The United Workers Party (UWP) has expressed dissatisfaction with the way the DLP government has been conducting the affairs of the country after Hurricane Maria.
The UWP held a prayer breakfast for party members, members of the media and others, on Thursday morning at the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) Building in Roseau at which the party stated its position on the matter.
“Unfortunately we are not happy with the way the Labour Party administration has been conducting itself with respect to Post-Maria recovery and therefore, we’ll address some of the issues today,” UWP Senator and president of the party, Isaac Baptiste said while delivering some remarks.
He said the UWP is dissatisfied with the lack of transparency in governance in the country which, in his opinion, had worsened after Hurricane Maria. “The level of consultation is very much unacceptable,” he stated.
He criticized the government for its “lack of vision” for not anticipating the possible disasters associated with a major storm and as a result, not preparing the country for that. He made particular reference to the problem of looting.
Baptiste also questioned the criteria and approach used by the government in the distribution of resources in its possession.
“That is, fairness and equity in the distribution of the resources that have been allocated and given to the government Dominica by the international community, Dominicans overseas; that every Dominican ensure that they have a fair share of what is given to them, paying attention first to the most needy and the deprived in our society,” he declared.
He pointed out that a UWP administration would ensure that the duty free concession would not have to be revisited every three months, but that it would have been extended to the end of the year in the first instance.
“We would ensure that the basic building materials required for roof reconstruction and refurbishment of homes are put under price control,” he insisted.
Another area of concern for the UWP according to Baptiste, is the lack of monitoring for construction activities taking place in the country. He called on the government to make sure that the persons who have the technical training to do so, are sent out into the districts to monitor construction.
“This is what the United Workers Party is asking for,” Baptiste exclaimed.
Pointing to the damaging impact that the lack of electricity is having on the rural economy, the UWP senator acknowledged that Domlec is doing its best but maintained that the government should provide the necessary assistance and intervention to ensure that the process moves much faster.
The UWP president asserted that during the 4 and a half years the UWP was in office [1995-2000], the party demonstrated that it has the capacity to develop Dominica – to recognize the priorities, particularly in the area of economic development and job creation.
Recognizing that “in any small society, Dominica being no exception, we may not be able to have an equal access,” Baptiste contended that reasonable access to state media “must be one thing that we are given and the United Workers Party will demand it.”
For Isaac Baptiste and the UWP, Electoral Reform remains very much on the agenda for the next general election.