I would like to advise that we do not get carried away by Electoral Reform. I share that opinion because of my extensive involvement in the Electoral Process from the year 1980. I served as Election Clerk in the 1980 General Elections and graduated to serve as Returning Officer in the Soufriere Constituency for two General Elections.
Given my involvement in the Electoral Process, I realized how well the process has served Dominica. It is the same electoral process that brought the Freedom Party into power in 1980, the United Workers Party into power in 1995, the Coalition Government into power in 2000 and the Dominica Labour Party into power in 2004, 2009, and 2014. Generally, Elections in Dominica are known to be peaceful and free.
After each General Election, the Chief Elections Officer submits a report to the Government and makes recommendations for improvement. The present Government has attempted to implement recommendations made, especially regarding the use of identification cards for voting, to enhance the existing laws. The Government has catalogued its efforts to have draft laws passed in Parliament and all Dominicans are aware of the opposition towards these efforts. Hence, when it is said that no Political Party is responsible for the delays experienced in the reform process, one has to question the source of that information and the intention of those making such a false statement.
Every sober-minded person in Dominica knows what has to be done to remove the names of dead persons on the list of Electors. The election laws are very clear on this matter, and the fact that the soldiers of Electoral Reform are not doing what is necessary in that regard, begs the question whether they are serious or just interested in having “a dead horse to flog”.
I have read a copy of a document entitled “Interim Report on the Electoral Reform Effort By The Group Comprising of Leaders of Church, Business and Civil Society”. The copy I have read is not signed and I have not been able to find a signed copy. Therefore, I will reserve my comments on that report in the public domain, until I have found a signed copy.
Meanwhile, as Political Parties prepare themselves for the next General Elections, I trust that we, as law abiding citizens will conduct ourselves in a manner that will preserve the peace in our beloved country.
H.E. Felix Gregoire
Ambassador to the OECS and CARICOM
May 9, 2019