The United Workers Party (UWP) plans to challenge, in the courts, what it believes were voting irregularities during the 2019 General Elections in Dominica.
The general election was held on Friday 6th, December 2019, with the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) obtaining a landslide victory with 18 seats out of 21 while the UWP secured the remaining 3.
UWP leader, Lennox Linton, said that since the release of the results, the UWP has concluded that the elections were not free and fair. The party is accusing the DLP of bribing Dominicans who live in the diaspora, to return to the country to vote at the expense of the UWP.
“We are going to court with this matter,” Linton told UWP supporters at a “thankyou” meeting on Thursday night. “We have not had much success in the court over the years but that is neither here nor there. It is a tool that we have that we will continue to use.”
He said that it is the UWP’s contention that things went wrong and those things that have gone wrong must be set right.
“One of the planks on which we are moving forward is a court challenge and we are in the processing of assembling the evidence working with our legal team,” Linton stated.
This announcement by Linton coincides with a call by Barbadian Pollster Peter Wickham for the UWP and the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) to back their claims of stolen general elections with evidence that they can take to the court to obtain redress
In a report presented by WINFM journalist, Ken Richards, Wickham claimed that while nationally, the UWP had a 2 percent drop in voter support, there was a swing of 13 percent against the UWP in Marigot and suggested that Linton is less popular in Marigot than his party is on a national level.
He suggested that the 8000 overseas voters the opposition said who came to Dominica and voted for the DLP is inaccurate.
“The government has released a statement saying that, in that period there were 2700 persons who came into the country and they are saying normally around that time passenger arrival is 1589…,” he stated.
Linton countered by accusing Wickham of being part of the machinery to steal the elections for Roosevelt Skerrit in Dominica, “so I am not surprised that he has his numbers so wrong.”
The Marigot MP described Wickham’s claim of a 13 percent swing away from the UWP in Marigot as “absolute nonsense.”
He said that in 2014, in the Marigot constituency, 1242 people voted and in 2019, 1163 people voted.
“That is, the number of people who voted in Marigot declined by 79 persons,” Linton explained. “Seventy-nine (79) less persons voted in 2019 than in 2014, which means the overall vote count in the Marigot constituency was down by 6.3 percent.”
President of the CCM Loftus Durand said Wickham does not have a true understanding of the reality as it pertains to the election in Dominica.
He said the feeling on the ground is that the election was a completely “rigged process”.
Durand is of the view that the three seats won by the UWP is not a reflection of the true will of the people contrary to what election observers reported in their preliminary reports.
“At the end of the day to me that is just a remnant so that the government can say yes, the UWP participated and picked up three seats,” he remarked. “The number of persons they brought into Dominica…there were persons who were not in Dominica for 10 to 15 years they were back in Dominica doing what they had to do to give the Dominica Labour Party the edge,” Durand complained.
Dominican Pollster Alex Bruno also dismissed Wickham’s observations pointing out that the average Dominican understand what took place in the country during the 2019 election.
He said there is something called “ghost voting” which, according to him, was “rampant” in Dominica during the election, where it’s alleged that people from Portsmouth were told they were to vote in Roseau, “and when they arrived there they voted on names of Dominicans who have not been on the island.”
Bruno said this was facilitated by the lack of ID Cards.
He said sooner or later Wickham and his team will come to the realisation that Dominicans are not as “dotish” [stupid] as these professionals believe.