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New candidates of the Dominica Labour Party announced at Londonderry
New candidates of the Dominica Labour Party announced at Londonderry

At a special delegates conference on 17 February 2019 at Londonderry on Dominica's north east, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, the political leader of the ruling Dominica Labour Party (DLP) announced some sweeping changes to the list of candidates that may help the DLP win an unprecedented 4th term in office at the next general elections constitutionally due in 2020.

It was a bold move (some say desperate) as Skerrit himself senses that Dominicans feel a need for change.

Casualties of the DLP's sweeping changes are Housing Minister, Johnson Drigo; Education Minister Petter St Jean; Youth and Sports Minister, Justina Charles; Health Minister, Kenneth Darroux and Minister of Kalinago Affairs, Dr. Cassius Darroux. They are all current parliamentary representatives. Joseph Isaac, who jumped ship in 2017, was moved to the relatively affluent Roseau North constituency from the seat he won for the opposition UWP, the valued seat of Roseau Central.

These are the major changes announced by Prime Minister Skerrit:

  • Dr. Adonis King sits in for Kelver Darroux in St. Joseph; remember Darroux announced earlier that he was leaving active politics.

  • Greta Roberts takes over from the ailing Ivor Stephenson in the Riviere Cyrique constituency.

  • Edward Registe replaces Justina Charles in Grand Bay; Mrs. Charles is the widow of late Prime Minister Pierre Charles.

  • Cozier Frederick takes over from Cassius Darroux, after one term, in the Kalinago Territory.

  • Marva Williams, the Dominica Festivals Commission (DFC) Executive Director will replace Dr. Kenneth Darroux in Petite Savanne.

  • Anika Charles would have taken the place of Dayton Baptiste to take on United Workers Party (UWP) political leader, Lennox Linton in Marigot but Charles withdrew a day after Skerrit announced her candidacy because of unfavorable comments towards Charles on social media.

  • Melissa Skerrit, the prime minister's wife, will take on the Roseau Central mega –seat as the former UWP Roseau Central MP, Joseph Isaac, moves on to Roseau North to take on Danny Lugay of the UWP -Mariam Blanchard, the heir apparent in Roseau North, has moved aside and so too has Tourism Minister, Robert Tonge who was eying the Roseau Central seat.

  • Chekira Lockhart-Hypolite was selected instead of Senator Jahisiah Benoit who was widely expected to take UWP Member of Parliament Joshua Francis. Labour supporters in Roseau South held a function last weekend in an attempt at healing the wounds; everybody said good things about everybody including Benoit to Lockhart-Hypolite and vice versa.

  • Dr. Irvin McIntyre, a medical doctor, will hand over to his brother, Dr. Colin McIntyre, a veterinarian, in the Roseau Valley.

  • Octavia Alfred is to run in Castle Bruce replacing Member of Parliament Johnson Drigo, the housing minister.

  • Fidel Grant, despite an intervention from his uncle, former Labour Party senator Griffin St. Hillaire, will replace Athenia Benjamin in Wesley.

  • Kent Edwards is to move to LaPlaine to replace Minister of Education Petter St. Jean.

Here are the 21 candidates to represent the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) at the next general election constitutionally due in 2020; the first eight listed below are unchanged from the 2014 election; (Denise Charles won the Soufriere seat in a by-election in 2016):

  1. Roosevelt Skerrit - Vieille Case

  2. Reginald Austrie - Cottage

  3. Ian Douglas – Portsmouth

  4. Roselyn Paul – Paix Bouche

  5. Catherine Daniel – Colihaut

  6. Shanks Espirit- Salisbury

  7. Rayburn Blackmore – Mahaut

  8. Denise Charles – Soufriere

  9. Joseph Isaac – Roseau North

  10. Edward Registe – Grand Bay

  11. Greta Roberts – Grandfond

  12. Anicka Charles – Marigot

  13. Cozier Frederick – Salybia

  14. Octavia Alfred – Castle Bruce

  15. Kent Edwards – LaPlaine

  16. Marva Williams – Petite Savanne

  17. Chekira Lockhart Hypolite – Roseau South

  18. Adis King – St Joseph

  19. Melissa Poponne Skerrit – Roseau Central

  20. Dr. Irving McIntyre – Roseau Valley

  21. Fidel Grant – Wesley


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