Prime Minister Skerrit has vowed to prioritize election reform in his first one hundred days in office. On Friday night (December 6) the Dominica Labour Party had a resounding victory at the polls giving the DLP an unprecedented fifth consecutive term in office.
While several supporters took to the streets to celebrate the party’s victory, Hon Skerrit addressed the nation last night from studios of DBS Radio, stepping away from the norm of holding a victory rally where supporters would be addressed.
In the days leading up to the December 6 general elections supporters of the opposition took the streets and in some instances violent protest action erupted as protesters clashed with police. The issue of electoral reform was the main cause brought to the fore.
The DLP leader has consistently maintained that government was not opposed to electoral reform but on at least two occasions was blocked from passing the necessary laws in parliament.
Well in his victory speech last evening, PM Skerrit says his government will revisit the issue of electoral reform in his first 100 days in office.
“For some time now, and certainly during this campaign, the issue of electoral reform has been a vexed one. Although they have called for it, the UWP blocked the legislation and process for reform by protest action and an injunction in the High Court. We have to move beyond this and bring the process of reform to closure in a manner that satisfies the national interest,” he reiterated.
PM Skerrit says he intends to invite a renowned Caribbean jurist to lead a National Commission on Electoral Reform in Dominica.
“The work of that Commission, added to all the previous consultancy and election reports from various international organisations, together with the decision of the Courts, will inform the shape of Dominica’s electoral reform,” PM Skerrit said.
He explained, “Public hearings will be held throughout the country and all Dominicans will be able to appear before the Commission and give their views. Provision will be made for anonymous submissions as well as for an open discussion forum on social media sites.”