PM Roosevelt Skerrit nominates Kalinago based Sylvanie Burton as Presidential candidate

PM Roosevelt Skerrit nominates Sylvanie Burton as Presidential candidate
PM Roosevelt Skerrit nominates Sylvanie Burton as Presidential candidate

Prime Minister of Dominica Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit nominated Sylvanie Burton as the candidate for election as President of the country on Wednesday.  

The 58-year-old Sylvanie Burton is from Salybia, Kalinago Territory and served as Permanent Secretary in various ministries since 2014. 

Burton who is currently a Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Rural Modernization, Kalinago Upliftment and Constituency Empowerment, will become Dominica’s first woman and indigenous person to hold the land’s highest office. 

During a press conference, Prime Minister Skerrit said that the term of office of the current President Charles A. Savarin, D.A.H., expires on October 1, 2023. 

The PM said that as part of keeping with Section 19 (1) of the Constitution, he also consulted with Opposition Leader Jesma Paul on his nominee.

Sylvanie Burton has been part of politics for a long time. She was also a Permanent Secretary in the Ministries of Community Development, Foreign Affairs, Trade, Youth and Social Services.

Notably, Burton is a former Development Officer in the Ministry of Kalinago Affairs and was a District Development Officer (D.D.O.) for many years. 

She has been a Justice of the Peace for 25 years and has served as a Lay Associate in the Roman Catholic Church for over 20 years. She holds a Master’s Degree in Project Management and a Bachelor’s Degree in Rural Development.

“I believe Mrs. Burton is eminently qualified to hold the position of President of the Commonwealth of Dominica and that she will serve our nation with distinction,” added the Prime Minister while nominating Sylvanie Burton.

As part of Section 18 of the Dominica Constitution Order 1978, the President is elected every five years by the House of Assembly. The incumbent, Charles Savarin, was elected on September 30, 2013, after a long and well-known career as a teacher, trade unionist, diplomat and government minister. 

Following the announcement of Sylvanie Burton’s candidature, many people went to social media and shared their excitement. 

A Facebook user named Zarina Mathew wrote, “Congratulations to Mrs. Burton, congratulations to the Kalinago People and most certainly congratulations to the Women of Dominica,”.

The nomination of the first woman for one of the highest chairs in Dominica is being viewed as a great step. 

Another user named Marilyn Morris wrote, “She will definitely serve with distinction. I have worked with her and still work with her. Congrats to her and the KT. Not only that, the first woman President. Great,”.