Attorney General Levi Peter has said that he believes that there is sufficient time for electoral reform providing that the necessary amendments are made with haste.
He made the statement while speaking as a guest on the Q-95 Hot Seat Programme on Wednesday.
On May 22nd, Chairman of the Electoral Commission in Dominica, Gerald Burton during a panel discussion, said that the political will to facilitate the process of electoral reform in Dominica, is lacking.
He said for two years, the Commission has had available to it, the equipment, the technology and the draft legislation which will make it possible to introduce ID cards as part of the voting process and assist in verifying the accuracy of the list of electors which will go a long way in modernizing Dominica’s electoral system in keeping with international standards.
However, Burton added that throughout the discussions on the voter identification system, both at the Commission and in public discourse, he has made his views clear that unless there is sufficient time to introduce the new system and to “satisfy ourselves through proper testing that it is fully operational, I would not recommend that it be used in any upcoming elections.”
“I maintain this position,” Burton insisted.
But attorney general, Levi Peter has a different point of view.
“My personal view is that there is sufficient time provided the necessary legislative amendments are made with haste,” Peter told Hot Seat host, Matt Peltier. “I would imagine that would require additional resources, because for example when the Electoral Commission declared that they would utilize 10 months, that was some time ago. I would imagine that it would require additional personnel to be engaged to enable us to do what’s necessary in the shortest possible time.”
He continued, “They have to get people to understand for the change to be effective, you don’t want a change which ends up with chaos…”
Peter stated further that, “What is preventing us from getting that reform is that we are not yet or it doesn’t appear to be an open agreement as to how those reforms are to be effective.”
He rejected the notion that the lack of finance is one of the factors impeding progress towards electoral reform.
“That is incorrect,” the attorney general insisted.