News Americas, ROSEAU, DOMINICA, Fri. Dec. 6, 2019: Voters in the Commonwealth of Dominica will go to the polls today, Dec. 6th, to elect a new government amid protests in the country over a failure to implement electoral reform and reports of corruption that reached a tipping point following an Al Jazeera investigative report.
Protests took a reported deadly turn Thursday as Reports Dominica News Online (DNO) reports claimed that two people were shot in Salisbury as police bore down on the village in an attempt to quell protest action by some of the residents.
And on DNO reports also said the Canfield highway in Dominica was blocked as protesters continue to express their dissatisfaction over the non-implementation of electoral reform ahead of a general election in Dominica.
Incumbent Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit of the Dominica Labour Party (DLP), who has been accused in the Al Jazeera documentary of selling ambassadorships, has condemned the protests and blamed the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) for encouraging them.
He also insisted that the general election will go ahead as planned.
Meanwhile, Leader of the opposition, Lennox Linton, has accused the President of Dominica, Charles Savarin, of not acting in the best interest of the country.
Linton, on a live interview on Q-95 Radio on Wednesday, said Dominica belongs to the people.
“The President is not acting in the best interest of the country,” Linton said.
“This country does not belong to Roosevelt Skerrit. Where else in the world does this happen?” Linton asked.
In an address to the nation on Tuesday, President Savarin condemned the recent acts of violence on the island. This comes as former Prime Minister, Edison James, has said that it is clear that more people of rational thinking can conclude that these elections are not going to be free and fair.
The US Embassy for Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS, says it is closely monitoring the recent demonstrations in Dominica, and urged the Government of Dominica to allow peaceful protesters to exercise their rights as provided by the Dominica Constitution and laws.
“As Dominica prepares for national elections on December 6th, we encourage respect for the rule of law and the conduct of a transparent democratic process,” a recent statement said.
The US has been warning Americans since Nov. 21st to exercise increased caution if travelling to Dominica even as the results of a poll conducted in twelve (12) electoral constituencies in Dominica by The Caribbean Agency for Political Advancement (CAPA) show the United Workers Party (UWP) leading in eleven of those constituencies but the poll found that respondents generally believe that elections results will favour the DLP.
But yesterday, Linton encouraged supporters of the UWP to turn out in massive numbers to cast their votes.