ROSEAU, Dominica, March 31, 2017 (CMC) – Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has ridiculed calls, by the opposition, for his removal from office, saying that statements such as “Skerrit must go”, really meant he must go on continuing with policies to ensure the future socio-economic development of Dominica.
“Skerrit must go on to build a new hospital for Dominica, Skerrit must go on to build homes for the people of Dominica, Skerrit must go on to continue creating opportunities for the youth of our country, Skerrit must go on to build the five star hotel for Dominica, Skerrit must go on to build the geothermal plant to bring cheaper light bills for our people in Dominica,” Prime Minister Skerrit told a town hall meeting in St. Joseph, west of here, on Thursday night.
But as he ridiculed the calls for his resignation, leader of the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP), Lennox Linton, was telling a public meeting, in the capital, that the prime minister and his cabinet must step down and allow for a national unity government to be put in place.
The police, citing the need for public and national security, had earlier denied the UWP permission to stage a march here, on Thursday. Last month, several business places were looted and set on fire, following a meeting of the opposition UWP and the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP), where similar calls were made for Skerrit to step down.
On Thursday, the UWP held two public meetings, including one in the capital, with Linton outlining the need for the government of national unity.
“We want, through the constitutional process, the appointment of a government of national unity that will look after, for a certain period, the management of the affairs of Dominica, for all Dominicans.
“We want that interim government of national unity appointed, through the constitutional process, to put a commission of inquiry into how our Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP) is running. We want that interim government of national unity to criminalise the sale of Dominica’s diplomatic passports and the use of diplomatic passports for facilitating criminal activity around the world,” Linton said.
The UWP has been accusing Skerrit of using the CIP, through which foreign investors make substantial investment to the country in return for acquiring citizenship, to provide diplomatic immunity for persons wanted on various charges of corruption.
Linton told supporters that a government of national unity should also ensure “that all arrangements are concluded for electoral reform in this country, to include ID cards for voting, to include a clean accurate list of voters, to include access to all media in Dominica, to include law enforcement action against bribery …and illegal overseas voting and to include campaign finance reform”.
But Skerrit told the town hall meeting, that he had observed that the opposition had adopted a new slogan “Skerrit must go”, saying in effect, they were saying, “Skerrit must go on to continue raising the monies required to bring a better way of life for the people of Dominica, Skerrit must go on to build homes for the people who lost their homes during Erika”.
“Skerrit must go on to be as humble as he has always been, Skerrit must go on to continue loving the people of Dominica, Skerrit must go on to work even harder for his people and when the going gets tough, Skerrit must go at the feet of the Almighty God for help, guidance and strength, and Skerrit must go in 2037 when he gets to age 65,” Skerrit added, to loud cheers, noting that he may well stay in office until his son becomes a father.
In the last general election, held here in 2014, the ruling Dominica Labour Party (DLP) won 15 of the 21 seats.