The United States Slams Dominica For Holding Elections Without Reform

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Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) representatives listen during the special meeting to consider the "Situation in Bolivia" at OAS headquarters in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The Deputy U.S. Permanent Representative to the Organisation of American States is blasting the Government of Dominica for not implementing reforms ahead of general elections.

Alexis F. Ludwig told the Permanent Council that Dominica has also failed to invite the OAS to monitor the December 6 General Elections.

FULL STATEMENT

Madam Chair and OAS Ambassadors, the United States is very proud of the role of the OAS in promoting and protecting democracy and free and fair elections throughout the Hemisphere. We strongly believe, as stated in the OAS Charter, that democracy is the foundation of peace and stability in the region.

We are well aware that the OAS has been very busy working on regional democratic issues, but we feel that it is important to raise concerns that we have heard about the upcoming elections in Dominica to the Permanent Council.

Dominica has been a democracy for many years, and the OAS has sent electoral observation missions to these elections. The OAS Missions have issued a number of recommendations, few of which have been implemented. Indeed, at the invitation of the Government of Dominica, just this last August there was a joint special mission by CARICOM, the Commonwealth, and the OAS to Dominica.

The August joint report identified three main areas of concern the government needs to address to ensure that elections are fair, free, and transparent: 1) Removal of deceased persons and ineligible voters from the current electoral list; 2) Issuance of photo identification cards to electors to facilitate more accurate identification at the polls; and 3) Removal from the current electoral list of all diaspora voters who are ineligible to vote by virtue of being out of the country for more than five years. Sadly, the Government of Dominica rejected all of these recommendations.

On November 5, Prime Minister Skerrit called national elections for December 6, a full half year before they could be held. He also dissolved Parliament on November 6 for a month. Prime Minister Skerrit has moved the elections up to December 6 without implementing recommendations listed in a joint OAS/CARICOM/Commonwealth report issued in September 2019.

We recognize that Prime Minister Skerrit has the constitutional right to call elections at anytime. However, we believe that implementing the recommendations would have contributed significantly to the fairness and transparency of the elections that all Dominicans seek, but also reaffirm the OAS’ and international community’s confidence that Dominica wants to ensure that its elections meets the standards of the OAS Democratic Charter and the international norms for organizing and holding elections.

Finally, although Dominica has invited other observers, the Government of Dominica has not invited the OAS to send an Electoral Observation Mission. As we know, the OAS Electoral Observation Missions are the gold standard in ensuring free and fair elections.

The situation is growing more worrisome. There have been numerous demonstrations throughout the year to raise concerns about the fairness and transparency of elections, and unfortunately there was an outbreak of clashes this week in Dominica.

Madame Chair, we welcome the attention of the OAS member states to appreciate the tense political situation in Dominica surrounding the December 6 elections, and the decision of the Government of Dominica to hold these elections without implementing electoral reforms.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. YET STILL, THE PM OF A& B, BEING THE CHAIRMAN OF THE OECS, HAS SAID NOTHING TO THIS MATTER. EVEN THOUGH HE HAS ASKED DOMIMICANS TO BE CALM. HE ALSO HAS IMPLEMENTED HASH TRAVEL RULES FOR CITEZENS OF DOMINICA. A&B HAVE ALWAYS ENJOYED LAX TRAVELS TO DOMINICANS FOR MANY YEARS, TRADING WITH FRUITS & VEGETABELS FOR MANY MANY YEARS. A&B PM OS SUCH A COWARD, BUT HIS TIME WILL SURLY COME. GO AHEAD PM GASTON, HIDE BEHIND CHAIRMANSHIP OF OECS, BUT A&B TIME TO VOTE MUST COME & A&B, ARE WAITING WITH GREAT ANTICIPATION.

    • Wadad1,

      I am reading this article thinking the same thing. Why don’t they fix their broken electoral systems before they try “promote free fair democratic “ elections. Over the last five elections (Presidential) at least three had major concerns. Go figure..

  2. The US should be asked if it has voter id cards (mandated only one for persons to vote) and how many millions of dead people are on its voter’s list? Its own president has made clear that he has no doubt that there is rampant voter fraud (he strangely argues they only vote for his opponent). US experts argue (and courts in many cases have agreed with them) these concerns are minor and proposed solutions will make things worse by disenfranchising voters. Why does the same not apply to Dominica?

  3. The US really believe they have fair and free election when there are so many chaos in their neck of the woods? Their elections are most “third world” as can be.

  4. Meanwhile you have a madman in your White House. Clean your house first before telling people how to run theirs.

    Hello Stone….meet Glass house

  5. Dominica is safe!!
    Our elections have never had a problem
    There have been 0 instances of reports of voter fraud in our history

    We’ve seen that playbook before in Latin America
    The US & OAS should stay out of our electoral process and stop trying to promote disunity in our little island

    Stop trying to create an issue when there is none

    All Dominicans whether on island or abroad should advocate for peace on our island and in our electoral process

    • Are you saying that there is NO issue with Dominica’s election? Are you saying that there isn’t Fraudulent votes??? Wow!!!! So many Haitians coming to Dominica and in couple weeks they are carrying a passport. So many dead people are still casting votes. So many people voting in more than one constituencies. Do you live in Dominica?

  6. I wonder what electoral reforms the US will implement so that a Kunoo Munoo like Trumpette does not become president again.

  7. Wait, please rass wait! Stop the press! Now i am going to curse rass ! Let me apologize to my fellow bloggers first for what is about to come out my rass mouth this morning.
    The who saying what? When you rass live in glass house no dash stone!! It cant be the same rass people up there who trying to impeach this orange thief of a scoundrel ., racist , lying no good son of a bitch , who they elect, trying to correct us? NO SIR!!!!!!!
    Mek someone else whose hands and heart are clean to address any other country wrong doing. Got some rass nerves. You cant live in corruption and try correct, the message will not come over well. The rass word is transparency and USA no have NONE!

  8. The OAS is conspiring with the leader of the opposition in Dominica, to overthrow our government and Prime Minister, just as they did in Venezuela and Bolivia. The joint report that they are refering to is totally biased to the opinions of the OAS and their crooked gang. Did the OAS tell you that it is the opposition in Dominica that filed an injunction in the court to prevent electoral reform from going foward? No, they will not tell you that. They will only spread false news about Dominica, because we do not support their stance on Venezuela, Cuba and other countries in Latin and South America that they are destroying.

  9. There will be no elections in Dominica this year. No reform? Then no election. Period. Tell Charles Savarin and Roosevelt Skerrit we are not afraid.

  10. I dont know how dead people cast votes. In Dominica, everybody knows everybody even of it’s not personally. People vote in their constituencies. I’ve never heard of any living person trying to vote under a dead persons name in Dominica. Trust me, word would have been all over the place because Dominicans dont hide. Besides, the same foul that the opposition is crying about, gave them an increase in seats in the last election. They didnt see that coming so they went quiet. Now, they know the govt is going to take those same seats back, so they cry foul. America needs to take care of trump and not let Russia meddle on their elections before they can tell us how to run ours because trust me, our elections are fairer than american elections, voter I’d or not. Let democracy rule.

  11. Wake up people no man is an island unto himself. No one man should be or remain in power for such a long time. He is saying to the people look at me, I am the best thing that Dominica has to offer. We need new blood, ideas and solutions. Stop saying that there is one one better. Just imagine Trump in power in the US for that long. Power brings about corruption. Not picking sides just speaking truth to power.

  12. Actually we in Dominica welcome the support of the US. Since from the comments here our Caricom brothers and sisters are more concerned about supporting their labor cult parties rather than support justice for Dominicans
    This issue of reform has been in discussions from 2008. This labor corruption regime has found ways to deny Dominicans the right to honest elections. That when zhan votes every one Is clear that it was zhan and not an imposter..like has happened in previous elections. We want an elections where dead people can no longer vote. If our Caricom brothers and sisters have an issue with Dominicans wanting a government of our choice. Then we will take the US support anytime m

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