Political leaders: Linton (UWP), Skerrit (DLP) and Vital (DFP)
Political leaders: Linton (UWP), Skerrit (DLP) and Vital (DFP)

For many years, objective observers have contended that Dominica's electoral laws and processes are flawed and need to be updated, refined and enhanced to ensure that fundamental democratic principles are preserved and future elections are free and fair.

Past elections that returned the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) to power produced bitter resentment and protests in Opposition quarters with the United Workers Party (UWP) at the forefront of the movement pressing for electoral reform.

Recently, Government put forward changes to the House of Assembly (Elections) Act to be debated in Parliament. This move was quickly condemned by the Opposition as a means of legalizing corrupt elections practices.

On the day the proposals were tabled for debate, a public protest outside Parliament disrupted proceedings and forced Government to put its menu of electoral reforms back on the shelf. Since then the issue of electoral reform has continued to foment in public opinion forums with no end in sight.

Given the importance of the issue and the need for a satisfactory and conclusive resolution that preserves the best interests of all political parties and, most importantly, the Dominican people, The Sun has prepared a series of articles about electoral reform.

The articles are intended to provide readers with an understanding of stakeholders' views of this vital issue. The articles seek to give readers a balanced perspective to facilitate reasonable and informed public discourse on electoral reform, despite the challenges we experienced getting information from the Dominica Labour Party, the United Workers Party, the Electoral Office and the Electoral Commission.

The Sun hopes that the information in this series provides the type of clarity that will foster a reasonable and amicable settlement of this matter in the shortest time, with the nation's best interests at heart.