Opposition has killed the spirits of many voters of Dominica: PM Roosevelt Skerrit 

Prime Minister Dr Roosevelt Skerrit slammed the Opposition- United Workers Party and talked about the six constituencies declared for the Dominica Labour Party. He stated that the Opposition had killed the spirits of many voters of Dominica. 

Opposition has killed the spirits of many voters of Dominica: PM Roosevelt Skerrit 
Opposition has killed the spirits of many voters of Dominica: PM Roosevelt Skerrit  Photo Credits: Roosevelt Skerrit Facebook Page

Roseau, Dominica: Prime Minister Dr Roosevelt Skerrit slammed the Opposition- United Workers Party and talked about the six constituencies declared for the Dominica Labour Party. He stated that the Opposition had killed the spirits of many voters of Dominica. 

While explaining in detail, PM Roosevelt Skerrit cited that the Opposition does not want a massive turn out of voters on December 6th, so they selected six of the constituencies they knew Labour would have done exceedingly well in, and insisted that no one steps forward to be nominated in those six. 

“The same people who say they are boycotting these elections gave a nod of approval to candidates in certain other constituencies, but in those six where they knew we would have busted their tails – three to one – they chose not to contest. So actual voter turnout is not a major issue for keen observers of politics on December 6th because the Opposition has played so many games in this campaign that their credibility is now shot. They have killed the spirits of many voters. They have made themselves look most inadequate in the eyes of many Dominicans, at home and abroad,” said the prime minister. 

He further added that it is truly unfortunate that the voters of his constituency, the Vieille Case constituency, were deprived of the opportunity to actually vote in this, his final general elections. 

PM Skerrit asserted that it is not his fault, and it is certainly not their fault, that the opponents chose not to send up a candidate in his constituency or that of the other five constituencies that have already been declared. Those six constituencies are among the strongest bastions of Labour in Dominica and it was no secret, that even if the United Workers Party had contested those six seats, the Labour Party would have received a minimum of 70 per cent of the popular vote in each riding. 

Further, he took to dig at the Opposition for his call to the snap general elections. PM Skerrit cited that let him deal with those who say he called a snap election in Dominica in three years. 

While giving reference to other countries, he said, “I am a villain for calling an election in Dominica when I chose, but Timothy Harris in St. Kitts collapsed his own government in two years, and he is a gentleman. I am a villain for calling an election in 3 under three years in Dominica, but sister Mia Mottley in Barbados is a genius for having called a snap election in an even shorter period of time.” 

 He stressed that all of a sudden, all sorts of strange things could happen in Dominica because the Opposition has stood out of the elections, but none of the said things happened in Jamaica, of all places, in 1983, when the PNP boycotted the Edward Seaga JLP government and spent five solitary years in Opposition. 

“Why is it that people believe that Dominica and Dominicans are incapable of acting and behaving normal? I take offense to this! Giving one party 21 seats in Dominica puts democracy at risk. But a party in Grenada won all 16 seats not once, not twice but three times over the years, and democracy has never been under threat in that country,”said the prime minister. 

He added that the incumbent government in Barbados has won two successive elections with a clean sweet of the parliament on each occasion, and democracy is not under siege there, either. But, in Dominica, an opposition party that has lost five consecutive general elections, chooses three years into the term, to get rid of its leader, to break itself into factions and to choose leadership candidates that are not from the people; not of the people or not for the people. 

Giving the example of the UK, PM Skerrit stated, “I do not like to comment on or interfere in the domestic politics of a country, but let us assess the situation in Great Britain right now. General elections are not constitutionally due anytime soon. But do you recall the main reason why Government MPs did not vote out any of the recent sitting Prime Ministers? It was not that they were afraid to or that they were unwilling. They did not bring down the conservative government, because they knew the opposition Labour Party was in first slip; ready and willing to assume the reigns of office.” 

PM Roosevelt Skerrit said that the Opposition in Britain is not like the Opposition in Dominica. The Opposition in Britain was ready for any eventuality. And the government, knowing this, did all in its power, to protect its wicket and stay in office. 4 But the Opposition here in Dominica lost for the fifth straight time in December 2019 and rather than prepare themselves for the next general elections, they went into a state of internal meltdown, where they turned on each other. 

While criticing the opposition parties in Dominica, PM Skerrit mentioned that opposition parties have one job, and that is to prepare for elections. The United Workers Party failed to do that which it should have done. So don’t let anyone be distracted tonight with the shouts of anger from the other side. 

He said that they want Roosevelt Skerrit to unilaterally decide whether Dominicans living abroad should vote in Dominica or not. “That is not a decision I am willing to take on my own. I have said I want to be advised on this. What I would say to you is that of two countries around us that attempted those same reforms in recent years, both of them returned a policy position of embracing those brothers and sisters residing elsewhere, but who continue to contribute, with their remittances, to the social and economic development of their native land.”

 He said that he want to make clear, that this new Dominica Labour Party government, which you are about to re-elect, shall introduce recommended reforms as soon as such reforms are ready and have been inputted by all willing Dominicans, resident at home and abroad. 

Talking about the nedded changes to the manner in which voting is done in Dominica, he stated that he want to say that they vote in Dominica today, how they voted twenty years ago and how they voted 27 years ago, when the United Workers Party won the government. 

He stated that the country should cut out this nonsense about Dominica having a voting system that no other country in the world has. Opposition are talking about voter ID cards? The United States or Great Britain do not have any Voter ID cards! They are talking about non-resident Dominicans being eligible to vote? Non-resident Antiguans vote! Non-resident Kittitians vote! 

“So why are they telling the world that something obtains in Dominica that does not obtain anywhere in the world? They are sitting out these elections, because we caught them with their pants off! They have no policies. They have no programs. They have no presence on the ground. They have no money to run a campaign, and, three years after the last general elections, they have no political leader. That is why they could not submit Nomination Papers on November 18th. And for the benefit of those of you watching and listening, and who heard of a second political party called the Dominica Freedom Party, also not contesting these electionsness, “PM Skerrit underscored.