Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit says leader of the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP), Lennox Linton’s call for a campaign of civil disobedience in support of electoral reform, will lead to chaos across the island, and in turn, this could have economic implications.
On Wednesday, Linton said the party also wants the relevant authorities to probe allegations that EC$1.2 billion (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) have been missing from the controversial Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme.
According to the opposition leader, he plans to stage a peaceful gathering outside the official residence of President Charles Savarin on Monday “to present a formal complaint…requesting his intervention” into the missing funds.
However, the Prime Minister said the plan is a “deliberate attempt to seek to undermine the opportunities and the well-being and the way of life of Dominicans.”
“ If this is allowed – there could be a travel advisory on Dominica, which has implications for the economic well being. Tourists will not want to come if they think they are not safe and when political leadership is calling for it, people take it even more seriously,” Skerrit said.
Linton said that the UWP would also embark on a campaign seeking the assistance of law enforcement officials from the United States, Britain, INTERPOL and the European Union’s financial intelligence unit “to find the missing 1.2 billion dollars and deposit it in the Consolidated Fund of Dominica”.
He said there would also be a campaign “to inform the international community of the refusal of the government of Dominica to account for the missing 1.2 billion dollars,” he told reporters.
Linton first raised the issue of the missing money during the debate of the country’s national budget earlier this year and told reporters that more than 50 days since he had raised the matter, there has been no official response from the Roosevelt Skerrit administration to the allegation.
The Prime Minister also said that the opposition leader’s argument is based on misinformation, “He is seeking to confuse the people and he is also seeking to bring confusion in the country. I believe every law abiding Dominican needs to put aside partisanship and condemn this. Where in the world would a leader of opposition call for civil disobedience ? Is that what we want for our country ? A country is not built by confusion, it is built by a vision and a plan . Unfortunately, Linton does not have a vision, he does not have a plan. He is sowing seeds of confusion and destruction,” Skerrit said.
Last month, Prime Minister Skerrit, speaking at the launch of a candidate for his ruling Dominica Labour Party (DLP) brushed aside the allegations that the EC$1.2 billion was missing under the CBI that allows foreign investors to make a significant contribution to the socio-economic development of He said the allegation was intended to damage the reputation of the programme, saying “the objective of the creators of this ‘Where De Money Gone’ campaign is to create such doubt in the integrity of Dominica’s CBI programme that foreign authorities would consider imposing sanctions against Dominica’s CBI programme.
The UWP as well as some non-governmental organisations in Dominica have been calling for electoral reform, including the introduction of identification cards. They have also accused the ruling party of bribing voters by paying for airline and boat tickets to ensure they travel to the island to vote in past elections.
But the government has instead accused the opposition parties here of frustrating the exercise pointing to the fact that the Electoral Commission has said very clearly on numerous occasions it needed the passage of the necessary legislation to give effect to those measures.