Dominica Broadcasting Service to provide free airtime to general election nominees
Dominica Broadcasting Service to provide free airtime to general election nominees

Dominica: A historic decision has been made for the first time in the Commonwealth of Dominica’s political history as the state radio station, Dominica Broadcasting Service, has announced that it will provide free advertisements and promotional spots to all nominees for the general elections on December 6.

At a public meeting on Wednesday night, Prime Minister Dr Roosevelt Skerrit said, “I called the general manager of DBS (Dominica Broadcasting Service) radio today and told him that DBS needs to call independent candidates in this election and to offer them free airtime to promote themselves as candidates in this election.”

He added, “Until election day, they will receive ‘x’ amount of advertising daily at no cost to ensure they have access to the people of Dominica and express what they will do… for them in Dominica.”

The announcement has been made by PM Skerrit, after hearing complaints from some candidates that they have had trouble spreading their messages due to a lack of money. The candidates said that even on private stations, they are unable to run a campaign as they are unable to purchase a promotional ad spot.

Prime Minister Skerrit noted, “The people of Dominica who are qualified to contest the elections under our constitution have put their hands up, and they have gone to get nominated and we have 45 candidates in the 2022 general elections, more than in 2019 and more than in 2014.”

Even though the United Workers Party, the main opposition party, called for a boycott of the elections, at least two minor parties and a large number of independent candidates have registered.

During the current campaign, Prime Minister Skerrit has also indicated that he will also propose, as is the case in some countries in the Caribbean, that independent senators representing churches, the business community, farmers and trade unions be nominated for the next parliament to give opportunity for varying views in the community.