Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit

Fellow Dominicans and friends

I send you warm and heartfelt greetings for a joyful and happy Christmas, and for a New Year filled with God`s richest blessings, as He guides you and your family toward success in all your endeavours.

We have just emerged from an election campaign that was intense and highly charged with emotion, as the two main political parties used all their creativity and energy to convince the electorate that their message was the appropriate one for Dominica at this time in the twenty first century.

I was deeply humbled that the voters in Dominica accepted our message of a Prosperous, Peaceful and Just Dominica and gave us the mandate to continue with our programme to achieve this goal. I thank you all for this historic victory at the polls.

I am aware that many of you played your part through the social media, in trying to influence hearts and minds during the campaign. I want to thank you for your participation in this very important feature of our growing democracy.

My wish this Christmas is that you continue to perform this role with openness and frankness. The views and input of every Dominican will be of great value in charting the course forward if we are to succeed. In this regard, we have laid out an ambitious programme for the enhancement of the City of Roseau and the Town of Portsmouth; we also intend to begin construction of an international airport and a modern hospital. As I have told you over and over, our social programme, such as the Yes We Care, will not be cut back as a result of the many capital projects we will implement.

These development activities will require massive inputs of engineering, construction and project management expertise that is not readily available here at home. I therefore wish to send out an invitation to all Dominicans with the relevant skills and experience, to begin to consider responding to the invitations to tender, either individually or as business entities, when the invitations to do so go out. One other thought that I want to place before you this Christmas, surrounds government`s commitment to continue to work at making our democracy more participatory and transparent. As many of you may be aware, we have commenced work on the introduction of a multipurpose identification card which, among other things, will be used for voting. This is an initiative of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) with financing from the World Bank.

My reason for placing this matter before you flows from the spirited debate that is emerging on the role of the Diaspora in national elections. There are models on how some other democratic states have gone about this; without prejudicing the outcome of such a discussion, government is of the view that whatever the model we may choose to adopt or create, should be realistic and should factor in, the cost that would be involved.

The Christmas message is one of hope; hope that gives meaning and purpose to life in the person of Jesus Christ. St. Paul, in his letter to the Philippians tells us:

"Though being divine in nature, He did not claim in fact equality with God, But emptied himself, taking on the nature of a servant, Made in human likeness, And in his appearance found as a man"

None of us knows of the new challenges and opportunities that the New Year 2015 will bring along. However, with the hope burning in our hearts, that all things are possible with God, and with dedication and commitment to hard work, we know that we shall achieve.

I pray that in this post-election Christmas season, we may choose the man Jesus as our model. That we may empty ourselves of any lingering bitterness and anger, and with humility join hands and hearts and voices in building a Prosperous, Peaceful and Just Dominica.

My family and I wish you a very Merry Christmas.

Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister