The Concern Citizens Movement would like to publicly refute the false statements made by Ambassador Vince Henderson on April 26th, 2019 while speaking to a Dominica Labour Party news conference. At that venue, the Ambassador made some utterances that he knew or should have known were false. Ambassador Henderson stated that every report from all observer missions declared that elections were free and fair. In addition, he stated that he saw no need for electoral reform to the electoral process. We state here that Mr. Henderson was either confused, ill-informed, or being malicious.

The exact reasons why Ambassador Henderson made those statements are unclear.

He deliberately misrepresented the findings of the observer missions. It could be that he did not read the reports or if he did was selective in his presentations to deliberately deceive the Dominican people. Ambassador Henderson chose to highlight the report of the Commonwealth observers. However, contained within the conclusions and recommendations of that same report, the Observer Mission stated that the elections were free but not necessarily fair. They went on to give multiple reasons for their conclusions including a lack of transparency and several instances of bribery and treating. Ambassador Henderson selectively ignored those observations, once again pointing to his ill intent.

Ambassador Henderson further went on to state that he did not think there was any need for electoral reform in Dominica. However, he proceeds to say that "there is need for enhancement of the electoral process." What was the purpose of this statement? Is it to confuse and mislead the electorate? This statement is oxymoronic. Ambassador Henderson failed to identify the many areas of "enhancement" that were recommended by the Commonwealth Observer Mission. Was that a deliberate strategic tactic? Is it because he is also serving as campaign manager for the Dominica Labour Party?

Incidentally, the CCM would like to know whether Ambassador Vince Henderson has abandoned his Ambassadorial duties. Is his term at an end? Has he resigned? Or has he been recalled? He needs to enlighten the Dominican public. Why would the Ambassador publicly speak as the Dominica Labour Party campaign chairman while still serving as Ambassador to the US and Permanent Representative to the OAS? This is a blatant conflict of interest and an abuse of State resources.

Finally, the CCM has concluded that Ambassador Henderson was very reckless in those utterances. He needs to return to the airwaves to clear up the confusion that he has generated. Ambassador Henderson is educated. Hence, there are no excuses for these pronouncements by a "learned" individual. The Dominican people are waiting.

Loftus Durand, president, Concern Citizens Movement.