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PM Sworn In; Electoral Reform in First 100 Days

by: - December 9, 2019
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Hon Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has officially been sworn into office for his 5th consecutive term.

His first swearing in was in 2004 when he succeeded the deceased Pierre Charles.

The next elections were the following year in 2005, where he won leadership on his own virtue followed by 2009, 2014 and then this past Friday’s 2019 elections.

On Saturday 7th December 2019, at the House of Parliament, Hon Skerrit took the oath administered by His Excellency the President, Charles Angelo Savarin.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has vowed to prioritize election reform in his first 100 days in office.

On Friday, December 6th, after results indicated that the Dominica Labour Party had won an unprecedented fifth consecutive term in office, Hon Skerrit took to the radio to speak on his plans.

While several supporters took to the streets to celebrate the party’s victory, Hon Skerrit addressed the nation right after the results came in; stepping away from the norm of holding a victory rally to rejoice with supporters.

In the days leading up to the December 6 General Elections supporters of the Opposition took the streets and in some instances violent action erupted as protesters clashed with police.

The issue of electoral reform was said to be the trigger.

The DLP leader has consistently maintained that his Government was not averse to electoral reform but on at least two occasions was blocked from passing the necessary laws in parliament.

In his victory speech on Friday, Hon Skerrit said his Government will revisit the issue of electoral reform in his first 100 days in office.

He said, “For some time now, and certainly during this campaign, the issue of electoral reform has been a vexed one. Though 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 a closure in a matter that satisfies the national interest.”

Hon Prime Minister 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 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,” he detailed. “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 those submissions as well as for an open discussion forum on social media sites.”

The Prime Minister describes his government’s next term in office as exciting and ambitious, mentioning his intention to meet with Mr. Lennox Linton to discuss plans ahead.

“Let us concede that we have a great deal of hard work ahead of us. There is no doubt that there are now social rifts, economic damage and reputational concerns which have to be addressed as a matter of urgency. This will be the first order of business of the new Labour Party Government. In that regard, I will shortly be naming my Cabinet so that we can immediately set about rebuilding from the reputational damage, and repairing the hurts of the last few weeks. I also look forward to inviting Mr. Linton to early discussions as we all seek to unite the nation.  Our agenda for the next term is an ambitious and exciting one. We have to start work at once to build Dynamic Dominica, while continuing our major initiatives in housing, health and education.,” Honorable Skerrit expressed.