ROSEAU, Dominica, CMC – The leader of the opposition United Workers Party (UWP), Ron Green, has vowed to challenge his loss in the La Plaine constituency following a recount on Saturday.
Green, one of only four UWP candidates to have been declared victors based on preliminary results, now faces the prospect of being out of Parliament for the first time in a decade and a half after the recount found that he had lost to Petter Saint-Jean of the ruling Dominica Labour Party (DLP) by a razor thin margin of two votes.
The reversal means that the DLP has extended its advantage in Parliament to 18 seats to three for the UWP. But Green said he was not ready to concede defeat to his rival, opting to pursue legal options available to him.
“Monday morning we will file a case and see when it is heard,” he told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) at his home in the rural constituency following the recount.
“I imagine matters like this would be heard with some case of urgency because it has to do with the question of who represents a particular people.”
The UWP leader said he was confident that after taking the matter to court he would be adjudged the winner.
“I think there is a strong case there that any fair judge looking at the rejected ballots will end up selecting me as the Member of Parliament for this area but let’s see what the courts say.”
Away from the sedate surroundings of the Green residence, scores of jubilant DLP supporters clad in red staged an impromptu motorcade through the constituency, blaring horns, blasting campaign songs and danced in the street as though Carnival had come to the countryside.
As supporters celebrated, Saint-Jean hailed the victory following the recount as one for the people.
“We worked hard and we sought to ensure that we cripple the opposition, not just by winning 18 seats, but by ensuring that the Leader of the Opposition, who has been the parliamentary representative for this constituency for the past 15 years, and who Dominica thought was going to be the next prime minister, was effectively put out of Parliament,” he told CMC.
Among those who rushed to the area to join in the celebrations was Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.
“It’s a great victory for the people of Dominica…we have just put the icing on the cake by causing the leader of the United Workers Party to be out of Parliament. It was a keenly contested fight to put pressure on the leadership of the United Workers Party, and that’s what we did in the La Plaine constituency,” said the 37 year-old Prime Minister.
Tags: Election 2009