President of the United Workers Party (UWP) and former Prime Minister Edison James has accused Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of attempting to have a one party state.
James made the remarks while addressing the third People’s Parliament organised by the Movement to Restore Democracy this week at the Salisbury Government School.
“He (PM Skerrit) says that the UWP action is giving Dominica a bad name with respect to democracy. But if we are giving the country a bad name by staying out of the Parliament, you have 18 seats how much more will we have a bad name if there is no opposition in the Parliament for the next five years. What can Mr. Skerrit do with 21 seats that he cannot do with 18 seats except to have a one party state,” he said.
James said when there is Opposition, people look to the members to represent them, “but if there is no Opposition, each man is his own opposition, so there will be seventy thousand Opposition people…” James added.
In his turn at the mic, party leader Ron Green said the purpose of attending the People’s Parliament rather than the National Parliament forms part of their fight to obtain democracy.
“We are fighting for the restoration and maintenance of a healthy democracy, where we a free to exercise our rights- … our rights to engage in free and fair elections,” Green noted.
He noted that they have no problem being the Opposition party, once they got there because of a free and fair general election.
“Whenever there is free and fair elections we have no problem being the loyal opposition; we did so in 2000, we did so in 2005 even though we had concerns, and we tried to go to the court and technical problems prevented us from going to the court … we served the people of Dominica loyally in 2000 and 2005. We did the same in 2005 and 2009, even though there were severe attempts to prevent us from asking the questions of the people of Dominica [in Parliament]; so severe that we were brought to court … and we were subsequently charged $204,000, because we sought to ask the people’s question in the Parliament of Dominica,” Green explained.
– DNO Correspondent