SC Astaphan says US Ambassador Commentary Could Have Been More Accurate

by: - December 4, 2019
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Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan (file photo)

Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan earlier today commented on a statement from the United States’ Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.

Her Excellency Linda Taglialatella referenced the September Report_of_the_Joint_Special_Reform_Mission_to_Dominica_17092019 which included CARICOM, the Organisation of American States and the Commonwealth Secretariat which put forward measures described as “critical and necessary for Dominica to maintain its credible electoral system.”

The Ambassador quoted from the report that the mission found a need to: “improve the system of voter identification of voters on election day,” adjust electoral boundary “discrepancies,” enact “campaign finance legislation,” improve media access for all parties, and “increase public confidence in the electoral commission and the Chief Elections Officer,” among other findings.

Senior Counsel Astaphan says her commentary could benefit from a wider perspective.

“I just wish [that] Her Excellency the Ambassador of the United States had taken the time to ascertain all of the facts and to perhaps try to have an understanding of why it is that electoral reform in Dominica has not yet been enacted into law.”

He said further, “Whether it had anything to do with violence in 2017, whether it had anything to do with a constitutional claim for injunction in 2018, whether by the time the Joint  Mission came back it was much too late to try to implement and test the system.”

Astaphan explained that, “the Chairman of the Commission has been complaining since late last year and early this year about time needed to conduct the test.”

He added to the list of reasons, “…whether or not the recommendations made by the Joint Mission would have led to a clean list.

“I think it would have made her statement far…clearer and far more accurate if she had included the reasons why there was no reform made,” Astaphan believes.




Government’s response to the report: RESPONSE_to_Joint_Mission_Report__26092019

Electoral Reform Fact Sheet Electoral Reform Fact Sheet