Today is polling day in Dominica and after months of anticipation and campaigning, the electorate will have its say- whether to give the incumbent Dominica Labour Party its fifth term or whether to give the Opposition United Workers Party its first chance in nearly two decades.
Polling stations in each of the 21 constituencies opened at 7am today and will close at 5pm.
Dominica Vibes was out in the streets today talking to voters about their experience in the polling stations and in the booth.
“I’m very well impressed, nobody is rushing, so it’s good,” said one voter.
Another elector said, “It was very calm, welcoming. The only concern is where I voted, the booth where I had to go in to vote was only separated by a sheet. That’s the only thing I was worried about.”
A third voter expressed satisfaction, “Honestly I find it was very satisfactory. The persons who helped me explained very thoroughly, they were very meticulous to ensure that whatever they said was clearly understood.”
and one young lady voting for the first time complained that she was rather uninformed.
“Simple, no problem, walked in I was the only person there, I went in I voted and I’m out in less than two minutes,” said one man who was an experienced voter and had a standard encounter
The voter agreed to having had adequate information to make an informed decision.
The first time voter, in response to the question of whether she always knew who she would vote for, responded,
“No, I didn’t know. But I made up my mind. Couple weeks aback, I listened to the both parties, to hear what they had to say and then analyse as to which one I’m going to vote for.”
This voter said she was confident in her decision, but did not have enough information.
“Last night I got to know that when I am drawing my X it must touch neither of the lines.”
Election observer groups from the Commonwealth Secretariat, the United Nations, CARICOM and the Organisation of American States were deployed to polling stations before they opened.
Prior to polling day, the OAS Observatory Mission held a series of meetings related to elections.
The mission met with the electoral commission in order to sign a procedural agreement, as well as the President Charles Savarin, Prime Minister Skerrit, Minister for Foreign Affairs Francine Baron, Opposition leader Lennox Linton and members of the United Workers Party, leader of the Dominica Freedom Party, Kent Vital, Police Commissioner Daniel Carbon, and Chief Statistician, Loran Prevost Stevens.
The OAS Mission also met with the Ambassador of Dominica to the OAS, Vince Henderson, over the Agreement of Immunities and Privileges of the mission.
Vibes Radio will bring you moment by moment commentary when the count comes in. Listen live on 99.5fm and vibesradio.dm