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CARICOM election observation mission signs off on Dominica general election

Posted: Wednesday, December 7, 2022. 8:55 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit’s Dominica Labour Party (DLP) secured an overwhelming victory in Tuesday’s snap general election, winning 19 of 21 seats in the House of Assembly (the others were taken by independent candidates Jesma Paul in Salisbury and Anthony S Charles in Marigot).

The election had been called amid calls for electoral reform and at least partially to take advantage of a split in the opposition party.

Prime Minister Skerrit, re-elected in his Vieux Fort constituency, invited CARICOM to mount an election observation mission as it regularly does for member states, an invite taken up by Secretary-General Dr Carla Barnett.

The seven-member team headed by Trinidad and Tobago Chief Elections Officer Fern Narcis-Scope found that the election system for the most part operated smoothly and efficiently, and concluded that “voters were able to cast their ballots without intimidation or fear, and that, in all material respects, the results of the December 6, 2022, General Elections are an accurate reflection of the collective intention of the voters who cast their votes on polling day. Notwithstanding the results, however, it is the hope of the CEOM that the newly elected Government will continue and build on the efforts to date, to secure electoral reform for future elections in Dominica.”

A full report will be submitted by Narcis-Scope to Dr Barnett as Secretary-General.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister, according to Dominica News Online, has congratulated the independent candidates who won and offered meetings with them and the leader of the now extra-parliamentary United Workers Party, Team Unity Dominica, and others.

Skerrit said, “I think it clearly shows that the elections were credible and they were free and fair and that the voters of Dominica exercised their right to vote and they voted for candidates of their choosing.” He further stated that he hopes the general election gave the opportunity to have “a national reset” in political discourse on the island and that after five consecutive terms in office now won, he has no political axes to grind.

“We have to go back to the days when we fought hard with politics, we campaign hard, we would bruise each other but at the end of the day, maybe two months later we are back as neighbors and brothers and sisters,” he remarked.

He also promised Dominicans “increasingly broad-based engagement” but warned that “people must come with clean hands and they must not come with ulterior motives. They must come to the table with a genuine desire to [advance] the national efforts towards our prosperity, our peace, and our progress and we look forward to engaging all stakeholders,” he said.

 

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