The Roosevelt Skerrit led Dominica Labour Party has cemented their sixth term in office after securing a massive win in the December 6 general elections.
At the end of the first count, preliminary results showed that the Dominica Labour Party had secured a total of 19 out of 21 seats.
Fifteen seats were contested on Election Day while, six were already declared for the Dominica Labour Party as they had no opposition in those constituencies.
Prime Minister of Dominica, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit congratulated all the candidates who took part in the 2022 general elections.
“I first want to extend congratulations to the two candidates who won in Salisbury and Marigot. 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 vote for candidates of their choosing. I also want to congratulate all of the candidates of the Dominica Labour Party; nineteen out of the twenty-one who contested and won, and of course the two who unfortunately did not get the majority vote is these two constituencies. I also want to congratulate the other independent candidates and of course Team Unity Dominica, who has demonstrated a high level of maturity and commitment to the cause,” Pm Skerrit stated.
He stated that he intends to meet with all the independent candidates who contested in the general elections to discuss with them, their ideas for the further development of Dominica as Government moves forward with the national reset.
“I intend to meet with first of all the two elected members so that we can chart a new course for the country. I will hear from them their vision for their constituencies and what we can do as a Government to support them and support those constituencies. I also intend to meet with all the candidates who contested so I can see how they can participate in the national reset that we have spoken about. And of course I will meet with the leader of the United Workers Party to discuss with him some of his views where the country is concerned. I am hoping and praying that these elections have afforded us an opportunity to also have a national reset in respect to our political discussions and engagement. 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 we are back as neighbors and brothers and sisters,” he stated.
Prime Minister Skerrit went on to say that a more positive approach should be taken when discussing the development of the country. He stated that is beneficial to Dominica to have opposition in the Parliament to bring forward different ideas and opinions.
“We concede defeat in Marigot and we concede defeat in Salisbury. The two independent candidates won and we accept the preliminary results. There will be a final count but from looking at the numbers, we lost in Marigot by a 109 votes and we lost in Salisbury by over a hundred votes and that’s a decent margin. And both of our candidates made a valiant fight and they fell short because the people exercised their franchise and decided they wanted these two independent candidates. And I think that objectively speaking it is not bad for Dominica. I think it is a good thing that we can have opposition people in the Parliament and to be able to bring a different side and to question and to provide oversight to the Government. So I welcome them and whatever guidance, whatever support that they need this is what I’ll offer to them,” the Prime Minister added.
He hopes that this election will signal a new era for politics in Dominica, with more peaceful interactions between Government and the opposition.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Skerrit noted that electoral reform remains a priority for his government.
“I am hoping that this is a new page in our country’s history. I know the issue that people have raised is of electoral reform. I rather say it is the modernization of our electoral process which essentially are two fundamental issues; one national ID Cards and two the verification process to address issues of the large voters list,” PM Skerrit noted.
He then announced that it is his hope that Government will bring electoral reform legislation to Parliament by Easter 2023.
“I felt that electoral reform and voting was too much of a fundamental issue for the Government alone to be advancing it, that we need to have broad based consensus on this issue. Because so many people fought and died for the right to vote and we wanted to ensure that nobody was disenfranchised during the process. I will say this time around that nobody is going to accuse me of not advancing the process. By Easter of next year, we will go to Parliament and pass the legislation. We will pass the legislation and we will have consultations come January. I am hoping to use the month of January to have consultations with all stakeholders and le us come to a consensus. There cannot be unanimity at this point so let us come to a consensus,” PM Skerrit explained.
The Prime Minister further stated that he has already written to the relevant institutions, seeking revision and approval of the assessments and suggestions made by Sir Dennis Byron.
“I can say to the Dominica people that I have written to the Commonwealth, the OAS and CARICOM asking for technical support to review the report of Sir Dennis Byron to ensure that it captures what they have recommended to us that will meet international best practices. Once they give me the stamp of approval from their point of view, and we have engaged the various publics on this, come Easter we will certainly pass legislation and start the process on the issuance of national ID Cards and the verification process,” PM Skerrit added.
The results of the December 6 general elections added one seat to parliament for the DLP as they reclaimed the Roseau North Constituency, while the Marigot and Salisbury constituencies were claimed by independent candidat