Dominica: Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Dr Roosevelt Skerrit, addressed the general public on the launching of the Candidate for Mauhaut Constituency on November 17, 2022.
The address by the PM of Dominica:
My brothers and sisters…a very good evening to each and every one of you!!
The image, credibility, maturity…the very sanctity of Dominica was put on the altar today, and I am pleased that good reason and common sense prevailed!!
The whole of Dominica was invited to the Bayfront today to maim, damage and destroy. The eyes of the world were upon Dominica. I am sure some embassies and High Commissions were on high alert and getting ready to issue travel advisories, given the threat of unrest and anti-social behaviour that had been forecasted.
But, for any such action to take place, it would have required thousands of people to participate. Dominicans listened to them, thought of the ramifications and decided to stay away from them and their damn nonsense!!
The fact that the United Workers party and its followers did not muster any more than the usual faithful from two constituencies, in particular, tells observers that Dominicans are not behind them. It tells observers that Dominicans do not want to see their country damaged or destroyed. They decided to boycott the elections, and the people of Dominica today, boycotted them!!!
The takeaway from today’s fizzling out of the planned march and rally is that Opposition forces in this country do not have the backing or support of the mass people of this country. They have not captured the minds or imagination of the people of Dominica. Dominican people want peace. They want to progress, and they want prosperity. None of these Lennox Linton and that bunch offer right now.
I am not surprised about the boycott by the people today, Ladies and Gentlemen. Any political party in such disarray would be frowned upon by enlightened voters anywhere in the world. A party that has no policies, no programs, no presence on the ground, no money and no political leader is not a party that well-meaning and clear-thinking Dominicans can follow. They invited allllll of Dominica to come to Roseau this afternoon, and a mere handful of people showed up. Boycott the people boycott!! Three boycotted the elections, and the people boycotted them!!
How is it that the man whom they forced to resign two months ago is again tonight the face and voice of opposition forces in Dominica? They asked him to resign. They told him if he did not jump…that he would be pushed. He resigned in September, and today, the 17th day of November, he is back at the helm, in the chair and on the air, as the face and voice of the United Workers Party. Can these people be taken seriously, Ladies and Gentlemen?
Lennox Linton’s resurgence speaks to the confusion that exists among them, Ladies and Gentlemen. One month ago, they had six candidates for leadership of the party going into the next general elections. Tonight, that number is whittled down to three. But of the three, they say Marcellin is too young to lead. They say Thompson Fontaine cannot connect with ordinary people… and he can’t win the Grand Fond seat. So is Dr Benjamin; the oldsters are pushing. But yet, with Dr Benjamin as their nominee, Lennox Linton still has to be their voice and their face in this current campaign.
Then they get vexed when we say they are not ready. They are offended when we say we caught them with their pants OFF.
Three of the six persons they had vying for leadership have since stepped back and run away from the party. They say they have never seen such confusion in their lives. The UWP is not nominating candidates tomorrow, Ladies and Gentlemen, because they have no candidates to nominate! Everyone who stepped forward to join was joining on the basis of becoming the leader. Now it would appear that Lennox Linton is making a mad grab for leadership all over again. Well, let him lead them from outside of parliament. Because come the 7th day of December, Gregory Rivière shall be representing the Marigot constituency INSIDE the Parliament of Dominica!
Now tonight, Ladies and Gentlemen, we are here to endorse the candidacy of Mr Cassanni Laville.
Cassanni may be a new candidate but he is not a new face to the leadership of the party. Cassanni has served with distinction, as Minister of Public Works, over the last three years. I am asking the people of the Mahaut constituency to elect Cassanni Laville as their new Parliamentary Representative, so he can continue to serve the government and people of this country at the executive level.
In the same breath, Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to thank Mr. Rayburn Blackmore for many years of selfless service and hard work for and on behalf of the people of the Mahaut constituency. Rayburn was a solid minister in every sector assigned. I serve notice to Rayburn tonight that though his tour of duty as a Parl Rep may have come to an end, he has plenty more work to do as a servant of the people of this country.
My dear people, today is Thursday, November 17. Tomorrow is Friday, November 18. Tomorrow is Nomination Day in Dominica. The Dominica Labour Party has compiled an impressive slate of candidates. We have assembled what we now refer to as “The Team For These Times”. It’s a mixture of youth, talent, energy, foresight and experience. It is the perfect mix for the times in which we live.
Many in this country are caught up in the NOW!
My gaze, as leader of this country, is on January 2023, when I shall have to bring fresh hope and optimism to the people of this country. Added to all the stress and strain of the Covid-19 Pandemic and the global food and fuel supply chain, which has seen drastic increases in the price of every single consumer item, this government has had to deal in the last two weeks with significant erosion in the southeast of the country.
I need a team in place by January, Ladies and Gentlemen, to help share and carry this load. We are not doing away with the Reggie Austrie, Ian Douglas and Rayburn Blackmore of this party. They each have another ten years of solid service to give. What we are doing is that we are fortifying an experienced Group of soldiers with new energy, new talent and new perspectives. Labour is preparing itself for 2023, 2033 and 2040, my dear people.
It doesn’t look as if we shall have serious opposition any time soon, so we have to be prepared for the long haul. We have to embark in January 2023, Ladies and Gentlemen, on a marathon and not a sprint. I look at this new platform of candidates, Comrades and Friends, and I see a team that Rosie Douglas would be proud of. I see a team that Pierre Charles would be proud of.
My dear people, tonight I am dedicating the compilation of this team to the memory of our most recent fallen stalwart, Comrade Ed Register! Ed, we know you are up there looking on. They have all tried, but there is none who can shout “Labourrrrrrr” as melodic as you. We miss you, Comrade Ed, but we are going to bring home all 21 seats for Labour in your honour on December 6!!!
My dear people, we are not getting cocky. We are doing our work. Yesterday, Wednesday, the Cabinet of ministers and all Dominica Labour Party candidates spent the entire day meeting and empathizing with our brothers and sisters in the east and southeast of the country. The United Workers Party is not interested in these sorts of issues. They are too busy dirtying our name on the international stage. They are too busy fighting among themselves. They are too caught up in internal conflict to send a word of solace to the people of Castle Bruce and Grand Fond, far less visit them.
This Dominica Labour Party is about people, my dear friends. We rush to action when anyone in this country is in distress. I saw poll results yesterday which said Dominica was way above the Caribbean average in its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. We did not need a poll to tell us this, Ladies and Gentlemen.
We all know that Dr Irving McIntyre was the perfect man to be at the helm of that battle when it surfaced in early 2020. We know that our front-line workers in this country did a fantastic job.
Dominica punches above its weight, Ladies and Gentlemen. While our detractors plot and plan their next attack upon the good name and image of this country, we are forging ahead to make Dominica shine in every sphere of human endeavour.
I visited the folks of the southeast yesterday, Ladies and Gentlemen. And they are not stressed. The people of the southeastern districts know what we did for the people of Petit Savanne, ladies and gentlemen. And they know that under Roosevelt Skerrit and this Dominica Labour Party government, we shall do the same for them.
When I say this Labour government has your back, I mean it, my dear people!!
They said the Dominica Friendship Hospital could not happen. It is there, my dear people, it is there! They said a housing revolution in this country could not happen. It is there, my dear people, it is there! They said the new international airport could not happen. It is on the way, my dear people. It is on the way!!!!
So, when I tell you tonight to put your trust in Labour, I am saying to you that you can go to sleep peacefully on December 6, knowing that on the morning of the 7th, you shall have a government that you can trust. You shall have a government that you can turn to in time of need. You shall have a government that shall shield you from the full impact of all that is going on around us. I am not concerned with what they do or do not do tomorrow. I want a comfortable majority in parliament. If by their actions, we get all 21 seats, we shall gladly take them.
We shall not abuse this mandate, my dear people. We shall govern with respect for the law and the rule of law. Indeed, if they give us the 21 seats, I shall move with despatch to have the necessary laws amended to provide for the appointment of four independent senators to the parliament of
I shall ask His Excellency to appoint one senator on the advice of the political entity that gets the second-highest number of votes in these elections. I shall ask His Excellency, the President, to appoint a Senator on the advice of the Private sector. I shall ask His Excellency, the President, to appoint a Senator on the advice of the church, and I shall advise His Excellency, The President, to appoint a Senator on the advice of the trade Union movement, Ladies and Gentlemen.
So have no fear. There shall be voices of dissent, and at least of differing philosophies, in the parliament of Dominica. We shall facilitate differing views and recommendations. We do not believe we have all the ideas, but we need constructive engagement. And I shall look forward to a new, purposeful and well-intentioned Parliament in the new year.
So, Ladies and Gentlemen, today has been a phenomenal day, showcasing the maturity of our nation and the tremendous sense of reason of our people. Opposition forces called on citizens of this country to do nonsense, and the people resisted. The people boycotted them!!
At 4:30 this evening, someone reported to me that the nearly six dozen people gathered at the bay front were afraid to gather as one. That is very profound, my dear people. Even though the 67 of them left their homes to gather for this mammoth meeting, they were not even willing to close ranks because none was sure what the other was about.
Indeed, the conversation among them, as they waited in vain for the true masses to arrive, revolved around the resignation from the party this afternoon of former Deputy Leader Joshua Francis. Joshua Francis said he had enough of their stupidity. He said they were a sad, sorry bunch.
That is precisely what the people of the region and the world are saying tonight as well, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Eleven days into this campaign and we have not had one intimidating moment. The UWP has stood out in this campaign, and everyone has been happy and at peace with themselves. Today they attempted to get their campaign off the ground, and all of a sudden, the atmosphere has changed. The air is heavy. The decision of the UWP to mount a platform in this country now has everyone on edge because we all know what they are capable of. We know their brand.
They are out to undermine, break up and destroy. Nothing negative has happened in this campaign so far…. but the UWP has entered the arena, so beware! Let us all be focused, Ladies and Gentlemen. Let us all proceed as the peaceful, peace-loving family of Labour. They are about lawlessness. We are about peace, progress and prosperity.
And on this note of peace, progress and prosperity…I want to remind you all of Saturday’s Mother of All Walks!!!! Saturday, we are walking through the streets of Roseau. I want no less than 10 000 people there.
They want to see who Dominicans support! Let them go on social media Saturday evening and see 10 000 people walking slowly through the streets of Roseau. We are not about violence. We are not about intimidation. We are walking for peace, progress and prosperity.
We are also sending a message to the lawless element in UWP that we shall not be intimidated by their nonsense. Dominica is way past that.
Edison James called a snap election on Old Year’s Night in 1999, and Rosie Douglas responded by naming 21 candidates and beating him at the polls. I called a snap election on a cool, calm Sunday evening in November and the UWP responded with a threat of fire and brimstone. Well, we shall not be intimidated, Ladies and Gentlemen. Just like a tree that standeth by the waters, we shall not be moved!!
Voters of Mahaut, tonight we present to you Casssanni Laville. Voters of Dominica, tomorrow we will present to you The Team for These Times.
Come out and cheer on your candidates tomorrow. Come out and embrace the Dominica Labour Party tomorrow, my dear people.
We love you. We respect you. We appreciate you very much. Enjoy the entertainment and then make your way safely home, my dear people.
Stay in your constituencies tomorrow, and celebrate the nomination of Labour’s Team for the Times. Then on Saturday afternoon, come down to Pottersville and join The Mother of All Walks….through Roseau and onto the Newtown Savannah!!! Thank you very much, Ladies and Gentlemen. God Bless you.