Government of Dominica



When the Fifth Meeting of the First Session of the Eleventh Parliament gets underway at 10:00am on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, members of the house will be called upon to elect a new President.

The second and final term of Hs Excellency Charles Savarin will end of October 1, 2023 and a new President will be inaugurated on October 2.

The Government of Dominica has nominated career public officer Mrs. Sylvanie Burton for the position. Mrs. Burton is set to be the first woman and first person of Kalinago decent to hold Dominica’s highest office.

A sitting of Parliament to elect a President became necessary when Prime Minister Skerrit informed the Speaker of the House that he and Leader of the Opposition Hon. Jesma Paul-Victor had not agreed on a joint nominee for the position of President.

“I have received a letter form the Hon. Prime Minister, which I shall read. It says that Dear Hon. Speaker, in accordance to Section 19:3 of the Commonwealth of Dominica Constitution Order 1978, I hereby inform you that the Leader of the Opposition and I have been unable to agree on a joint nominee of a candidate for election as President. Signed Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister.’, the Hon. Speaker stated.

Chapter II of the Constitution outlines the procedures to follow once the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition do not agree on a joint nominee.

Parliament will meet again on September 27, where the Government of Dominica will officially nominate Mrs. Sylvanie Burton. Leader of the Opposition Hon. Jesma Paul Victor has given no indication as to who will be nominated by the Opposition.

“If you oppose, then you should have something else to propose. So we look forward to her proposed nominee if she has one, then there will be an election in the next fourteen days. We will come to Parliament so we can have a President Elect who will take up office on the 2nd of October 20223. So today was important. It was a fulfillment of the obligations mandated by the constitution that I inform the Speaker that there is no joint nominee and the Speaker convenes Parliament to inform the Parliament of that situation and advising Parliament of the process involved in the nomination and election of a President for Dominica as per the provisions of the constitution,” Prime Minister Skerrit explained.

The nomination by Government of the first woman and first indigenous person for the position of President has been described as historic. Many have expressed surprise that the Opposition has not supported the nomination.

“It’s unfortunate that she allowed an opportunity to be a part of history to pass her as a woman, and I think that recognizing that our nominee is not only a woman but an Indigenous person. And I think that this has received tremendous regional and international accolades for not only a woman but an indigenous person. Those of us who are students of history understand and appreciate the contributions of Indigenous people to the protection and preservation of our patrimony,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Parliamentary Representative for the Marigot Constituency Hon. Anthony Charles has expressed support for Government’s nominee Mrs. Sylvanie Burton. Hon. Charles is calling for unity in the process of the election of the President.

“It’s not you come with one and you come with one and we agree. I think we should come together, call out some names and pick the best candidate together. We should have a mutual agreement. I have no problem with the young lady. Mrs. Sylvanie Burton is a close family friend, so I have no problem with the candidate, but it’s the process,” Hon. Charles stated.

A person shall be qualified to be nominated for election as President once he or she is a citizen of Dominica, above the age of forty and who at the date of his nomination has been resident in Dominica for five years immediately preceding his or her nomination.



Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit has expressed his condolences to the family, friends and the Salybia constituency on the passing of Mr. Francois Barrie.

Mr. Barrie is a former Parliamentary Representative of the Salybia Constituency.

In a post shared to his Facebook page on Monday, September 4, PM Skerrit stated “on behalf of the Government and people of Dominica, I extend heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family of Francois Barrie, the former Parliamentary Representative of the Salybia constituency.”

Mr. Barrie represented the Salybia constituency from 1993 to 2000 and was Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education And Sports from 1995-2000.

He ended his statement saying “we pray that God Almighty grant his family comfort and strength. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”



The Thirty Fifth Intersessional Meeting of the Conference Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) via videoconference was held on, Tuesday September 5 2023.

The meeting was headed by Chairman of CARICOM and Prime Minister of Dominica Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit. Various matters were on the agenda for the meeting.

One of these matters was reparations, where the Heads of Government discussed a work plan and budget as well as advocacy at the United Nations General Assembly.

Other matters included the preparation for the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 78), which is scheduled for September 18 to 26th, 2023; and an update on the situation in Haiti which is a priority matter for the CARICOM Chair.

A date for the Thirty Sixth Intersessional Meeting of the Conference and other procedural matters were also discussed at the meeting.


Prime Minister of Dominica, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit has provided an update on the appointment of a new president of the board of the Dominica State College.  

The vacancy for president of the institution opened after the announcement of former president Dr. Donald Peters’ retirement.

Prime Minister Skerrit says the process for the appointment of a new president is ongoing.

“The issue of the State College…I know there is an issue of the state college in the public domain. The board was reappointed by the cabinet yesterday. And I believe that they will be written to today of the appointment. The issue of the president which the staff faculty been raising… the process started during the life of the previous board so we advertise, people applied, there was a shortlist but just as the time when they were completing the process. The board came to an end. And so the board has to be appointed, the board has been appointed. There has always been a President of the State College in place,” he explained.

Prime Minister Skerrit says Dr. Peters had been engaged in the interim. The appointment of the president will take priority for the recently appointed board.

“Dr. Peters had retired but during the interim period the board had engaged him on a month to month basis. So there has been a president and so the process of the contractual engagement of our president would be the top priority of the new board,” PM Skerrit added.

Meanwhile, a new semester has opened this week for the Dominica State College. DSC hosted its 23rd orientation ceremony from August 28 to September 1, 2023 to welcome the arrival of freshmen.  

More than six hundred freshmen were expected to join the DSC community this year.


The Late speaker of the Dominica House of Assembly Hon. Alix Boyd Knights who passed away on Tuesday 29 August 2023 will be accorded a State Funeral.   

Making the announcement at a news conference on Wednesday, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit outlined some of the late former Speaker’s major lifetime accomplishments.

“Alix Boyd Knights was a distinguished Dominican attorney and women and children rights advocate who served as speaker of the House of Assembly from 2000 to 2020 when she was named Speaker Emerita. During her long tenure as Speaker of the House of Assembly, She executed her duties with passion and dedication. She was firm and no nonsense and insisted on upholding strict Parliamentary procedures and the rules of the House.  Her approach to leadership in the House and as Chairman of the Parliamentary Women’s Association served as a sound example for women seeking to fill similar leadership roles,” PM Skerrit stated.

The Prime Minister acknowledged the role that the late speaker played in securing a suite of family related legislation meant to protect children and families.

“Speaker Boyd-Knights devoted much of her life’s work to the defense of women rights and the protection of children in our society. She advocated with this government over many years, for the strengthening of the laws pertaining to domestic violence, child maintenance and the status of our children; and I daresay she was very successful in this endeavor; and I am happy that we were able to bring five family protection laws to the Parliament during her lifetime in April 2023. As Prime Minister, I held her in the highest regard personally and professionally. As political leader of the Dominica Labour Party, she was a valued colleague and counselor, not only to the party but to myself as party leader,” he noted.

Prime Minister Skerrit said Mrs. Boyd-Knights will be accorded a sendoff befitting someone who was held in such high esteem.

“I treasured her sound advice on political matters and I am thankful for her support of me and my colleagues over many years. I extend most heartfelt condolences to her family, her children and her grandson Senator Hon. Phillip Rolle who now serves as Deputy Speaker to the House of Assembly. As a former Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Alix Boyd-Knights will be afforded a State Funeral, and I am departing form the norm because of the high regard and her contribution to the country for over twenty years as Speaker of the House of Assembly.  The Government of Dominica will provide further details on these arrangements at a subsequent date,” PM Skerrit added.



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