a new president, why haven’t they made an application to the Court for an injunction to prevent the process from moving forward?

    • Anonymous
      September 17, 2012

      Are you going to finance the court proceedings on behalf of UWP, is it your tactic to impoverish UWP by creating situations where they would need to take some kind of legal action.

  28. 1979
    September 14, 2012

    boy, dapweh skerrit and his country eh, I always know there was a reason the dark side of life appealed to me… how can I care for a people and society that don’t care about me??? boy….allu fate sealed in Dominica. all who making their big moves and want to change constitution and make a mockery out of my country, all better make a jail at allu home for allu children, because If my children have to suffer for allu greed. I GOING TO TEACH THEM TO PREY ON ALLU CHILDREN. TO HELL WITH THE CHURCH, POLICE AND ALL THOSE WHO SUPPOSED TO BE SAFEGUARDING DOMINICA…allu children WILL PAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

    • 1979
      September 14, 2012

      I WILL TEACH MY CHILDREN HOW TO SURVIVE IN DOMINICA. and how to DEAL with allu children when they meet them…. no peace for Dominicans, NO PEACE FOR NOBODY!!!!!!!!

  29. Colour Gray
    September 14, 2012

    If this thing can go on like this,if the constitution is disrespected and nothing is done to right it,then Dominica my friend is a lost state;Too many meaningless prayers are flying around in Dominica;
    Ture spiritual prayers alone can help Dominica,
    No religious prayer can do anything there,
    Religion and politics,are like brothers and sister,they use and abuse poor people.
    But come what may;DOMINICA will be DELIVERED.

  30. *
    September 14, 2012

    A lawless leader, a lawless country!

    • Brain but no brain.
      September 16, 2012

      Corr: Dementia and crookedness.

  31. Doc.Love
    September 14, 2012

    If PJ, Attorney Charles or Mr. Brian Alleyn believe Skerrit is going to change his mind about all that unconstitutional fiasco, well, a very popular news agency in the caribbean is reporting that Mr. Williams will be given the highest national award,Dominica Award of Honour. Once again we see Skerrit’s total disregard for the national media,not even DNO was informed of this developement.

  32. Doc.Love
    September 14, 2012

    I wish admin would tell me why a comment takes approximately four hours to be moderated.My comments was the first to be written,we now have thirty comments printed.Who wants to go back to read the first commment.

  33. Pingo
    September 14, 2012

    Okay whats all this about. You all had no respect for the President during the last Budget Sitting – all you walked out – this was a bridge of the Constitution – No respect for the Head of State. What is the cry now. Do unto others as you owuld not like them do unto you.

    Why is the Opposition Leader suddenly changing his position – a few weeks ago I thought he had the whole thing covered – do not let people drive you astray.

    The President knows his right why all you vex for now remember respect must be givem to all Read the Scriptures on Respect and you will see what I mean. Somebody want to be President man.

  34. profiler
    September 14, 2012

    I am no lawyer. but this is much ado about nothing. Non of these esteem lawyers or wanabees can clearly state which section of the constitution has been violated. The president has expressed his intention to the PM that he intends to resign. The PM in his usual dictatorial manner informs and consults with the leader of the oposition(Is this a constitutional requirement?),perhaps it is but as I said am no lawyer. They fail to agree on a nominee, the house is called to order and informed that the PM and the Leader of the Opposition did not agree on a nominee, is this within the constitution? A date has been set for the house to convene to receive the letter of resignation of Mr. Liverpool and elect a new President. This process is so unconsttutional it will result in a non Dominican been elected to the Presidency, what a sad consttutional state.. :lol: :?: :twisted: :lol: :lol: :?: :oops: :?: :lol: :!: :!:

  35. Anonymous
    September 14, 2012

    DNO I guess my contribution was too intelligent so it did not pass your vetting process.

  36. Jayson
    September 14, 2012

    Sometimes I get the impression that some of those that are advising the PM in his party are doing this dilberately to screw him over. They shake his hand with one hand and hold a dagger behind their back in the other.

    Watch yourself PM. There are enemies within the ranks.

  37. Beacon
    September 14, 2012

    Da Lacks Proper thinkers..

  38. Chuck Mud
    September 14, 2012

    Chuck Dust sang Dady what it takes to become a politician” As Chuck mud I want to sing now

    Mammy want it takes to be a legal luminary and have presidential position
    Son Just be a moo moo and fight for your wine
    Just collect your money , pension and Olympic package
    Doh give a darn about snakes in the fowl cage.

  39. Observer
    September 14, 2012

    So much for the constitutional law expersts in our midst. Here is a man who is trained and experienced in not only drafting laws, but also in a position to give sound balanced advise on the interpretation of the constitution. So much for the “unconstitutional act”.

    When was the last time we heard any of the Attorneys cited above (Alleyne, Richards et al) who differed with Mr. Charles has had anything good to say about PM Skerrit? Their every comment on the public record, on any what matter relative to PM Skerrit has been in the negative, always wanting to paint PM Skerrit in the wrong – perpetually. So their opinions ought to be seen thus.

    mr. Brian Alleyne is well schooled and experienced in the practice of the law, but that does not make his opinions on the law always right all the time on every matter. In the Mervin Williams/National Bank matter, the Chief Justice was overruled by two lower ranking judges whose decisions have been written in the law books as law. So it means that Chief Justices’ opinion on the law, whilst it should be respected for what it is worth, is not always right. Take that “Lord Chief Justice” of Morne Daniel. I will be listening on Sunday.

    • Papa Dom
      September 17, 2012

      My, oh my! You have defeated your own argument and contradicted yourself. On the one hand you are saying that a senior legal mind is not always correct but in the same breath telling us that Mr. Charles’ view is the correct one.

      Well this in part is my comment on a previous story on the same subject.

      “Joe, Liverpool has no business telling skerritt anything in confidence. As a matter of fact if Liverpool had any respect for the people of Dominica and wasn’t an ungrateful and selfish person, he would never have done as you are suggesting. After all he came into office as the flavour of both the gov’t and the opposition and should at least be grateful for that. What he should have done was to call all the leaders of the three main political parties, make his intention known to them and explain to them any anomaly in the constitutional provisions. Together and with advice from other legal brains they could then go about seeking a solution.”

      This is what people do in civilised society, so that part of the good gentleman’s opinion is sport on. However he has failed to show anything which amounts to sound fact based legal and constitutional findings to support the rest of his argument. How then, and on what basis are you heaping all this praise on him? Is it only because he says something which is pleasing to your ears/eyes and in some perverse way is supportive of what skerritt is attempting to do?

  40. MaryJ
    September 14, 2012

    Dominica is slowly head for dicatorship again one man doing as he please and not by the law of the land

    • Jean
      September 14, 2012

      Clear your mind and then look up the meaning of dictatorship and then speak.

  41. Just sayin'
    September 14, 2012

    What a perfect end to the lack-luster performance of President Liverpool. He was touted as a constitutional expert, yet did nothing during his tenure to suggest amendments to the constitution (or much of anything else, as I can tell)

    It is appropriate that he goes out in a storm of Constitutional controversy and stays moo moo…

    • The Owl
      September 16, 2012

      Well said. Your wise comment has been given high rating globally. Even the Chinese, the French, Spanish and Hugo are with you on this one.
      I am prepared to buy the first book that you publish for 20,000$.
      Tuit tuit tu.

  42. Whistler
    September 14, 2012

    Wonder if the will ever get it Right!

  43. Jah guide
    September 14, 2012

    If the resignation has to be in writing so let it be. Was not aware that it could be done verbally. The President holds the key and he should take responsibility if this gets out of control
    The PM is also arrogant but what else is new?

    • Jah
      September 14, 2012

      Amen simple as dat. Whars all this about, behaving like little children

  44. Yoland
    September 14, 2012

    Lawyers always believe that they are the smartest people on earth,and they alone knows every thing.that’s why Jesus confronted them at the age of 12 years.And he cursed their profession,in Matthew 22:35-46One of them who was a lawyer ask him a question tempting him,and saying,Master which is the greatest commandment in the law?JESUS SAID UNTO HIM,THOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART,AND WITH ALL THY SOUL AND WITH ALL THY MIND.THIS THE FIRST AND GREATEST COMMANDMENT.AND THE SECOND IS LIKE UNTO IT,THOU SHALL LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THY SELF.ON THESE TWO COMMANDMENTS HANG-ALL THE LAW. i am ashamed to say today that about 95% of lawyers DON’T LOVE GOD most of them especially those who rip off poor people and drain our pockets to full theirs has no love what so ever.their god is doe matter what they say they always think they right.But Prime minister Skerrit made a very right move if the President is not well and leaving office choose a suitable person and the right person is HIS EXCELLENCY ELUDE WILLIAMS congrats to you sir and to PM SKERRIT for that great move.the lawyers who gave their opinion apart from the Charles feller spoke like they know it Luke 10:25-27.AND BEHOLD A CERTAIN LAWYER STOOD UP AND TEMPTED HIM SAYING MASTER WHAT SHALL I DO TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE?HE SAID UNTO HIM WHAT IS WRITTEN IN THE LAW?HOW READEST THOU?AND HE ANSWERING SAID SAID THOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART,AND WITH ALL THY SOUL,AND WITH ALL THY STRENGTH,AND WITH ALL THY MIND, AND THY NEIGHBORS ALSO BUT HE WILLING TO JUSTIFY HIM SELF SAID UNTO JESUS AND WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR.(WELL YOUR NEIGHBOR) IS THE SAME PEOPLE OUR LAWYERS DOES RIP OFF IN THE COURTS OF MONEY’S THAT THEY DON’T HAVE.LEAVE THE gOVERNMENT DO THE WORK OF THE Nation.

    • Papa Dom
      September 14, 2012

      you do not even understand what you wrote,catching at straws.

    • 1979
      September 14, 2012

      yoland go drink something and fall asleep in a corner somewhere 8)

  45. Anonymous
    September 14, 2012

    Show me a lawyer that does not love his own opinion :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  46. Lougaoo Mem
    September 14, 2012

    The “President?” Did he ever perform his duties in the best interests of the nation? We know the answer, and we also know that he is the worst the nation has ever had. The time is now for the patriots to stand for what is right in support of the supreme law of the mother-land, the constitution.

    • T. Winston
      September 15, 2012

      A Supreme Law passed down from our former slave master who they themselves have none… All these politicians going up are dishonest to the tooth

  47. Puzzled
    September 14, 2012

    Simply tender letter of resignation
    Follow due process.
    The goverment has the majority to appoint who they wish.
    Why has the PM made such a hash of this simple process ??????????

  48. Orange County
    September 14, 2012

    Listen since DLP From 2000 came around the scene all Standards,Protocol and Rule of Law have being either Side tracked,ignored or jump over…

    What the Heck is Going on with this Regime..

    So DLP folks can’t raise their Level thinking.They are making Dominica the Joke of the World..

    I Personal Don’t Respect Dominicans, Because They Are way to Small Minded and have nothing to show.

  49. Very concerned
    September 14, 2012

    Why is outgoing President Nicholas Liverpool putting the country in this chaotic situation? Mere courtesy dictates that the President should have informed both the Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition, instead he leaves doubt in the minds of the population as to whether he in fact ever wrote to the Prime Minister. I have learnt not to take the word of mouth of ANY politician, especially one who has difficulties with the truth.
    On the other hand Eliud Williams is anxiously waiting for the day when he’ll sit in the office. But is Eliud Williams prepared to take up this office for the next year knowing that, if it is not properly done, he’ll risk the possibility of having people refuse to stand or walk out every time he makes an official appearance?
    Roosevelt Skerrit appears hell bent on proceeding with the process no matter what. There is no place for compromise! Even if he knows that he is not the main decision maker in the scheme of things.
    Alix Boyd Knight does not want to loose her job at this time so she is prepared to play second fiddle knowing very well the Attorney General’s advice is B.S.
    On the other hand, the UWP is trying to score political points and lacks the art of strategic planning. This was the opportunity for the UWP to mobilize Civil Society to rally in defense of the Constitution, instead they are holding public meetings screaming WORKERS!!!!!!! And they plan to boycott parliament on Monday.
    The parliament session on Monday is the last opportunity for UWP to stop the process, raise hell and if Skerrit decides to proceed Walk Out, but no they plan to protest on the street allowing Skerrit a free hand to elect an illegal President.
    Sadly it is Skerrit against the rest, even his DUMB ministers are totally unaware of what is going on.
    Is there time for compromise? Will the church leaders, union leaders, youth leaders and the rest of civil society intervene? Or we will be faced with President Eliud Williams who will be recognized by some Dominicans. What a shame.

  50. T mama
    September 14, 2012

    The President knows what to do, why not do it properly????? why all this stsged drama happening??? what a shame!!!!!!!!

  51. windy hill
    September 14, 2012

    Dominicans are General not a on the Ball type Society…they are pretty much blinded with Foolish Pride with Brings about massive Poverty…

    If Dominica and Dominicans where Brilliant their Island would be making strides and these issues of Confusion on a daily basis would not be the norm..

    They don’t see how backwards they are as a Nation

  52. No Name No Warrant
    September 14, 2012

    This begs the question, The Opposition hated the President so much, I would think that they would be happy that the man is no longer President.

    Secondly, you would think that Hector would be happy that a man from Salisbury is President…

    Third, UWP can kiss the Salisbury seat goodbye (next election)

  53. MeT Yo
    September 14, 2012

    Now that lawyers are speaking out on the matter and are confirming that the PM is not following the law, I wonder what those “edison” bashers have to say now.

    Where El Presidente? Bacanalist? Wicked set of people.

  54. Frank Talker
    September 14, 2012

    Mr. Charles’ suggestions have to be seen in light of staying the national quarrel and for treating the substantive matter as necessity. His suggestions may not be 100% in accordance with the stated provisions contained in the Constitution but that’s exactly his journey, to bring a messed-up situation to an amicable close without further mess.

  55. White Plains Rd
    September 14, 2012

    How can in this Modern Era, folks who Proclaim to Be Professionals in Law and other related Matters Can’t Get a simple matter resolved with the Best Way Forward…

    To the World it shows that the Caribbean Island Called Dominica still isn’t up to Par with Standards
    Anyone can wake up and say i want it down that way.

    How can Foreign Investors see Dominica as a Prospective island…

    They just look at Dominica as a confused place.

    Will land in other islands for exp St.Lucia why.
    They see the Bigger Picture and Drop that ego..

    Sadly the Ego does not Bring forth success to Dominica it ranks them Highly as the Poorest!

    And to make it worst the Majority of its Citizens Are Happy about everything…All the Institutions In Dominica are dormant which compounds matters Even Worst.

  56. Lost n Troubled
    September 14, 2012

    Sounds like a fair resolution for the grown-ups concerned. Remember the younger ones are watching and listening so lets settle this in a mature way.

    On another note I would firmly suggest a total review of our said constitution, it has become like a ‘prostitute’, where almost everything goes based on one’s personal interpretation. Can we pls try and fix this little sore before it becomes Cancerous?

  57. mouth of the south
    September 14, 2012

    sad thing is…. the red ants wouldn’t understand such dialogue…. they are the majority… and the majority of any nation is filled with illiterate and mentally handicapped people… d.n.o should of broken this down in vegetables…

    what the good lawyer has said… is simply… the P.M and Speaker can’t or should not go ahead ‘IF’… The President has not told them in writing or in speech… also in the presence of the opposition leader…. that he the president wants to or is resigning… simple pimple to a long mumbo jumbo… :-P :lol: :-P

  58. Asterix
    September 14, 2012

    As an ordinary citizen I’ve understood that any actions that has to be taken in preparation for a successor to the president can only be effected by (1)An end to the term of office in which said preparation is effected within 90 days of the termination date (2) A termination (firing) of the position (3) A resignation which takes immediate effect and brings about the consultation prescribed and in the event of a lack of mutual agreement between parties on a replacement, an election within 14 days. Neither 1 and 2 happened therefore a consultation was only valid after receipt of resignation. Skerrit is known to have said that the president will resign on monday the 17th of September which means that the consultation and any other preparation should happen only on monday or thereafter.
    This means that everything which happened prior to this coming monday the 17th is deemed unconstitutional. It baffles me that learned lawyers would interpret this current state of affairs differently Further more Mr. Skerrit told us that he received a letter from the president after his meeting with the opposition leader. He was also known to have said and which is true, that the president cannot resign at a future date which begs the questions, What was that first letter all about if he is now claiming that the resignation will be this monday. Did the president in that first letter tender his resignation for a future date? How could he have called a consultation before receiving the letter? Wasn’t that letter supposed to have been directed to the speaker?

  59. GOM
    September 14, 2012

    Boy look COMMESS this incompetent PM is creating in this country we!
    Only in Dominica can one man have total disobedience to the law of the land like that, and nothing is being done about it. He uttered it with his famous/infamous declaration “No law no constitution can stop me”, and hes is practically doing it… WHAT A COUNTRY !!!!!!!! He will only stop when he has taken the country to Hell!

    • LA
      September 14, 2012

      We serve a risen Saviour. This country belongs to the ALmighty. We are not going to hell. The PM will vacate his post before this happens. I pray blessings and peace on this country, and that all lawlessness and deceitfulness will go in the name of Jesus. Amen.

  60. It's M
    September 14, 2012

    I am no lawyer but even before reading this article, I thought of it rationally and I said that the announcement at the special sitting of the House was to allow both sides to start thinking (preparatory) of a possible candidate to fill that position. I believe that if the opposition were bright enough they will realize that having this knowledge even prior to the actual letter of resignation would be to their advantage. I also believe that these opposition people have no good intentions, they only want to divide and rule. Yo amay trop kankan!

    • mouth of the south
      September 14, 2012

      “I also believe that these opposition people have no good intentions, they only want to divide and rule. Yo amay trop kankan”

      trying to justify the wrong that evil men do.. smh… that fact is the opposition is right…. and you and every God fearing dominican must stand up n defend the constitution

    • LA
      September 14, 2012

      Stop being blind. If it were the other way you would be protesting the issue. This party over country story is beginning to sicken!

    • Asterix
      September 14, 2012

      @ It’s M: There are guidelines as stipulated by the constitution for this process. Following any other method would be a violation of the constitution, therfore your rational of an announcement in parliament under the pretext that it gives parties preparational oopurtunity is aboslutely ludicrous and shows that yo too have no regard for the constitution and for correct procedure. It’s typical of blind followers to not see the right but instead resort to lame brain excuses for the actions of those they blindly follow. If this is your idea of being rational then I see why we are where are in DA

  61. The truth offends
    September 14, 2012

    Mr. Charles, you are an attorney and I respect your advise and understanding of this matter. However, if the constitution says clearly that the president must in his own hand writting, make his intention to resign to the speaker of the house, who in turn will inform the cabinet, why are you trying to put another spin on it? Is the constitution so complicated that it takes an attorney to interprete it?
    In a perfect world where the PM and speaker are acting honorably maybe it would be alright for the president to make his intention known orally to the PM, speaker and the opposition. But the way things are now where the speaker is a known partisan political supporter of Mr. Skeritt, it would then be there word (Skeritt and the speaker) against the opposition. Two against one and therefore the eyes have it, Whereas if it is written as mandated by the constitution, tangible EVIDENCE will be there for ALL to see.
    Mr Liverpool can write and it does not take much for him to write a letter. Just advise hime to write a letter of resignation and let’s move on.

    • Roz
      September 14, 2012

      My point exactly… After all he has already written one letter to the Prime Minister. SO is not deathly ill he so deathly ill eh. He of all persons should know the process.

      If we stand for nothing, we fall for everything. And trust me, we are falling.

  62. Malgraysa
    September 14, 2012

    What does the A.G. know? Is he a qualified lawyer?

  63. Reader
    September 14, 2012

    “these actions in my view do not amount to unconstitutional acts but must be viewed as actions only preparatory to the election of a successor President where the current President has communicated his intention to resign his office.”


  64. Anonymous
    September 14, 2012

    I am a married man, I tell my mistress that I intend to marry her, can I go and public banns in church to marry my mistress before I have my first marriage dissolved(i.e being divorced).

  65. Doc.Love
    September 14, 2012

    When I read the last paragraph of Attorney Clarles’s letter, I was completely bamboozle. I have heard of a doctrine of necessity but I have never heard of a preparatory procedure when it comes to the appointment of a president, especially when the constitution of that country is being flouted. We must never forget that anything or everything is possible in this beautiful country of ours.

    • Doc.Love
      September 14, 2012

      You either delete this comment or moderate it. It has been four hours since it was posted.

  66. September 14, 2012

    useful proposa. I note that he does not feel actions so far by the PM or the Speaker are unconsttutional. So, can he prrsuade the UWP to attend Parliament, see how things progrees “constitionally” on the President successsor BEFORE any more unnecessary
    political demonstrations???

  67. Roz
    September 14, 2012

    “…he recommends that President Nicholas Liverpool communicate orally, to the Prime Minister, the Speaker and the Leader of the opposition, his intention to resign his office.”

    So something as official as a President who holds the highest office of the land, resigning his post, a lawyer recommending that this be communicated ORALLY to the Speaker, Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition? Are you even serious? If i understand the constitution from the excerpt above, then the process with which we are currently proceeding goes against what is prescribed. Its as simple as that. The President needs to write to the Speaker as is prescribed in the constitution.

    Then and only then would a legitimate process to select a new president begin. All in favour say AYE!

    • Anonymous
      September 15, 2012

      I can’t believe Elue could write this crap. The law says to write he saying about oral mention. No wonder we are so much in a mess

  68. Never again slavery
    September 14, 2012

    Didn’t Dominicans hear Skerritt talk of amending the Constitution? Constitution does not cater for such eventuality? Certainly the chain of events have been concocted by We know who.

    Another example, another step towards the Dictatorship path being pursued. In our faces again. No Law, No Constitution….. But the Constitution clearly, like broad daylight, states the process to be followed for a smooth transition, election, or replacement of President.

    No letter of resignation from the President to the Speaker. No vacancy. No consultation. No convening of Parliament. Process totally flawed. That is the first step towards the deliberate, calculated machinations and trickery towards the seat of President being eyed by the Supremo. They are making a mess of it.

    The Constitution is being hijacked. Remember, “No Law, no Constitution could prevent….” Who said those words. Never forget that.

    Boots on the ground. Exercise your rights to RIGHT those WRONGS of Skerritt and his incompetent Govt. Save Dominica from Dictatorship. Never again Slavery. The lawful, righteous world is on our side.

  69. Mamizoo
    September 14, 2012

    Mr Charles I take exception to the the point made when you stated “ “these actions in my view do not amount to unconstitutional acts but must be viewed as actions only preparatory to the election of a successor President where the current President has communicated his intention to resign his office.” You ‘ve stated also that it is important in the circumstance that the President communicate his intension to the PM, the leader of the opposition and the speaker of the house. The fact is Mr Charles the president did not communicate with either the speaker of the house nor the leader of the opposition so the entire preparation for a new president is predicated upon the word of one man ( who we know is a stranger to the truth). If that is democracy then call me naïve.
    Mr Charles in a time where our constitution is being trashed just like our passports our people should not be holding back punches – say it as it is – say it loud say it clear. We have never been in such a situation so it is not appropriate to say that the situation is unusual or unorthodox – it more fitting to say that the PM and cohorts are simply trampling our constitution.

  70. Citizen
    September 14, 2012

    He sure did a better job than the AG. Doctrine of Necessity my foot.

  71. love da
    September 14, 2012

    If the president is resigning why is the PM or anyone else the person saying it. The president can talk i am guessing? PM let the man address the people to avoid that headache. Your intentions maybe good but it’s looking like the president is not getting out of office on his own.

  72. Jude Nicholas
    September 14, 2012

    Very good Legal advise my friend. It must be Known that Mr. Elue Charles in currently one of the foremost legal draftsman in the region.

    As I always known, the current process is not unconstutional although I strongly believe that the President should have verbally communicated his intentions to the Leader of the Opposition.

    Some one just whispered he did in fact spoke to Mr John.

    • Was Labor
      September 14, 2012

      But Jude Nicholas which side of your tongue that is tired now. A few days ago you told us that Mr Williams would rely on his son and sister in law for legal advise today we hearing that Elude is a legal draftsman. Jude Nicholas in your context there is no such thing as a legal draftsman. Can somebody show me the definition for a “ legal draftsman cause I am not as smart and foolish like Jude Nicholas. This is not meant to disaaprove Mt Elude Williams nomination , this just meant to show the nature of people like Jude Nicholas – liars, dishonest and traitors.

  73. Anonymous
    September 14, 2012

    what mumbo jumbo

  74. Kryptonite
    September 14, 2012

    thats BS

  75. Joe
    September 14, 2012

    Elu this is a great advise, but i think it came in just a little too late.

    Frankly i believe the President is avoiding the UWP because of all the Nasty things they had to say on him, so i guess he really overlooked them… Eddo and his gang needs to sober up!!!


    • Papa Dom
      September 14, 2012

      ha,ha,ha,ha,ha. Eddo and his gang, as you put it doesn’t drink rum so they don’t have to sober up

  76. FED UP
    September 14, 2012

    Talk about making a mountain out of a mole hill. The President of Dominica’s role is to act as its head of state. The role of the head of state includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted in the country’s constitution and laws. The President is (or should be )aware of the Constitution. If the Constitution provides for written notice – provide written notice. I have listened to talk radio, read articles, and still feel that maybe I’m missing something. What’s the big deal???????? Educate me please my fellow Dominicans.

    • Roz
      September 14, 2012

      This matter is so simple eh, and so logical, that my people trying to complicate it

  77. scotland yard
    September 14, 2012

    well said mouss pah my teacher

  78. citizen in nj
    September 14, 2012

    i dont think the mr skerrit is fear the election of the president shoud be of the people because the president is for the people and dominican should have a say in that as to who they want to be president of their country the country cannot be for one set and the PM alone cannot run the country what good would it be pleaser mt skerrit for once do somthing right in the country and have some respect for the people of dominica there is a saying that god dont like ugly and that is a true saying your clothes dont make you who you are but your character does

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