UWP election candidate for Vielle Case Clement Marcellin Jr
UWP election candidate for Vielle Case Clement Marcellin Jr

Clement Marcellin Jr of Penville is set to challenge Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, the leader of the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) on a United Workers Party (UWP) ticket in the upcoming general elections. Marcellin has his work cut out for him.

In 2014, Marcellin Jr earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Technical Management from DeVry University and two years later, a Master of Science Degree in Project Management from Keller Graduate School. He is the father of one child, a girl.

According to top UWP aides in the community, Marcellin outstanding contributions to community life from an early age has put him in a "perfect position" right now to challenge Prime Minister Skerrit.

"This is Penville's best chance of having their homeboy and a constituency tri-cultural icon that understands and embodies the values and aspirations of the peoples of Penville, Vieille Case and Thibaud wholeheartedly with class and distinction," said a person from the community who requested anonymity.

Asked to comment, Marcellin did not deny his political ambitions.

"Last time there was a buzz about me it was affiliated with death! I saw my obituary…it is an honor now to see a rebirth even more so to see one soldier already putting his/her hand up for the country. Jean de La Fontaine once stated that "A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it."

He says that among his goals for the community are "youth employment, the best quality healthcare for all and the implementation of social programmes which empowers all".

Among his involvement in the community are: youth leader of his church and Public Relations Officer for a community-based youth empowerment group. In Penville he leads the Penville Ambitious Youth which embarked on several community projects which led to him being named "Youth Ambassador for Penville."

He was elected on the Vieille Case Cooperative Credit Union and with amalgamation and the advent of the National Cooperative Credit Union Ltd (NCCU) he was elected for two consecutive terms as chairman on the Supervisory and Compliance Committee.

Marcellin presently serves as a Director on the Dominica Cricket Association (DCA) and is the second vice president since 2018. He is also the founder and president of the Gladiators Cricket Club since 2014 and has represented his community at various sporting tournaments especially cricket.

"He is a community man at heart, honest, hardworking and disciplined, a roots man, always on the block with the boys discussing day to day events and playing dominoes," the person said.

In 2016 he became a director on the Board of Directors whilst simultaneously serving as the Chairperson of the Credit Committee at the Dominica Cooperative Societies League Ltd. He has since resigned from both committees after accepting a job at the Dominica Cooperative Societies League Ltd as Business Development Officer.

He is also a part-time lecturer at the Dominica State College (DSC) but also finds time to run his games shop and to chill out on the block with the guys.

Before resigning from the government service "Junior", as he is more popularly called in the community, worked for 14 years as the District Environmental Health Officer for Vieille Case and Portsmouth Health Districts and acted as Senior Environmental Health Officer with responsibility for vector control.

Prime Minister Skerrit has been a permanent fixture in politics in Vielle Case since 2000, when he defeated Vernice Bellony by 156 votes (DLP 754, UWP 498 and the DFP 24). Skerrit's dominance continued in 2005 winning 866 votes to 303 for the UWP; he increased that margin in 2009 winning 1,041 to 148 for the UWP and in 2014 he garnered 1,098 votes to 187 for the UWP.

However, members of the UWP camp believe that Marcellin Jr. "is the man to defeat Roosevelt Skerrit" in 2020. But a source who understands the politics of the area believes that Marcellin will find winning difficult unless Skerrit self-destructs. Marcellin will probably win 30 to 35 percent of the vote, the source said.