PM Skerrit addressing the DLP Southern Zonal Meeting last night.
The Dominican electorate will this evening have an opportunity to learn about the official polices and plans that the incumbent, Dominica Labour Party (DLP) is offering to the voters should the party be returned to office following the outcome of the up-coming, historic, General Elections, scheduled for Friday, December 6, 2019.
A huge turn out from party members, well-wishers, supporters and undecided voters are expected to converge on the Mahaut constituency to hear from the DLP Political Leader and Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Hon. Dr Roosevelt Skerrit (47) and his team of candidates in a political rally to be held at the Mahaut Playing Field tonight, Thursday, from 7pm.
In October, Dr Skerrit announced that political elections would be held in Dominica within 100 days. On November 5, during his address at a DLP event dubbed, ‘LABOUR GOT TALENT, the Prime Minister, wearing the now famous ‘pink shoes’ ended days of speculation when he announced that General Elections WILL be held in Dominica on Friday, December 6, 2019.
“The year 2020,” he said, ” must be the year in which Dominicans resolve to keep Dominica at the fore of their thoughts and actions. We must be guided first and foremost by what is best for the nature Isle. Even though the cards are stacked against the progress and success of small island developing states, such as ours, Dominica has been succeeding under Labour. And with Labour, Dominica will continue to succeed,” he told his followers.
Dominica Labour Party resurgence
We must kick off the new year as a focused and united county, committed to carving out our place in history: Intent on making our mark on the world; Determined to create a niche for ourselves in the fiercely, competitive Global environment.
Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit
Prime Minister Skerrit, accepted the mantle of leadership in 2004 at age of 31, becoming the youngest national leader in the Southern hemisphere following the death of his predecessor, the late Pierre Charles. The Dominica Labour Party was founded in 1955, and was responsible for taking the country into full political independence on November 3rd, 1978, under the premiership of Patrick John, ending its 11-year, associated statehood status, which was proceeded by almost 200 years of British colonial rule.
However, social unrest and political disturbances ended with Patrick John being forced out of office in a culmination of events on May 29, 1979. The DLP would remain in Opposition through 1980 to 1995 during the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) led by Mary Eugenia Charles, who lost to the United Workers Party (UWP) in 1995.
In 2000, the DLP, led by former black activist, Roosie Douglas entered into a coalition with the DFP snatching 10 of the 21 seats. Together with the 2 seats of the DFP the coalition, the first of its kind in recent Dominican politics, edged out the UWP who gained a total of 9 seats.
Since Prime Minister Skerrit assumed office in 2004, he has led the DLP to victory at the polls on three successive elections viz. 2005, 2009 and 2014.
POLITICAL CAMPAIGN INTENSIFIES
The Dominica Labour Party officially launched its electoral campaign back in February at a Special Delegates Conference at Londonderry in Marigot where the political leader announced that 13 newcomers would join his team of candidates.
1. Political Leader – Roosevelt Skerrit in Vieille Case
2. Deputy Leader – Reginald Austrie in Cottage
3. Ian Douglas – Portsmouth
4. Roselyn Paul – Paix Bouche
5. Catherine Daniel – Colihaut
6. Shanks Espirit– Salisbury
7. Rayburn Blackmoore – Mahaut
8. Denise Charles – Soufriere
9. Joseph Isaac – Roseau North
10. Edward Registe – Grand Bay
11. Greta Roberts – Grandfond
12. Anicka Charles – Marigot
13. Cozier Frederick – Salybia
14. Octavia Alfred – Castle Bruce
15. Kent Edwards – Laplaine
16. Marva Williams – Petite Savanne
17. Chekira Lockhart Hypolite – Roseau South
18. Adis King – St Joseph
19. Melissa Ponponne Skerrit – Roseau Central
20. Dr Irving McIntyre – Roseau Valley
21. Fidel Grant – Wesley
However, Anicka Charles withdrew her interest the following day. The story was picked up by St. Lucia News Online that quoted the prime minister as saying, “Charles withdrew based on a “salacious, vicious and downright nasty campaign”. Recently, Gregory “Karessah” Riviere has been launched as the DLP’s contender for the Marigot constituency. In addition, Health Minister, and Member of Parliament for the Petite Savanne Constituency, Dr Kenneth Darroux would also subsequently return to replace Marva Williams amid reports that she came under pressure to to forego her candidacy in favour of Dr. Darroux who has served as member of parliament for that constituency since 2014 during which time tropical storm Erika devastated the village of Petite Savanne under his watch. another new comer to the line up is former MP for Roseau Central, Joseph Isaac who won the seat in the 2014 election but resigned from the UWP in April and consequently accepted to work with the DLP as Minister of the Environment, Climate Resilience, Disaster Management and Urban Renewal.
Nomination Day – November 19
Nomination Day is November 19, and the DLP campaign machinery is working in high gear. All 21 candidates have been launched of which 8 are female. The party has been criss-crossing The State holding candidate town hall meetings and endorsements. Prime Minister Skerrit and his campaign team have also visited Dominican diaspora in several Caribbean neighbours and beyond.
November 2 the government officially opened the newly-constructed 5-star, Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica launching Dominica into the stratosphere as 5-star luxury holiday destination. On Saturday, November 9, the DLP launched what it called the ‘Campaign Lift Off & Launch of Mrs. Melissa Skerrit’ as the party’s contender for the Roseau Central seat. Mrs Skerrit, the wife of the sitting prime minister, is expected to win the Roseau Central seat. The government has also been holding several Presentations of Housing Initiatives meetings with residents around the country where citizens are brought up to date on the government’s house revolution project that aims to build 5000 climate resilient home in 5 years. The project which is funded by the Citizen By Investment (CBI) programme in collaboration with Montreal Management Consultants a Government Authorized Agent of the government for the CBI programme a thousand of which would have been built by the end of this year. Scores of Dominicans have also received the keys to these new homes and former villagers of Petite Sanne have also since moved in to their new homes.
Last night PM Skerrit addressed several Zonal Meetings. Tonight’s manifesto launching is expected to draw huge national interest as the party appeals to the electorate to get on board with its vision to transform Dominica, post-hurricane Maria, into the first climate Resilient country in the world in its bid to secure a 5th consecutive term.
Elections in Dominica have been taking place since 1832.
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Dominica News Online. (2019). Skerrit announces 13 new DLP candidates for next general election – Dominica News Online. [online] Available at: https://dominicanewsonline.com/news/homepage/news/skerrit-announces-13-new-dlp-candidates-for-next-general-election/ [Accessed 14 Nov. 2019].
Facebook.com. (2019). Log in or sign up to view. [online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/SupportRooseveltSkerrit/videos/636065300161293/ [Accessed 14 Nov. 2019].
St. Lucia News Online. (2019). New Dominica Labour Party candidate withdraws from electoral race – St. Lucia News Online. [online] Available at: https://www.stlucianewsonline.com/new-dominica-labour-party-candidate-withdraws-from-electoral-race/ [Accessed 14 Nov. 2019].
Dominica, H. (2019). About Housing Dominica. [online] HousingDominica. Available at: https://housingdominica.com/about-housing-dominica/ [Accessed 14 Nov. 2019].
En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Elections in Dominica. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_Dominica [Accessed 14 Nov. 2019].