US Ambassador Calls On Dominica To Implement Recommended Reforms

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Op-Ed by Ambassador Linda Taglialatela, U.S. Ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS

“Democracy Demands Peaceful Citizen Participation”

The reports of political violence in Dominica in recent weeks are incongruent with the history of stable parliamentary democracy in the Eastern Caribbean.  Free, fair, and transparent elections are hallmarks of any good democracy and an indication of good governance and leadership.  Equally so, the conduct of peaceful campaigns, rallies, and demonstrations beforehand and the acceptance of the will of the people after a fair vote are intrinsic parts of democracy.

We must be steadfast in our support for democracy, citizens, and transparent governments alike.  Responsible civic participation is the fundamental basis of any successful democracy.  This is a moment for all participants in the political process to ensure free, fair, and peaceful elections in Dominica.  The United States calls on all citizens to peacefully engage in the democratic process.

The hemisphere is undergoing rapid change.  Many countries have made a sharp turn toward democracy.  As U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo said earlier this week, “There is more democratic cooperation in our hemisphere today than at any point in history.”  The United States is proud to work with Dominica, and all the countries of the region, to build a more secure, prosperous, and democratic future.  That means defending the rule of law that holds everyone to an equal standard and allows for the peaceful resolution of disputes, creating a level marketplace where competition results in better products and improved services, and building an inclusive society that protects citizens’ inalienable rights, including freedom of expression.

It is a mistake to assume that democracy is some preordained system.  Freedom cannot be taken for granted.  From my time working in government and in my position as Ambassador, I can tell you that peace many times can be fragile, and hard-won victories can be rolled back if we are not vigilant.  The Caribbean is a strong and vibrant example of democracy to governments around the world – and should continue to be so.

In September, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Organization of American States (OAS), and the Commonwealth Secretariat issued a joint report recommending that the government of Dominica implement reforms to ensure free, fair, and transparent elections.  The “Report of the Joint CARICOM-Commonwealth-OAS Special Mission to Dominica,” available to the public online, found a need to “improve the system of voter identification of voters on Election Day,” adjust electoral boundary “discrepancies,” enact “campaign finance legislation,” improve media access for all parties, and “increase public confidence in the Electoral Commission and the Chief Elections Officer,” among other findings.  This is not the first time international election observers have made these types of recommendations to the government of Dominica. The most recent report stated that the proposed reforms “are critical and necessary for Dominica to maintain its credible electoral system.”

Looking ahead, whatever government is in place after the elections, we hope that it will take action on these recommendations in consultation with civil society.  Dominica has a long history of successful democratic elections, and we have every trust and confidence this one will be too.

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32 COMMENTS

  1. Why doesn’t the Ambassador tell this to the USA who have been disenfranchising BLACK voters over and over?

    It is clear that the Trump administration is appointing persons who are bent on destabilizing the hemisphere. Look at the puppet who is leading the OAS and his handling of issues related to Venezuela and Bolivia. The OAS now operates as a wholly undemocratic institution.

    Now another Trump appointee wants to come and extol the virtues of democracy? This racist coot at the US Embassy in Barbados, Linda Taglialatela, wants to tell Dominicans about free and fair elections. Where were you when the government was trying to push through said reforms but the UWP blocked it with Court cases? Were you there just yesterday when the Court ruled that the legal challenge brought by the CCM CANNOT be heard by the Court and the CCM refuses to accept the Court’s ruling? Why do you not tell the CCM and UWP to accept the Court’s ruling and call on their unruly supporters to act in a mature manner and stop the lawlessness? Anyhow, it’s typical of your kind.

    Looks like Satan is now in the business of correcting sin.

    • You are another dishonest skerrit supporter. Skerrit himself has been blocking electoral reform, there is no injunction blocking it, there was an injunction placed to prevent bribery and treating which would have been on the bill. The Americans actually have some semblance of common sense in this matter as compared to the Caribbean nations who want to disenfranchise Dominicans and their right to vote. So brainwashed to believe the dribble the Barbadians and Arabians tell you in order to keep the most corrupt leader in the Caribbean at the helm. If Skerrit implemented the reforms asked of him 10 years ago, there’d be no more disputing. 75000 on a list of 55000 population is ridiculous. No Identification at the polling stations is beyond ridiculous.

      Looks like one of Satan’s followers trying to prevent righteousness

    • You are such aN idiot. The United Workers Party has never filed any injunction to stop electoral reforms. There isn’t any injunction preventing reforms. The Pm knows with out over seas voters he cannot win the elections. You must sitting on your ass drinking salt water in Antigua. Skerrit had ample time to do the reforms he chose not to. With or without reforms his ass is done. Watch and see.

    • Why don’t you explain to us in detail exactly how the USA ambassador in Barbados has been a racist coot? While you are at it do tell us exactly why the OAS is an “undemocratic” institution? Are you inferring that Venezuela is and was a successful and corruption free democracy under Maduro? What is your reasoning behind rejecting free and fair elections in Dominica which would stop the dead and frauds voting without a proper ID? Skerrit certainly seems to have resorted to desperation and (just like Antigua) great expense to win…I wonder why! Seems to me the 90% for themselves and 10% for the country is alive and well in the region!
      With your racist attitude maybe the British, Canadians and Americans should not have come to Dominica to help after Hurricane Maria…If I remember correctly the Chinese whose physical help would have been very helpful all left Dominica after Maria.

    • You are talking nonsense. Have you ever READ the draft Bill proposed by the DLP which was legally challenged by the UWP? That proposed Bill is a draft for imminent havoc, a pure mockery of electoral reform which would have put more indiscriminate power in the hands of the politically corrupt. Until you read and interpret said Bill, AND UNLESS you are a Dominican living IN DOMINICA, I suggest you keep your ass shut.

    • DEMOCRACY – WILL AND RESOLVE OF THE PEOPLE

      Do know that what is widely accepted in ‘…Democratic Societies,’ if the ‘…Voice of the People’ is heard, then there would be little reasons to be fearful of the ‘…Will and Resolve of the People.’

      Also know that likened to the ‘…Tree of Liberty,’ the ‘…Root of Democracy’ shall be watered by the blood of the innocent.’
      Lest ‘…all hell break loose,’ seems more prudent to allow commonsense to prevail.

    • U are really rubbish did she say something wrong….i cant believe u guys still support a thief after the al Jazeera documentary

  2. Thank you ambassador! My country is hurting. The government is corrupt and will do anything to win. They have imported hundreds of people to vote, giving them free plane tickets, do this corrupt regime will remain in power. Please help Dominica!

  3. The government ignored the reforms. They focused on giving cash to people to buy their votes. They bought homes in New York, Connecticut and other places. The corrupt government padded their pockets.

  4. Trump and Skeritt are almost twins , they both have to go but Democracy will persist in this region under new administrations because of the will of the People !

  5. Man shut your mouth
    Is people like you who caused slavery
    Black oppressors
    What do you know about Dominica
    D guy paying voters to come and vote
    Caricom is a failure. God bless America and white countries let dem rule supreme
    supreme. America should take over those caribbean countries and keep those hungry balck bastards out of office

  6. The Solution is just a KISS away. (Keep It Simple Stupid).
    1. Postpone the date of election
    2. Clean the electoral list
    3. Implement voter ID card
    Peace! Everyone accepts whoever wins the election.
    No fuss, no verbiage. Simple as 1,2,3. Three year old get it!

  7. Wash an’ Basin.
    Why are you spreading the same propaganda as the DLP. How many times does the CCM havevto say that there is no court injunction preventing the Electoral Commission from providing electoral reform. Secondly, in Antigua you were happy to have voted with a voter’s ID Card. We in Dominica need the same privilege you enjoyed in Antigua.

    Why don’t you tell Skerritt to give us the basic electoral reform by cleansing of the electoral list and give the voter’s ID Card and they who wins the election will be the legitimate government fair and square.

    In the meantime, we Dominicans reserve the right to fight for our democracy and for free and fair elections.

    • Allow DLP mouthpieces to speak their minds as this will orient us a bit…maybe towards Venezuela, China…? And just maybe the problem will receive greater clarity.

      BUT its even worse. Because Skerrit is obviously aware of his money laundering and direct personal benefit from Iran sanction busting schemes to ridiculously enrich himself while protecting criminals with the sale of diplomatic passports.

      Oh yes! There is more to Venezuela and China because this man is obviously ready and connivingly so, waiting for the right time to strike, to shed the blood of Dominicans in a bid to protect himself by remaining in office at any cost.
      Under these circumstances, electoral reform is just not an option to him. He has already resolved to shed blood but its all about timing it seems.

  8. I can see the comments I made above struck a nerve with the dishonest UWP and CCM apologists. It is a FACT that the CCM challenged the electoral reforms. The Court records are there to prove it. Why have none of you commented on the FACT that that High Court has said that it has no jurisdiction to hear the most recent matter brought by the CCM? How con you postpone an elections that is just days away? That is unheard of in the any democracy.

    Like the cry babies that you all are, you conveniently ignore the fact that Linton was in Antigua and other countries campaigning as well. But he was unable to attract the kind of attention that the DLP got. That is what has you guys scared out of your wits. Why should us Dominicans in the diaspora not be allowed to vote in the country of our birth? We contribute economically, just like you do!

    The issue of political parties giving people tickets to return and vote is NOT bribery. That was addressed in a case in Antigua in 2009. The Court ruled that it is NOT bribery. But again, you too blind to see that!

  9. Dominic would have needs of assistance for 5his very critical ” election ” as to their progress after that hurricane 🌪 🌀 “;!.She would need a strong woman like ❤️ ⚖ the right honorable°¥Ugenuia Charles was.”;

  10. We do not need any WHITE being telling us what to do. We will do what we need to at the right time. Y’all have NO say in our electoral process. Stupes.

    • If we were mature enough to manage our self we would not need anyone, but we are not
      the system is in favor of one man the OECS and CARECOM are not on the side of the people
      so at this point it does not matter what color man willing to help us they are welcome.

  11. Thank you Ambassador Linda Taglialatela
    My country Dominica where I was born just a bit less than 60 years ago, this is the very first time I am seeing a government behaving in this way
    I am convinced that the DLP, it’s leader and a lot of it’s loyal supporters are deeply involved in corruption locally, regionally and internationally, and for these reason they will not implement electoral reform that could cause them to lose the general election
    instead of listening to the voice of the people the Dominica government have invited the RSS to do their dirty work against the people of Dominica
    Please Ambassador Linda Taglialatela take our concerns to the US government and the rest of the world via the OAS and other world organizations who are interested in democracy and justice which will bring about peace.

    • The cause of the civil unrest in Dominica is that criminal god who continuously disregard the wishes of the people
      you all who support that criminal god are criminals also

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