President of Dominica, His Excellency Charles Savarin has called on Dominicans to be peaceful and stay united for the upcoming general elections in a manner consistent with international best practices.
He made the announcement during the presentation on Tuesday, of a $1.02 billion budget by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.
“The general election may be characterized as the quintessential manifestation of democracy in a country. At its core, it provides the citizens with the right and the opportunity to chose their representatives and Parliament and thereby their government via secret ballot,” the President stated. “Additionally, there are crucial underlying institutions and mechanisms necessary for the proper functioning of the election process to include the media, the rule of law, the electoral commission and its associative machinery which taken together, comprised the architecture of a democratic system.”
He continued, ” Furthermore, the country’s membership of the Caribbean community CARICOM, as well as the organisation of Eastern Carribean States, the OECS, the Commonwealth, the organisation of American states and of course the united nations imply a code of conduct by government and opposition on matters pertaining to fundamental rights and freedom and democracy at a national level.”
The President also touched on the matter of electoral reform pointing out that there is always room for improvement in the country’s various systems, including the electoral system.
“This upcoming poll is expected to be peaceful, as well as being undertaken in a manner consistent with international best practices. Essentially, the system or regime for conducting a free and fair poll in Dominica is in place and has been so for several decades. Indeed since before the attainment for independence in 1978,” he said.
“No system anywhere is perfect…there is always room for improvement in our various systems and endeavor and that principle apply for our electoral system as well. Generally that system has stood us in good stead over the years and all three of the major political parties have won and lost elections under the exiting system.
“As our country faces the future may the good Lord continue to shower his blessings on our people as together we seek to overcome the many challenges confronting the nation along with fostering the understanding necessary to persevere in pursuit of excellence,” Savarin stated.
He called on parliamentarians and citizens to love one another and to unite not only to build back better and stronger but to make Dominica the first climate resilient country in the world.