Dominica govt submits Proposed Electoral Reform Legislation to Electoral Commission

The government of Dominica presented copies of proposed legislation for electoral reform to the Electoral Commission on Wednesday under section 51 of the constitution.

Dominica govt submits Proposed Electoral Reform Legislation to Electoral Commission
Dominica govt submits Proposed Electoral Reform Legislation to Electoral Commission

Roseau, Dominica: The government of Dominica presented copies of proposed legislation for electoral reform to the Electoral Commission on Wednesday under section 51 of the constitution. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Dr Roosevelt Skerrit who said that the submission of draft bills concerning the electoral reform process has been made.

The proposed legislation for electoral reform has undergone extensive debates, discussions, and written recommendations. On top of that, the government also hosted public consultations in several phases to enhance the participation of the local public in the governance and make them understand the electoral process.

Several individuals and entities have assessed and reviewed the legislation and provided suggestions for the changes following which the final draft has been prepared and submitted. Prime Minister Dr Skerrit added that the commitment of the government towards the electoral process has been fulfilled as the bills have been finalized by the office of the Attorney General.

Notably, the draft copies of the bills have also been submitted to the President of Dominica as the PM termed it an effective step in the fulfillment of their commitment to the nation, the international partners, and electoral modernization.

The next step will feature the availability of copies to all members of parliament in order to have an informal session will all of them so that the discussion could be held about the bills. Through the sessions, the government intended to hear the comments and suggestions of the members of parliament to do a review with them before these bills were taken to their final process.

Following that, the bill will also be made available on the website of the government so that any Dominican citizen or resident who wishes to review the bill and apprise themselves of what is contained in those bills, will have an opportunity to do so, as per the prime minister.

PM Skerrit also announced that the session of the parliament is likely to be held in June. “We intended to keep this process very tight so that the government is to go to parliament in June before the end of the financial year. To do the first reading, quite possibly the second and third reading, there will be a short break between all of them, but we intend to have this finalized in the month of June so that all of the necessary budgetary allocations can be made.”

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit added that they aimed at providing the proper financial resources required to advance the implementation of the electoral reform to the Electoral Commission. “We will appreciate that the draft bills will address some of the fundamental concerns which have been raised by certain sections of the public and also we have taken note of the recommendations of our international partners.”

The formal copies of the draft bills will also be sent to the Organizational American States (OAS), the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), and the CARICOM so that they can be informed of the steps that the government has taken towards the electoral modernization.

Notably, the proposed legislation provided is as follows:

  1. The Registration of Electors Act and Regulations 2024;
  2. The House of Assembly (Elections) Act and Regulations 2024 (which incorporates the House of Assembly (Election Petition) Rules 2024; and
  3. The Electoral Commission Act 2024.