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Societal Group Rejects ‘Partisan Electoral Reform’

by: - October 8, 2019
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Ps Randy Rodney

The group of church, business, trade unions   and civil society leaders is accusing Government of wanting self-serving electoral reform.

The group has been calling for electoral reform in Dominica and presented a recommendation to the public, government and stakeholders in August.

At media press conference on Monday, October 7th, Pastor Randy Rodney of the GroupoOf Church, Business, Trade Unions and Civil Society Leaders presented a response to the report from the joint mission on electoral reform.

Government invited a joint mission of electoral experts from the Caribbean Community, the Organisation of American States and the Commonwealth Secretariat who spent August 6th to 9th meeting and discussing electoral reform with Government, the main political parties and other stakeholders.

The mission’s recommendations, among others, included house-to-house verification to sanitize the voters list. Government rejected that suggestion saying it would not be accurate and is not allowed for in the Dominica constitution. Government says electoral reform will come from changed legislation.

Pastor Rodney on Monday stated that the execution of general elections is the responsibility of the Electoral Commission and not that of Government adding that that any election reform executed by any Government will be in its favour and will result in partisan decisions.

“The Government believes that reform is necessary and that’s why they are proposing amendments to the Act for reform. Those amendments however, in my view, would negate or reverse what our forefathers fought for… they are proposing that we include all and sundry on the list without even tidying it up. This is not where we should be going, we should be looking at cleansing the list within the confines of the law,” Pastor Rodney asserts.

“We are proposing that where necessary we do some minor amendments to the law to really embolden what we are looking for.”

Meanwhile, Anthony Leblanc of that same group says the complete sanitization of the voter’s list is possible in an eight-week time frame according to his calculations.