Politics in 2013
LL moves from media to political leader
A new era in the political landscape of Dominica began when talk-show host Lennox Linton was elected Political Leader of the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) at the party's delegates conference at Castle Bruce on Sunday September 1st 2013.
Earlier, on August 16th, the UWP nominations committee, which is made up of the chairpersons of the various constituency associations, recommended Linton, the endorsed candidate for the Marigot constituency for the top post. Edison James, the parliamentary representative for Marigot remained in parliament but he will not contest the next general election.
Meanwhile, fresh from winning the dual citizenship case for a second time, at the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) sitting in St. Kitts on Monday March 11, 2013 Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit told a large crowd of Dominica Labour Party supporters who gathered in Roseau to celebrate the favourable court ruling that they should prepare for early elections.
"I want my revenge… I want to beat them badly," Skerrit said adding that DLP supporters should get ready for general elections.
Repeating that theme throughout 2013, Skerrit gave the UWP fuel to fire their election-preparation train. Lead by new leader Linton, the opposition named most of its candidates within a few months, held an economic forum that sounded like a manifesto and conducted a tour of all the constituencies that it dubbed "21in 25".
Confusion precedes election of President
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit's decision to nominate House Speaker Alix Boyd-Knights to be President of Dominica, generated a storm of protest, from the opposition and from supporters as well. The Speaker was expected to replace Eliud Williams who was holding on for President Dr. Nicholas Liverpool for a year that was to expire in October 2013.
Reports indicated that the Dominica Christian Council may have intervened but that information was not independently confirmed.
In making the nomination of Boyd-Knights, Prime Minister Skerrit apparently did not consulted with President Williams who had openly expressed interest in continuing in the post, the Sun was reliably informed.
"He has disrespected the President and the people of Dominica and also the family of His Excellency Williams who are unhappy and very hurt at what is going on," an informed source stated.
Meantime, recently appointed political leader of the opposition United Workers Party (UWP), Lennox Linton, hinted of possible protest action at the government's decision to nominate Boyd-Knights.
Then there was more intrigue when the Government's second nominee, retired civil servant Jennifer Wallace-Lafond withdrew because she held dual citizenship.
However, more controversy erupted when Prime Minister Skerrit turned to his Minister of National Security and career politician, Charles Savarin, to fill the vacancy.
President Charles Savarin
Nevertheless, Charles Angelo Savarin was sworn-in as Dominica's eight Head of State on September 30th with a vote of nineteen to zero.
"There are 19 members present and we received 19 ticks," said Speaker Boyd-Knights.
The opposition United Workers Party (UWP) boycotted that sitting of the House and did not vote.
In his speech at the Swearing-in of the President at the House of Assembly, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit acknowledged that "the road to the presidency was not as smooth" as he would have liked and he hoped that Dominicans will soon appreciate the "quality and unquestionable ability of Charles Savarin".
But Linton said: "Charles Savarin is cantankerous and a divisive mercenary of the ruling party. He cannot be the non-party representative of the nation as a whole."
He added that the UWP will not support the Savarin Presidency and asked Dominicans to boycott the National Youth Rally and the Independence Parade, two important events of the 2013 observance of Independence.
Tim will run again despite mild stroke
In a news story on the state-owned DBS, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit confirmed that his Health Minister, Julius Timothy, had been flown to Martinique for medical treatment. Timothy collapsed at his home on Wednesday May 1, 2013.
Timothy was first taken to the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) after he had suffered a stroke.
Afterwards he was then airlifted via air ambulance to Martinique for further medical attention.
Having suffered that mild stroke there has been widespread speculation that Tim would quit the political scene. But stroke or no stroke Tim will run.
"Timothy told me personally he intends to run," one person who is close to the minister told The Sun in a shocking revelation.
His speech might still be somewhat slurred, his steps a little hesitant, but a propensity for surviving adversity seems ingrained in Timothy's DNA. And this very attitude that has made him a successful businessman and a long-serving politician, is not about to change at a stroke.
Timothy, was a founding member of the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) but he crossed the floor to join Prime Minister Skerrit's Dominica Labour Party (DLP) after the May 5, 2005 general election. The parliamentary representative for Roseau North is 61 years old.