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Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit addresses Dominican’s after Friday’s electoral victory. (CMC photo)

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By Peter Richards

ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC) — Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has emerged from a “bruising” campaign to claim victory in Friday’s general election and immediately extended an olive branch to the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) to work together for the future socio-economic development of Dominica.

While the Electoral Commission has not declared any preliminary result from the 10-hour voting exercise, unofficial reports indicated that the ruling Dominica Labour Party (DLP) had won as many as 18 of the 21 seats in the Parliament.

“I want to thank you for giving me the honour and privilege of serving you as prime minister, and for electing the Dominica Labour Party as your government. We are humbled and grateful for your continued confidence and support,” Skerrit said in a radio and television broadcast.

He said that there “is no doubt that the election campaign was a bruising one” and that he wanted to take the opportunity to thank all persons who voted in the election and “in doing so, demonstrated that democracy in our country is alive and well.

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“It was Labour’s contention from the very outset, that the ballot box is fair and legitimate expression of what people want. It was always Labour’s preferred choice over the divisive rhetoric and actions which put nationals in fear, harmed our social fabric, our economy and our international reputation. Our citizens have made their choice. We must all now respect that,” Skerrit said.

He said that given the atmosphere of fear and intimated that had been created by the opposition during the campaign, Dominican chose not to stay home and came out and voted.

“They turned out in large numbers to show their dissatisfaction with the opposition party. I salute the people of this country, who continue to make me proud to be Dominican,” Skerrit said, adding that he would soon be naming his new cabinet.

“I also look forward to inviting Mr. [Lennox] Linton to early discussions as we all seek to unite the nation,” Skerrit said, adding that the agenda for his new administration “is an ambitious and exciting one.

‘”We have to start work at once to build Dynamic Dominica, while continuing our major initiatives in housing, health and education,” he said, noting that the government would continue with its signature social programmes and the reclassification of the public service to ensure public servants are properly compensated.

Skerrit, who became the first government leader to win four consecutive general elections, said that the elections are over and that the UWP “failed to deliver or stop elections through legal means.

“They failed to provoke our security services. They failed in getting the country to take up their call for widespread violence and unrest. And they failed in the ballot box.

“It is not for me to advise them, but perhaps, they may wish to consider that a campaign of lies and acts of national harm are not the way to woo the electorate and win an election.”

In 2014, the UWP won six seats when Linton led the party for the first time into a general election. Now the party has suffered a tremendous blow with Linton, former opposition leader, Hector John and legislator Danny Lugay, they only UWP members to survive the onslaught.

Linton has not yet conceded defeat.

Skerrit said that an opposition is an important institution in a democratic society and that his new administration was looking “forward to the UWP performing the role of opposition in a responsible manner.

“However, as prime minister, I cannot allow the UWP campaign of road blocking, recklessness, intimidation and abuse to continue indefinitely and unabated.

“There must and will be respect for law and order in this country. It is only by God’s grace and mercy that no one has been seriously hurt so far,” Skerrit said, adding in the interest of the country he was calling on the UWP leadership and supporters “to halt the conduct and behaviour of the last few weeks.

“Concede defeat and let the country come together,’ he said, adding that the DLP had decided to put the victory celebrations on hold this weekend so to have a  “day of national peace, prayer, reconciliation and healing” on Sunday.

He said he was asking all churches to hold services at 10 a.m. on Sunday, “so that the entire country will be praying at the same time”.

Skerrit is promising that next weekend “when there is a greater sense of calm, we will hold our victory parties, motorcades and celebrations of various sorts.

“There will also be a national ecumenical service of thanksgiving at that time,” he added.

4 replies on “PM Skerrit claims victory in Dominica election”

  1. Foreign Government Observer says:

    Now days you can never tell who really wins the elections. I get the impression that cheating on elections is now down to a science. The last Presidential Election in the USA was really a shock. With the Democrats bussing large numbers of people all over to vote multiple times and then on the few recounts it was found that the Democrats had cheated on an unprecedented scale but Trump still won, and immediately thier only goal was to impeach.
    whether cheating occured in SVG in the last election is an interesting concept worth looking at by an unbiased judge, instead of a biased judge that will not allow all information to be presented, and an avoidance to see very serious irregularities as irregular. It is obvious after the court presentation that any country wishing to uphold Democratic Principles would have declared the last election in SVG null and void. It was easily demonstrated that there were too many instances where cheating could have occured. The sloppy design of the ballots (no one knows why the design was changed) and what could have been either the lack of training of those conducting the election or whether done on purpose that the seals were not placed in the proper place is a total travesty. Polling supervisors taking the ballot box home with them does not inspire confidence to any election observers to establish a proper chain of Custody…shocking!. At a minimum the Supervisor of Elections should be fired. If SVG thinks such things are not serious then what is serious? The presiding judge possibly retired afterwards because he feared anyone reviewing his decision would recommend his credentials be taken away. The Court Case has set a precedent in SVG that those conducting the election can now get away with anything.
    With the very poor conduct of the election process in SVG, along with proven biased arbitrators, to the impeachment sham in the USA based on nothing more than hatred, the Democratic Process is hanging in the ballance like never before.

  2. It looks like Caribbean politicians and skulduggery goes hand in hand! Cash is never far from whatever reaches the news with miscreants who aspire to political office here.

    It looks like nothing but Rum, women and cash that keeps Caribbean politics going. I read that Ex-prime minister of Saint Kitts was held at Gatwick Airport England recently after he tried to leave Britain with $249,161.5 XCD otherwise £70,000 in UK cash.

    Me hear dem say “The Caribbean politician was made a Privy Counsellor by de last but one Prime Minister of the UK for his ‘loyal service’ to Queen and country but is now being investigated after he tried to leave Britain with de XCD $ 249161.5 recorded as £70,000 in British cash.

    Me hear dem say dat dis Dr Denzil Douglas – who was Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis for 20 years – was detained at England Gatwick Airport, by the UK Border Force three weeks ago dem say.

    Dem say dat “Officers seized the equivalent of more than £70,000 – in sterling, US dollars and eastern Caribbean dollars – from him on November 16 when he could not explain why he was attempting to leave the country with the cash”.

    Ah nah dis de same man dat did get cetch-up in de original Passport ting time back?

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