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Attorney-at-Law Henry Shillingford
Attorney-at-Law Henry Shillingford

We have just participated in what was one of the most biased and unfair elections probably ever run in the existence of the Commonwealth. The share scale and vulgar display of money in the treating and in the bribing relative to the economy of this country is truly staggering. We may be talking about 10% of the budget being spent in 30 days by one party.

If that was all it may be just sour grapes; however, the cheating went far beyond the gross and vulgar money bribing. It included the buying out of every major media house, the largest TV station, the biggest radio station and the oldest newspaper; hence, there was not one public discourse relative to the elections on any of that media. Again, that also might be seen as "smart" politics for those who have a low bar for politicians.

Notwithstanding such concerns, the reason for this article is to expose the length to which the DLP campaign went, bordering on the frightening and macabre. The members and supporters of the DLP have targeted and are in the process of strategically dismantling the Constitution by corrupting and thereby removing all the legal and institutional protections afforded to citizens against the abuses of power by public officials. The most important and egregious of these threats to democracy is the undermining of the notion and expectations of free and fair elections.

The data show that UWP did not lose the election. What the data does not reveal is the extent to which the leadership of the UWP were verbally abused at every juncture by the DLP spokespersons led by Roosevelt Skerrit. Rather than be congratulated for wining as he was by the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, he should be admonished and derided for violating the election laws and the Constitution on his way to stealing the election away from the UWP.

The olive branch Skerrit has so disdainfully offered needs to be rejected along with the outcome of this bogus and stolen election. Failure of Savarin to rise to the rescue of the Constitution and the Laws of Dominica as a real President, should be interpreted as collusion and complicity in the crudest violation and disassembling of the rule of law in the State.

We call on the people of Dominica who hold the Constitution and the rule of Law to be fundamental to peace and security, to resist and to withdraw cooperation with this non-representative government at each and every step. We say this as common citizens of this country who have lost our protections under the law and therefore must assert our democratic rights for ourselves and for others unborn.

This is a government that has over the last 10 years deliberately and methodically corrupted each institutional pillar of the Constitution including, the DPP, the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, the President, the Commissioner of Police, the Director of Audit and others. These are the institutions that give our Constitution force without which the citizen is exposed to all abuses that can be perpetrated by a government as demonstrated by the practice of the DLP government.

Every legal action available that will reveal the depravity of this government should be pursued. We call on Dominicans to resist the intimidation that will come from the State Security system. We call upon like-minded institutions and people in the international community to join us as we resist the vulgarity, greed and lawlessness that passes for governance in this tiny small island state.

We must make a stand for democracy here and now so that others in our region and beyond will find it easier to protect and preserve these hallowed traditions of justice, peace and prosperity. It is an embarrassing shame that we in Dominica have allowed things to get to this point of allowing a group to parade as government on the world stage even while dismantling any pretext to legitimate representative governance here at home. It is time to rise and resist.

Henry Shillingford


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