Updated: May 24, 2019
Dear Editor,

Permit me the time to express my deep concern and horror at an event that recently unfolded in Goodwill, Dominica. This letter is meant to sound an alarm about the deteriorating state of affairs in Dominica and the great risk that our Island (Dominica) is currently facing. Specifically, it is my hope that this letter will reach International organizations and countries that can assist Dominican to break free from the clutches of an evil Administration.  It is also hoped that this communique will reach all the Apologists in Dominica and abroad, who continue to support an ignoble Regime in Dominica which have no qualms about injuring or  killing the people who they are supposed to be serving.

Sir, I sense that the situation in Dominica is rapidly deteriorating and at some point shall explode. The island is at a tipping point and many do not seem to appreciate this reality.  The time has come for all to realize that the Dominica Labor Party Administration, their band of enablers and apologists in Dominica and abroad have no intention of relinquishing power;  Period! Tension in Dominica is intensifying while the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Organization of American States (OAS),  the Caribbean Common Market (CARICOM) and the European Union (EU)  seem to be asleep. Is this Venezuela reprise! Is this Homage to Dominica? I urge the world to pay attention to the plight of Dominica before the world has another Venezuela on its hands. A country from which people are fleeing and where no one wants to live.

So, why has this dire situation developed and what is the justification for my unease?  A Public Forum to discuss electoral Reform was held on the evening of May 22, 2019 at the Goodwill Parish Hall in Dominica.  The Caribbean Region and the World probably took little notice of the event, but historically, I believe it will be recorded as a sentinel activity that heralded Dominica's descent into Hell; this event heralded the transition from civility to police control of the peoples' business. This staged event (forum) was meant to give the impression that a) the Dominica Electoral Commission was independent, b) the Dominican public is being educated about the electoral process and c) things are just fine and dandy on the island. Nothing could be further from the truth and reality.

So, what is all the hoopla about? In a nutshell, the Labor Administration insist on maintaining a bloated voters lists, full of Dominicans who reside abroad, under the guise of protecting fundamental rights. This is the only way they can continue to steal electoral victory in Dominica. A clean voters list, free from names of dead persons and persons who have been out of island for more than 5 years, is their ultimate nightmare. Such a list, no doubt, is the one-way ticket to nowhere for those currently clinging to power in Dominica; a bloated list of voter is their lifeline to the halls of power and their freedom so they will do what ever it takes..... In contrast, the opposition parties vehemently denounce the idea of confirming overseas voters because a) a significant portion of  these Dominican born person have been out of island for more than 5 consecutive years, b) their participation in voting during elections are in contravention of the laws and c) their presence on the voters list corrupts the system; these Dominicans residing abroad have been a magnet for treating, cheating and stealing during Dominica's elections for the past 3 cycles.

I was particularly concerned and upset about the optics on display at the recent forum. This was a public form was being held to discuss the way forward for electoral reform in Dominica. Yet, a squad of 70-80 heavily armed Police officers showed up to intimidate those who were not invited to this charade. Why was the Special Security Unit (SSU) of the Dominica Police Force armed with automatic long guns (M16s), tear gas and sidearms? Why were they dressed in military fatigue?   There have been two other such fora in the past 3-4 months without such display of fire-power and intimidation tactics.  Is the Police Commissioner (Daniel Carbon), who seems to respond only to Roosevelt Skerrit and Anthony Astaphan, trying to precipitate a crisis that will ensure that electoral reform does not occur? The reason the presence of heavily armed, mostly unwilling Police Officers, is baffling but the public needs to know why Carbon and the Labor Administration are so scarred of having a discussion. 

Secondly, the forum was a Labor Party Affair. Some members of the constitutionally independent Electoral Commission were excluded from planing the Forum. The only people in the loop were Labor Party Supporters and Sympathizers. Shamefully, some members of the Electoral Commission learnt of this Forum at the time it was announced to the public.  Shame on Gerald Burton who should go down in infamy as a Lackey of the Labor Party rather than the Chairman of the Constitutionally independent  Electoral Commission. To add salt to the raw wound, Mr. Burton spent all of his time at the Forum defending the position of the Labor Administration rather than giving a balanced position on the challenges encountered by the Commission in attempting to execute electoral reform.  He should have left the politicking to the members of parliament on the Forum. Instead, he sided with the current Administration. This is despicable.  I say to Gerald Burton, if you still have a conscience, you should do the honorable thing and resign from the Dominica Electoral, Commission. Blood will be shed, people will die if you chose to continue on the current path to doing the bidding of a 'has been administration which has stolen Dominica's Money and outlived its welcome'

So what did we learn from this forum? Likely one thing. Gerald Burton indicated that there will not be sufficient time for introduction of voter ID cards and to cleanse the list. How idiotic and stupid? Mr. Burton should be schooled and if he can't learn he should be run-out of office. By way of example, one can consider another commonwealth country, Ghana with population of 28 million. In 2016, the electoral commission in that country was able to cleanse their list in 6 months. In Dominica, population 70,000 (four hundred times smaller than Ghana), Mr. Gerald Burton now tells us eleven months is insufficient time to cleanse the list.  

There were other concerning sideshows in the Forum, like Foreign minister Francine Baron behaving like a deranged Labor Party hack rather than a Lawyer. She lied constantly, especially contending that elections in Dominica have been free from fraud when she is a member of a Party which has spent millions of dollars transporting voters from the other islands and North America. Likewise Attorney General, Levy Peter behaved like a confused intellectual who made no sense and from whom the public gained nothing but spin. Since these were sideshows, they will not be dignified or given the light of day. These persons should be scorned, but the person who deserve the wrath of Dominicans is Gerald Burton.  

Thanks for your time and consideration.


Long-term Goodwill Resident

copied to:
Human Rights Watch
Amnesty International
Kofi Annan Foundation
OAS Secretary General