Dominica: Govt fulfills commitment on submitting proposed electoral reforms to EC: PM Skerrit

Dominica: Govt fulfills commitment on submitting proposed electoral reforms to EC: PM Skerrit

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Roseau, Dominica: Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit, announced the successful submission of the proposed electoral modernization legalisation copies to the Electoral Commission on 15th May, 2024. This significant step has been initiated as a part of an electoral reform process.

The Government of Dominica has submitted the proposed electoral laws in accordance with Section 51 of the Commonwealth of Dominica’s constitution.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit shared that the proposed legislation that has been provided to the Electoral Commission includes three key acts that are (i) The Registration of Electors Act and Regulations 2024; (ii) The House of Assembly (Elections) Act and Regulations 2024 (which incorporates the House of Assembly (Election Petition) Rules 2024; and (iii) The Electoral Commission Act 2024.

PM Skerrit shared that this did not happen overnight, it has been finalized and handed over after a series of public debates, rigorous discussions, recommendations received in written from various entities and individuals. After undergoing several assessments, reviews and continuous electoral reform consultation the bills were prepared and the proposed bills have been finalized by the Attorney General and Attorney General’s office.

The Government has also provided copies of the proposed legislation to Sylvanie Burton, President of Dominica.

Sharing the details of the submission, Prime Minister Skerrit proudly stated, “We have made a commitment and we have kept that commitment.” The government always commits to what can be done and makes a path to complete the promises that have been made with the public.

To take the process further, the draft legislation will be shared with all the members of parliament and an informal session will held to have a detailed discussion on it to get fruitful suggestions from the fellow members of parliament and review the bills before they are put into the final process.

To keep each and every process transparent and within the reach of the common people, Prime Minister Skerrit shared that the copies will be published on the official website of the government and through other media channels to receive reviews from the public.

Subsequently, the proposed copies will also be forwarded to various international organizations, including the Organization of American States (OAS), the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the CARICOM, and the Commonwealth Secretariat.

PM Skerrit further stated, “My hope is that we will appreciate that the draft bills address the fundamental concerns raised by certain public sections and also, we have taken note of the observations and recommendations of our international partners.”

The government has the intention to finalize the procedure in the month of June so they can ensure the required budgetary allocations to the Electoral Commission to implement the electoral reform process. This will not only provide the legislative mandate but the needed financial resources to the Electoral Commission.

“There will be a short break between the first reading and the second and third reading, but we intend to have this finalized in the month of June,” PM Skerrit stated.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is confident that these changes will bring improvement in the current election process and also will address the concerns of the public.