President of Dominica, His Excellency Charles Savarin, has called for electoral reform so that the rights of all eligible voters are protected and that all non-eligible voters are removed from the electoral list.
Savarin made the call during his speech at the First Meeting of the First Session of the Tenth Parliament on January 10th, 2020.
“I would urge members on both sides of this honorable house and the public at large to approach the debate on electoral reform from the point of view of ensuring that the rights of all eligible voters are protected and that the names of persons who are not eligible to be on the voters list in conformity with our laws are struck off,” he stated.
The President stated there should no longer be any room for hateful speech and conflicts on the matter of electoral reform which is a continuing process and not a short term “once and for all” exercise.
He further stated that there is a need to empower the Electoral Commission to proceed with the exercise of issuing voter ID cards by approving the necessary legislation.
“We need, also, to encourage confidence in the institutions of the state and the mechanisms they provide for resolving differences,” he added.
He urged members of parliament to put aside their differences and become united and “to build upon the foundations we have laid over the years.”
He noted that free and fair elections are the bedrock of Dominica’s democracy and said that the electoral process provided for in the Constitution and the House of Assembly Elections Act was diligently followed for the holding of the general elections in 2019.
“Last year’s election campaign could truly be described as one of the most unusual and divisive campaigns in the country’s political history,” Savarin said.