The ruling Dominica Labor Party (DLP) increased its majority in the 21-member House of Assembly by two seats after it won the December 2019 general election, according to the preliminary results released by the Electoral Commission over the past weekend.
It said that the DLP, which won its fifth consecutive term in government, won 17 of the 21 seats while the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) saw its seats allocation declined to four from six in the previous legislature.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, 47, who also became the first head of government to win a fourth consecutive term in office, comfortably retained the Vielle Case seat, one which he has been representing in Parliament since 2000.
Skerrit polled 1,105 votes to UIWP’s newcomer Clement Marcellin, who received 228 votes.
Skerrit’s wife, Melissa Popone Skerrit, now joins the wives of the prime ministers of Antigua and Barbuda and Jamaica, who have all successfully contested general elections for the first time.
The UWP had contested the election complaining of the need for electoral reform, and in his broadcast to the nation soon after claiming victory, Prime Minister Skerrit said the issue would be among the priorities of his new administration.
“He said that it is important to move beyond the legal and other controversies that marred the general election and begin the process of reform that satisfies the national interest.”
“Having reflected on this issue, it is my intention to invite a renowned Caribbean jurist to lead a National Commission on Electoral Reform.”
“The work of that Commission, added to all the previous consultancy and election reports from various international organizations, together with the decision of the Courts, will inform the shape of Dominica’s electoral reform,” Skerrit said.
He said public hearings would be held throughout the country, and all Dominicans will be able to appear before the Commission and give their views.
“Provisions will be made for anonymous submissions as well as for an open discussion forum on social media sites,” he added.
Marcia Wright, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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