Even before prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced the December 8 date for General Election, leader of the United Workers Party, Lennox Linton, said the party’s campaign is in full gear.
Skerrit announced the date of the election on Wednesday afternoon but speaking at a UWP press conference on Wednesday morning, Linton said the UWP is ready to go.
“We are ready to rumble, the party is in gear, the campaign is in gear…” he said.
According to him, the UWP will be stepping up its election campaign with major political activities over the next few days.
There will be political meetings in all 21 constituencies and a major rally in the Roseau South Consituency on November 9, dubbed “Victory for Change.”
“Tonight we will be all around Dominica, in every single constituency with a block meeting,” he said. “These block meetings are designed to present our state of readiness to the voters of Dominica, all around Dominica between 6:00 pm and 11:00 pm. There will be a political meeting tonight in every constituency, in all 21 constituencies. Some of the constituencies we will be doing whistle stops and some will have only block meetings, but there will be political activities on the theme of our readiness.”
Linton also raised concerns over electoral reform in Dominica.
“There is no question that we are ready for this election, the question is whether the electoral commission whose responsibility it is to deliver free and fair election, whether that commission is ready for elections,” he stated. “We have come to more than a year since the electoral commission has been talking to us about Identification Cards for voting, which go back to a decision that the commission made back in 2008. To date the commission cannot tell the people of Dominica whether we will vote with an accurate register of electors or whether we will have ID cards for voting.”
Linton further stated that the party is concerned that the electoral commission is going to be “conducting elections on the same old arrangements that have existed now and which have been manipulated effectively by the Dominica Labour Party, especially in the last two elections.”
“I refer here specifically the inaccurate list of electors, the fact that overseas based nationals who have been out of the country for more than five years, therefore should not be on the register by law, are still allowed to vote by the electoral commission, the fact that people have been known to vote in the name of dead people,” he said.
According to him, the UWP is well informed on arrangements being made for foreign nationals to cast ballots.
“We are hearing all sorts of arrangements being made for foreign nationals to cast ballots in this elections in the names of Dominicans who might be dead,” Linton stated. “All of that is exactly why over the years the Electoral Commission itself, the Chief Elections Officer, visiting groups of observers from the Commonwealth, from the OAS, CARICOM have recommended electoral reform.”