Snap elections are commonplace in the Caribbean and in parliamentary democracies all over the world. In recent years, snap elections in the Caribbean have been increasing in regularity. And they do not always benefit the government.
In 2022 alone, there were two snap elections in the region. St. Kitts & Nevis went to the polls in August 2022, just two years and two months after their June 2020 general elections. In that election, the opposition triumphed with a landslide victory. Similarly, in Barbados, Prime Minister Mia Mottley called a snap election for January 2022, just over three and a half years after her May 2018 electoral victory.
But that’s not all; in 2020, the Bermuda government called an election just over three years after their July 2017 electoral victory. And, in Antigua & Barbuda in 2018, the government called an election just three years and nine months after the 2014 elections.
Indeed, snap elections are also commonplace outside of the English Caribbean. In the Dutch Caribbean, snap elections are commonplace, with St. Maarten holding early elections in 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020, respectively. Indeed, even in the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Theresa May called early elections in 2017, just over two years after the country’s 2015 general elections. In that election, the opposition made strides. And then, Boris Johnson called early elections in 2019, just two years and six months after the country’s 2017 elections.
In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called snap elections in September 2021, less than two years after the October 2010 general elections. In Israel, there have been no fewer than five general elections since 2019.
Now, with Dominica, following Barbados, St. Kitts & Nevis, Bermuda and Antigua & Barbuda in recent years snap elections are becoming more commonplace in the region and around the world. It is a reality that all parties and politicians must be prepared for.
The snap elections in all the countries mentioned above went smoothly. Still, in Dominica, the police had to announce several warnings as the opposition aims to destroy the peace ahead of December 06 elections.
With Attorney General Levi Peter stating that snap general elections in the Caribbean are nothing new, police in Dominica issued a warning on Friday that they would not accept any attempts to bar people from entering polling places on Tuesday. The police released a notification, as the opposition United Workers Party invited their supporters to cause distress.
Deputy Police Commissioner Lincoln Corbette stated that unlawful activities or blockage of roads by the public on general election day would not be tolerated. He cautioned that any person who would be causing such a situation to stop citizens from exercising their constitutional rights would be prosecuted.
During the news conference, Police Commissioner Lincoln Corbette said law enforcement is alerted to handle any potential wrongdoing on election day.
In similar events, the opposition United Workers Party had blocked access to the airport ahead of the 2019 elections. Many incidents of burning tyres and other stressful events were developed to bar people from participating in the polls. The occurrences were widely criticised by Dominicans at home and abroad.