By Michael Jarvis, London UK
Supporters of the incumbent Dominica Labour Party(DLP) are in full celebratory flow after Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit led his party to a resounding victory in Friday’s general election.
The DLP trounced the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) led by former journalist Lennox Linton to a secure a convincing 18-3 win in the controversial elections.
There are 21 seats in the Dominica parliament.
In the previous governing period the DLP held 15, with the other 6 by the UWP.
The DLP of Prime Minister Roosevelt has increased its majority at the expense of the UWP whose supporters were mainly behind the protests which saw airline and cruise calls being cancelled over security concerns.
The election campaign was marred by weeks of protests with roadblocks, fires and clashes between demonstrators and police.
Contingents from several member islands of the Caribbean Regional Security System (RSS) were called in to help the Dominica police maintain order.
The demonstrators were protesting against the government over claims that it had not introduced recommendations for electoral reform including term limits and voter ID cards.
The airing of a documentary by the international news channel Al Jazeera in which serious allegations were made about the misuse of the country’s Citizen By Investment Programme(CBI/CIP) also added to an already tense situation.
The government of Prime Minister Skerrit was implicated in some of the allegations, including the prime minister himself and the opposition leader.
In the wake of the DLP’s victory, fresh allegations are surfacing about the composition of the voters list as well as Dominica’s diaspora voting franchise.
In a victory statement, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said: “There is no doubt that the election campaign was a bruising one.
“It was Labour’s contention from the very outset, that the ballot box is the fair and legitimate expression of what people want.
“It was always Labour’s preferred choice over the divisive rhetoric and actions which put nationals in fear, harmed our social fabric, our economy and our international reputation. Our citizens have made their choice. We must all now respect that.”
Friday’s victory gives Prime Minister Skerrit his fourth consecutive term and a fifth unbroken governing period for the DLP.
The report of a Caricom elections observer team is awaited.