Politics in 2014
Polictics was on everyone's menu in 2014
Politics, ladies and gentlemen, was the main show in Dominica in 2014. If you did not care to attend, the actors entered your home and performed in your drawing room. You could not escape.
The main act in the political show began when Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced that he wanted a new mandate to continue government's programmes.
"With full confidence in the capacity of voters to decide objectively and choose wisely…I have today, Wednesday, the 5th day of November, 2014 – in accordance with the provisions of Section 54 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Dominica – advised His Excellency, the President, to dissolve the Parliament of Dominica…with immediate effect…and, to issue a writ for the holding of General Elections," said Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit when he addressed the nation.
Then Skerrit added: "Nomination Day will be Wednesday, the 19th Day of November, 2014.
Consequently, on 8 December Skerrit's Dominica Labour Party (DLP) had defeated Lennox Linton's United Workers Party (UWP) 15-6 to secure four consecutive terms as the Government of Dominica.
Politicians declare war
But before that happened, there were many episodes of political drama. For instance, when Tony Astaphan threatened court action; Linton responded: "bring it on".
Give us one million dollars and apologize, or lets' go to court, Astaphan stated.
He said comments by Lennox Linton, the leader of the UWP were "reckless and dishonest" and through his junior lawyer, Lennox Lawrence, Astaphan wrote to Linton demanding an apology within 48 and one million dollars in compensation. Politics is an expensive business, in many ways.
The cause of that drama was a statement that Linton made at a UWP rally held in St Joseph on Sunday May 25, 2014. Linton referred to the alleged activities by ministers of the Government as "rape" and stated that "there is no honour in a government who harbours them." A court battle is pending.
Lugay: arrested and charged
Supporters of the opposition UWP were stunned by the news that on Thursday July 17 2014 Senator Lugay was arrested and charged for "inciting to murder Alick Lawrence," a member of the Electoral Commission.
On July 3, 2014 in Soufriere Lugay said: "You know, not too long ago we met with the Electoral Commission and I am looking Alick Lawrence in the face right, and he wouldn't say a word, you know, and these are the guys that obstructing electoral reform in Dominica.
"You know I have said in a public meeting in Fond Cole, if I wasn't a believer I would take out some people in Dominica, you know. My heart is different and that is the only reason why I wouldn't do it, but it have some people that deserve to die in Dominica. Honestly, when you see the sort of things that they do to keep back Dominica."
Reacting to the statement, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit publically asked the police to "investigate" the matter. Shortly afterwards Lugay apologized to the public for his comments. The police then called Lugay in to be interviewed in the presence of his attorney. He was subsequently released. Lugay's case is to be heard in early 2015.
Lugay went on to win the Roseau North seat for the UWP at the 8 December election and one wonders if that arrest really resulted in "more votes for Lugay" as the UWP pre-election slogan stated
Melville Hall named Douglas Charles Airport
In honour of two prime ministers of Dominica, Rosie Douglas and Pierre Charles, the Melville Hall Airport was renamed the Douglas Charles Airport. Many members of the Douglas family boycotted the event claiming that the airport will soon be obsolete and that was an insult to the memory of Rosie.
In a ceremony held at the airport's parking lot, Minister for Public Works, Energy and Ports Rayburn Blackmore said Dominicans have gathered to witness the historic moment. In addition, Faiza Charles-Sylvester, daughter of deceased Charles said that her father fought to save the country from the opposition who led the country to an economic grave yard.
Linton's ends first year as UWP political leader
Lennox Linton was entrusted with the mantle of leadership of the UWP) on September 1, 2013, at the party's delegate's convention in Castle Bruce. Soon afterwards the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) christened him a "novice".
After one year at the helm of the UWP Linton energized the party which resulted in the UWP doubling its number of seats in Parliament.
Williams becomes Senator
Meanwhile, Monell Williams, the UWP candidate for the St. Joseph constituency become Dominica's newest senator when she was sworn in by House Speaker Alix Boyd-Knights at a meeting of Parliament in June.
"If you're looking for guidance and leadership, you look to us," said Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit while congratulating the new senator.
Williams who was defeated in the 8 December election is likely to keep her seat on the back benches of the House of Assembly.