Minister responsible for National Security Charles Savarin has questioned the intentions of United Workers Party candidates for the Salisbury and Marigot constituencies as it relates to the upcoming by-election and what it could mean for these constituencies.
On Monday, the Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit announced that by-elections for these constituencies were due on July 9, 2010. The two seats had been declared vacant by the Speaker of the House following the absence of the two members-Edison James and Hector John for the Marigot and Salisbury constituencies respectively- for three consecutive sessions of the House of Assembly.
Following the general elections in December 2009, the United Workers party had made public their decision to boycott parliament since the party believed that elections were not free and fair.
Savarin, who was speaking on a live talk show on a local radio station this morning, raised questions about the party’s intention to serve or not serve in parliament should they be successful in the upcoming by-elections.
“…Since we’re getting up to by-elections, the challenge for the people in Salisbury and…Marigot constituency is to know… what would be the position of UWP candidates if they were to win? Would they win and then continue to boycott parliament? In other words… will they be asking people to vote for them so that they will not go to parliament?” he asked.
“Because the contract that you have as a candidate as a ‘parl rep’ is to represent your people in and out of parliament…Because you are elected as a member of parliament your major constitutional contractual responsibility is to be in the parliament to give representation to the people of all measures being brought to the parliament by the government of the day,” he said.
Savarin said that the candidates should reveal what their intentions are for their constituencies.
“Should they win will they go to the parliament and if their position is that [we want you to vote for us but we will not go to the parliament then clearly the constituents have a decision to make]” he said.