Roseau South MP Joshua Francis
Roseau South MP Joshua Francis

He is back. Joshua Francis now says he will bat a second innings in the upcoming match for the hearts and minds and votes of residents of Roseau South.

Francis announced recently that he was hanging up his pads and bat and gloves after the current innings was over even if he was not out.

Sure, party politics is not cricket but the analogy is apt because Francis, the current Parliamentary Representative for Roseau South, told the Sun last week that he will be contesting the next general elections on a United Workers Party ticket in the Roseau South constituency. In other words Joshua Francis will bat again.

Francis, who was recently re-elected deputy leader of the UWP at the party's delegates' conference says his decision to contest the Roseau South seat again is his response to a call from the people.

"I had been approached by a few delegates prior to the delegate's convention of the United Workers Party (UWP) to be the deputy leader of the party but I declined," Francis said. "However, at the day of the convention when my name came out on the floor, as a nominee for the position, I felt compelled; I felt I could no longer say no to the people. Because the number of people who shouted for me to be deputy was overwhelming and I just felt I had to do it in the interest of the people and the party."

Francis added: "I started changing particularly when the people called on me to return and more so that desire accelerated after Joseph Isaac decided to leave the UWP to join the Dominica Labour Party. I felt that it was a severe blow to the UWP and more so to the marginalized, the weak and oppressed of Dominica.

"Hence, if I had to stay away from the party and the electoral process, it would be a blow to the poor people of Dominica. So taking those things into consideration, I have had to cogitate and with the people calling on me, the heart is changing. I am now inclined to contest the next general elections. I am definitely part of the process and movement which is greater that the UWP and I am prepared to make the sacrifices for the betterment of Dominica."

In December 2017, Francis wrote to the party informing them that he will not contest the next general election but he would serve his full term in office as a Member of Parliament.

He said then that he had decided to "withdraw from the political space to cure some issues, and as such it would be in the best interest of the United Workers Party -Team Dominica- to identify and work with a potential candidate for the next general elections".