Dominica to hold snap elections

Dominica to hold snap elections
Dominica to hold snap elections - Photo Dominican: Labour Party
Dominica to hold snap elections
Dominica to hold snap elections – Photo Dominican: Labour Party

Dominica will hold snap general elections today.

The election was announced by Prime Minister Roosvelt Skerrit in early November. The ruling Dominica Labor Party (DLP) holds a 18-3 majority in parliament but is expecting a stiff challenge from the opposition United Workers Party (UWP). The early snap election—two years ahead of the constitutionally mandated deadline—was criticized by the UWP as an attempt by the ruling party to consolidate power, a charge Skerrit denies. The UWP also vocally criticized the DLP’s conduct during the 2019 general election, in particular citing the UWP’s reliance on diasporic voters as an example of an inequitable electoral system.

Snap elections are frequently used as a tool by ruling powers to cement executive or legislative prerogative, and Dominica’s election will be no different. The UWP is at a disadvantaged position and the DLP will likely retain its majority position and mandate. The DWP will almost certainly decry both PM Skerrit and the DLP, but genuine political tampering by either side is unlikely. CARICOM—the supranational organization of Caribbean states—is sending an election observation mission to the country which will further assuage any concerns about a tainted election.

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