UWP calls for ‘urgent action’ on electoral reform

electoral-reformThe opposition United Workers Party has appealed to the Dominica Electoral Commission to urgently complete the process of electoral reform he said it started more than eight years ago.

In a letter to the Commission, Opposition Leader, Lennox Linton said there has been “growing public concern over the failure to implement the reforms especially given the abuses and corrupt practices that the ruling Dominica Labour Party has engaged to win the last three general elections in violation of the voter eligibility, bribery and treating provisions of our electoral laws.”

He suggested six areas which he said necessitate decisive action from the Commission.

They are: an accurate register of voters (a total re-registration of all eligible voters on the basis of which a new register of voters will be issued), voter identification cards (picture ID cards for all eligible voters on the new register of voters who will be obligated to use the cards as identification during elections), the rule of law (enforcement of the provisions in our electoral laws against bribery, treating, personation, illegal voting and election offenses in general), voting by electors living overseas (lawful facilitation of registered, eligible voters living overseas to vote in general elections in Dominica), media access for the opposition (fair access for the Opposition to the news and current affairs programs of all state owned, state operated or state controlled media), campaign finance reform (to ensure at the very least declarations of campaign contributions and election campaign spending by any political party of no more than EC$30.00 per registered voter per election).

“The fact that two elections have been held since the Commission’s independent decision to pursue electoral reform with no real progress on this extremely important undertaking, gives the impression that the Commission is ensuring that no electoral reform will be completed in time for any election while the Dominica Labour Party remains in office,” Linton wrote. “We hope that this not the case and going forward the Commission will act expeditiously in this matter in the enlightened public interest of our beloved Dominica.”

The full letter is below.

Download (DOCX, 52KB)

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55 Comments

  1. A Doubting Thomas In Solidarity
    September 19, 2016

    How do dead people leave the cemetery and vote in a general election. There will always be dead people names on a voter lists because people die every day and the names of the dead cannot be removed daily.

    In a community like ours where everyone knows everyone a person cannot or should not be able to impersonate a dead person.

    When I vote; I look for my name on the list of voters on the door or wall outside the polling stations.

    You enter the polling stations, the Returning Officer checks for your name on the list and crosses it off, then you are handed a ballot.

    Each Political Parties have its own Scrutineers and there are also polling clerks and Police Officers. You are not told who to vote for. Chances are you know everyone there.

    You alone enter the Polling Booth to cast your vote for the person of your choice and you put your ballot in the box & your thumb is inked. Anything must be done before by removing people names and putting them elsewhere. UWP??

    • Dominican
      September 20, 2016

      If dead people voted tyhen UWP committed fraud! How can they know that and not say anything? IT means the people voted for them and should be disqualified. UWP should answer in court for this fraud. I refuse to believe that they had a set of illiterate agents at the polling stations. Same nonsense talk everyday I don’t know how they don’t feel ashamed to repeat such nonsense. Btw UWP won in canefield so the system is working?

  2. DION
    September 18, 2016

    This opposition while it may be justified in calling for electoral reform on one hand while on the other they participate in all elections whether general or council and when they win the system works anf if they lose they cry foul. What a bunch of crazy heades

    • September 19, 2016

      Totally agree with your comment. The hypocrisy is palatable. These guys are always wrong on message and always have to walk back their comments.

    • A Doubting Thomas In Solidarity
      September 19, 2016

      The system works when they win and it does not work when they lose. We see that over and over again with the UWP. Because they have yet to concede any elections they have lost.

      What they fail to realize the same people who support them may be the same ones who will vote against them because some of their supporters realize they do not want them to be the government.

      The fact is when you go to the polling booth you and you alone decided only then where your X goes and for whom. I can tell you I will vote for you but when I enter that booth it is me and I alone who will cast that important vote. If the UWP cannot understand that something is wrong with their understanding.

  3. WCMF - I deh wi
    September 18, 2016

    The UWP are strategically incompetent and done.. Skerro running rings like them like Muhammad Ali did to his opponents.

    Skerro is not good for DA but the alternative is limited. UWP are all talk, no action, with only 2 dollars in their pocket to try to win an election.

    Maybe a new party is required to bring effective opposition.

    Calypso for next season – “New leader Required – Lennox has Expired”

  4. The truth
    September 18, 2016

    ALU people are just staying and talking foolishness,we all are like heads without body get mature in ALU thinking one set that is benefiting and that’s the truth

  5. KID ON THE BLOCK
    September 18, 2016

    Linton and his GANG are a bundle of JOKERS!…… Where has Lennox seen or heard that a DEAD man can vote?

  6. curiorcity
    September 18, 2016

    Mr. Lin! General Election is not too far away, you need three months vacation because you look stressed out. On your journey if by accident you come across Alan Telemacque pretend you are having a heart attack. TRY TO WIN the mind of Labor followers because your present followers do not have a clue. We want you in Office but with a new set of crews and followers. Be strong tell them what you think of them, they either take it or leave it. A leader is as strong as his followers.

  7. We need real leadetship
    September 17, 2016

    I am so done with UWP. This is the last straw for me. At least the new party sounds more promising.

  8. freedom till I die
    September 17, 2016

    Labour went in bed with Freedom to remove Workers from office. Should we get in bed with Workers to……..

  9. September 17, 2016

    Get over it opposition your leader lost and now he is dependjng on wahala to get him in power. Mr weak man and he full of bulls. GET OVER IT. stop the pappishow allyou look dam stupid.

  10. Dominica
    September 17, 2016

    This man will blame everyone else. He maybe a journalist. But he is not a leader. Remove Lennox Linton and UWP might see their way.

  11. jonathan st jean
    September 16, 2016

    @Real possie,how do you explain that following the past two general elections,the report of the Caricom observer mission called for electoral reform especially cleaning of the voters list.Skerritt gave his word that he would do it and yet to date very little visible progress can be seen.Justice must not only be done,it must appear to be done.So not only are Dominicans calling for the moral and responsible ingredients of a true democracy.Shame on you to want to take this so lightly.If you truly love Dominica you would lend your voice to the chorus for electoral reform.

  12. Auntie Buitre
    September 16, 2016

    Wow! A plan right out of the USA Republican Party/Donald Trump playbook.

  13. A Doubting Thomas In Solidarity
    September 16, 2016

    I am tired of the UWP being angry because they can no longer win a general election to form the government so I am not going to spoil my weekend by reading whatever that document says, enough is enough. I am not saying I will never read it, I just do not have the stomach for it this weekend. Because I am sure it is more of the same.

    The UWP wants us to forget that they were for 4 1/2 years in government. They became the official opposition one year and the next they formed the government and never saw it necessary to ask for change as the official opposition nor did they change what they want to change now as a government. And they want me to believe it does not work?

    Were they an illegitimate Government and Oppositon in the 1990’s. Is that what they are now telling us?

    • September 19, 2016

      @A Doubting Thomas In Solidarity
      September 16, 2016

      Lennox Linton has nothing of substance to speak or write; his writing may be well worded, but with no wisdom and insight it is still futile. I never use my good time to read those things nah!

      Linton needs to humble himself, so to gain profound supporters; but he doesn\’t know how to do that, what a pity!

  14. curiorcity
    September 16, 2016

    Truthfully! this should been discussed in the house why turn into a gossip.UWP has been out of office for so long that they turn into street fighters. The overseas voters are people who have property and interest in da and also the barrel senders. when you go to vote your name is on the list but in the box alone. Not much sense

  15. Silver Sliver
    September 16, 2016

    The Opposition must publicly show the evidence of dead people still on the list, take the Electoral Commission to task to take their responsibility seriously, and perform their “basic job”, or even take legal action against them. I must express my concern and sense of unease with the idea of voter cards. Has consideration been given to the opening that this presents for fraud with fake cards, individuals with multiple cards from different stations or constituencies etc? Just ask credit card companies and other government agencies.

  16. Tj
    September 16, 2016

    Proper electoral reform will solve the diaspora illegal voting

  17. Free and fair eloections
    September 16, 2016

    The struggle for FREE and FAIR elections in Dominica must intensify to prevent Skerritt from entrenching himself in power like some of the Black leaders in some African countries,, Ivory Coast, Burundi, etc. those dictators do not care what happens to their own people. They disregard election laws, the Constitution,. Dismantle all institutions that have been set up to ensure democracy thrives.

    Remember how Tony Astaphan interfered in the operations of the Electoral Commission? Remember the Commission proposed electoral reforms, but in Tony Astaphan’s letter to his PM, hinted that “Madness is going on because the Commission wanted to implement certain changes to the election process?

    Neither he, nor Skerritt, or the DLP Cabal can refute that truth. 2 Lawyers on the Commission, are selling our passports. The Chairman and those lawyers are playing games, not wanting to reform anything now But it was the commission itself that thought of reforms but blocked.,

    • Free and fair elections
      September 16, 2016

      Fooling the people all the time. Election reforms is a matter for the Electoral Commission to implement. It is illegal, almost criminal for the Cabal to be influencing that Commission to prevent it from issuing VOTER ID CARDS, conduct a complete re-registration to clean the bloated VoTERS” List and to deal with the issue of CAMPAIGN FINANCING. The Cabal will not allow the Electoral Commission to carry out the necessary electoral reforms, fearing that Skerritt and his DLP would lose in an election Free and fair and free from fear.

      Mark my words. The Dominican people must force the Commission to do what it proposed to do to ensure democracy reigns. No to DICTATORSHIP. Free and Fair elections a MUST. Dominicans STAND UP for our RIGHTS to participate in FREE and FAIR elections.

      https://dominicanewsonline.com/news/homepage/news/general/national-id-cards-coming/

      • Free and fair elections
        September 16, 2016

        Most of the problems of poverty, corruption, and all the other associated evils in many counties are associated with Bad elections stealing of elections, disregard for electoral laws, bribery, greed, nepotism, a few amassing quick wealth, while the majority get poorer and poorer.

        Dominicans MUST stop that dictatorship trend and operations. The other OECS islands have implemented electoral reforms of one kind or another. What is the set-back, what is the problem Skerritt? why are you and your cabal doing those things to your own brothers and sisters?

        http://www.sakafete.com/2011/03/14/u-w-p-calls-again-for-funding-for-voter-i-d-cards/

  18. Peace
    September 16, 2016

    Now I proving Hon. Linton has lost his marbles? A total re-registration process??? I’m not a lawyer but does the law provides for the manner in which a duly registered voter an be removed from the list? So we should follow the rules of law only when it suits the UWP?
    When people propose policy always ask, who benefits and who is burdened by it … clearly … UWP tactic here is questionable.
    Don’t even get me started on voter ID cards … smh

  19. Massacre
    September 16, 2016

    Dominicans must things of their children future an not the quick fix cash Skerro is used to giving them before every election.
    Sad state of affairs when the Electoral Commission is still being begged to do their job.

  20. AA
    September 16, 2016

    I am amazed at these so called professionals who make themselves pass like ***** for the sake of politics. How can you look back at your performance at the electoral commission and have respect for yourself? It is a simple process of ensuring that the voters list is cleaned up and the electors that should be on the list are on the list. You have been tasked with the mandate of ensuring that free and fair elections can you the people working at the commission look yourself in the mirror and say that you have been carrying out your mandate and you have ensured that the elections machinery is as mandated by law? Can you all look yourself in the mirror and say that you all are professionals in your field and have executed your responsibilities professionally?

  21. free
    September 16, 2016

    The Dominican people just sitting back and letting nothing good happen, stand up for allu rights. Get electoral reform and stop these people from overseas coming to vote. Stand up my people

    • Arte El Labore
      September 16, 2016

      FREE, they could send their hard earn money to Dominica as right full setizens but not allowed to vote you must be a bloody ******.

    • Free too
      September 17, 2016

      The Dominican people who are living overseas are Dominicans too. They contribute to the development/economy of the country. That same dang given right that you have, they’re entitled to it also. Do NOT attempt to take their right away from them…peace.

  22. ” Dominica Electoral Commission to urgently complete the process of electoral reform he said it started more than eight years ago.”

    Is it not strange something that simple to resolve takes almost a decade (10) years in Dominica, while in places such as Antigua, the same matter was resolved in a matter of weeks!

    Not in a year, however, in a matter of weeks!

    I believe this is a matter which should be taken to court, and ask the court to issue an order compelling the commission to resolve the matter by a given date. We know it is possible for a Dominica court owned and operated by Skerrit, may not issue an order; nevertheless, this may be the opportunity to appeal the ruling to a highgher court such as the CCJ; where some justice might prevail.

    Dominica Electoral Commission is not interested in reform, because they are paid by Skerrit to help him win elections, devious, and cynical means, they are all in the pocket of Skerrit.

    • Arte El Labore
      September 16, 2016

      FRANCISCO, I will be willing to pay for LINTON, To travel to London privy council on that Reform issue ,

    • mine
      September 18, 2016

      You sit yoi tail in the USA and just palae, palae and palae.

  23. Jaded
    September 16, 2016

    Electoral reform is important but it is difficult to prove undue influence in elections. Because the ballot is secret no one knows for sure who you voted for. The UWP cannot prove that the people who were given tickets actually voted DLP. Also, are you bribing a voter (maybe an old woman) if you give her a ride to the pols? I think that we can all agree that getting her from point A to point B is not a bribe. So how different is that from a plane ticket? All you are doing is getting someone from one point to another so that they can do their civic duty and vote in secret. See what I mean? It is very difficult to prove that the DLP is breaking the law if they are giving people plane tickets.

    • L'Eve Dubout
      September 16, 2016

      Seems you are unaware of the process of selecting who receives a ticket to come Dominica to vote. Please be informed it is an elaborate planned process focused on specific borderline Constituencies where Laborites are recruited by Laborites who know their overseas communities. Workers have reported being called and offered tickets plus expenses only to be subsequently refused. A well organized Campaign machine generated and financed from the top, but rank corruption that only effective well thought out Electoral Reform can correct.

      • Jaded
        September 19, 2016

        But no one can prove that they actually voted DLP. Providing assistance to the polling station is not a violation.

    • chebefor
      September 16, 2016

      A reply to Jaded remarks by L’Eve Dubout which was accepted [I read it & referred to it in my reply below] has now been removed. Why? Doesn’t this prove DNO is biased? What’s going on here? Are u discouraging intelligent debate? Please explain or lose a client and supporter.

    • %
      September 17, 2016

      You deliberately stayed away from the Voters ID CARD…This failed state called Dominica is probably the last country on earth where people vote without ID CARD….We have a voters list with names almost equal to our population…You chose to write garbage instead…I support the call from honourable Linton,and this should be the number one item on the agenda of politically conscious Dominicans…

  24. Nationalist
    September 16, 2016

    “An Accurate Register of Electors”. in the 5th paragraph under this section in Mr. Linton’s letter, there is tacit recognition that the exercise to reregister voters as is requested is easier said than done. In pursuing such an exercise, the rights of those already registered to vote (whether resident or not) must be taken into consideration. The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court has already set the legal parameters by which a person’s name could be removed from the EXISTING VOTERS LIST”. I knew all along that the political requests to reregister was aimed solely at removing those people who are on the list and not resident in Dominica. But they are already on the list and the LAW recognize their right to remain on the list until the proper procedures as lay down in law is recognized and followed. any change to such a far reaching privilege cannot be completed within Mr. Linton’s time frame.

    • Papa Dom
      September 17, 2016

      Stop being foolish there is no court ruling which prevents complete reregistration. After freedom party overthrew PJ’s government we had complete voter reregistration, ask Charles saverin who was heavily active in the process.

  25. KIP
    September 16, 2016

    There is no denying that your identity should be checked befor voting with a national id card such as passport,Social Security or drivers lic etc.
    The impression that Mr Linton is giving is that the lack of electoral reform made him loose the last general election.In fact his party did very well and gain three additional parliamentary seats and gained additional vote across the board.So am I to deduce that the electoral reform is only needed in the constituencies he lost.By the by wasn’t the UWP elected in 1995 on the same basis with no “electoral reform” Mr. Linton ask Mr James how he did it or bring in Joshua Francis as an electoral consultant.

    Why doesn’t Dominica’s politics birth younger politicians only limping and Schizophrenic dinosaurs everywhere. Where are all these “bright people ” who have been getting 20 ones and A’s on their final exams since 1970

  26. Seminole Ave
    September 16, 2016

    Dominicans are too dumb to have anything, leave them let them grin in the dust..

    who should care a hell about dominicans. do they care no way…
    dominicans made a mistake in 2000 and they will keep on living with it..

    to hell with dominicans, they will stay poor and keep begging under that dictator…

    • Original Mahaut Man
      September 18, 2016

      you are a bigger fool.JA

  27. DomiChina
    September 16, 2016

    Real Possie, it appears as if you and thousands of other Dominicans prefer to swaddle in mess rather than to look for anyway out. I listen to and see the amount of nonesense that is happening to my lovely country and ask myself are we all seeing. yet many go to the polls and say Linton this and Linton that so we will put in the people back who we know are making us wallow in mess. I am not a supporter of everything thing that Linton comes up with, but I would prefer to swing with Linton with his mediocre thinking as many claim than to swing with Skerrit and a corrupt Government. What is a democratic country with no democracy…dictatorship. what is a government with one man calling the shots …dictatorship. (Same thing)

    Joshua Francis is an opportunist. He was swinging with Skerrit. he did not accomplish his selfish desires so he abandoned ship and went on the UWP boat.

  28. Arte El Labore
    September 16, 2016

    LINTON, may i asked what Reform you on about the only Reform is for you a 60+year old man and the rest of the cumunist workers party to Reform Edison James, is now beginning to talk like Karl Marx, that goes to show what type of people they are, But they can keep on knocking but they wont get in trust me.

  29. September 16, 2016

    Its long overdue

  30. analy thomas
    September 16, 2016

    I think the intent is a good one that will benefit the Dominican people. You may have to seek international help on this one. Once it is done you can continue advising the Dominican people on their rights. I honestly think though that you can be a very good minister and advisor so it would really help if you seek someone on the island who is younger, full of charisma, and is able to passionately execute the duties of this Island with loyalty, honesty and integrity.
    We certainly need an opposition either way not withstanding that we must DE politicalize this Island.

  31. Dear Linton
    September 16, 2016

    Joshua’s disturbing and conflicting position on this matter warrants deep concern to our party, Do not just accept my position blindly but read his recent Facebook posting. Joshua has had an unenviable reputation of consistently challenging our UWP policy position boldfacely on many key matters coupled with not being a full Team player.
    We could recall his stance on the CCJ, position on the Uk based PC Linton Judgment, not walking out from the house with his other MPs, absence from party meetings and protest actions,accusations of party leader in his malaise ,boycotting of budget debate,invisibility in the constituency, and the list goes on!
    I think we need to convene to deal with any political cancer that is affecting our great party. Clear there is danger in not acting. Francis having been removed as Deputy has created an understandable yet unfortunate void in RS.
    I am appalled of his FB posting condemning our intent to not to partake in poll if the election list is not…

  32. Real possie
    September 16, 2016

    Why should I call your bluff? You and your party stands for nothing, how long have you and your party been crying that sane cry? Every time you go against your beliefs and still contest the elections, look the one by-election that just past u contested it and lost big time. If the Roseau south election is called today you would still run for it, you have to stand for something or you will fall in line for everything. LOL. This opposition party is a big joke. Am hoping the PPOD or what they call themselves run for office to get rid of this hateful people who only wants bad for our country.

  33. Seriously??
    September 16, 2016

    The leadership of the UWP has to win the hearts and minds of the people but that is next to impossible to accomplish with it’s weak leadership. It’s time that the UWP admits that, yes, we hate Skeritt but we need new leadership. It seems like the hatred for Skeritt is strong that they do not even realize that their leadership is the problem. Leadership is everything…. hint hint, Joshua Francis.

    • LifeandDeath
      September 16, 2016

      I freed a thousand slaves and could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves

    • Massacre
      September 16, 2016

      How can UWP win the hearts of a people who has no vision for their own future? Dominican have become very laid-back and satisfied with underdevelopment.
      We are last in everything competitive in the Caribbean and since people are cool with that well I have nothing to worry about them.

    • Zulu
      September 16, 2016

      The only reason there is not electoral reform is because the leadership of the position is week. You cannot be a leader and afraid to get arrested. There is no doubt in my mind that we are a socialist state. Dominicans a blinded by labor but we most remember that over 17000, citizens voted for the UWP and the leadership cannot attract 1000 persons to demonstrate against the ills and illegality in this country. It’s time the opposition leader step up or step out
      If you continue like this and the full socialism come into play, you will be arrested anyway just being in that position maybe even your family

    • chebefor
      September 16, 2016

      You totally skirt the issue of rigged or unfair Elections systematically and corruptly returning DLP to power
      in definitely two consecutive elections… not popularity or leadership. A well oiled, well financed, well planned electoral machine that wins elections corruptly is not a free and fair election that is the expression of the Dominican peoples will. (see L’Eve Dubout’s timely input above)

    • Papa Dom
      September 17, 2016

      It is ignorant and stupid comments like yours which has Dominica the way it is. What hatred of skerritt are you talking about? Is pointing out the wrong things which skerritt does hatred? You are one of those benefiting from skerritt so you’ll talk about leadership and don’t come with your crap about being personal because any sober thinking person wouldn’t talk that kind of rubbish.

    • %
      September 17, 2016

      If only Joshua did not have people like you as his friend he would be better of…Instead he listened to you!!!Are you not ashame???Can someone like you give good counsel???

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