Updated: May 16, 2019
                                   Gerald Burton, Chair, Dominica Electoral Commission
A Public Forum, entitled 'The Electoral Process, The way Forward' is being organized by Dominica Electoral Commission Chair Gerald Burton in 'collabo' with the governing Dominica Labor Party. Others included in this 'distinctive' milieu are the Dominica State College and the University of the West Indies Open Campus in Dominica. The event is set for May 22,2019 at the Goodwill Parish Hall. Ostensibly, this Forum is set to occur in the wake of  a recent forum organized by a coalition of Civil Society Groups and Churches which was conveniently skipped by all representatives from the Labor Administration and their chief operative (Senior Council Tony Astaphan).   Recall that Tony Astaphan is the same person who blatantly violated the Constitution by interfering with the work of the Electoral Commission in 2008, warning current PM Roosevelt Skerrit that the Commission was planning electoral Reform and that one of  the Administration-recommended Commissioner, Mr Richard Charles, should be removed. In fact, Mr. Charles was removed and replaced by the 'placeholder' Alick Lawrence. The rest is history. To date, Alick Lawrence remains on the Commission as a useless Placeholder who does nothing except ensure that the Electoral Commission accomplishes nothing.

So, lets get back to this planned Forum to he held next week  in Goodwill, Dominica.  What is the purpose of this forum?  It is billed as an exercise to 'inform and educate the general public on electoral matters'.  In reality, it is meant to achieve the contrary; it is an exercise to confuse and obfuscate public discourse on electoral reform.  The drumbeat for electoral reform in Dominica has been beating since 2008, lead by the opposition parties. Their pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Gerald Burton has been on the Commission for more than 15 years. He serves a singular purpose - to ensure that the Electors List remains bloated and continue locking-in Labor Party hold on power. Except for his pudginess, he has done quite well in his role as the ultimate quelcher of the people's will for Free and Fair Elections. This upcoming forum is one more such move, aimed at stifling the will of the Dominican Electorate and placing another nail in the coffin of 'Electoral Reform'.  What he is hoping to do is run-out the Clock to the point where election must the held according to the Constitution. At that point, Roosevelt Skerrit will ask the worthless President, Charles Savarin, to dissolve Parliament and elections will be called. Skerrit is hoping to repeat the play he has executed for the past three election cycle and emerge victorious. But, Alas, Not this time!

Recall that Gerald Burton is the same person who endorsed the Labor Administration nonsense of going overseas last year to confirm voters and institute National ID Cards. Did the Commission hold a public forum prior to the endorsement of that change? No! Not till the Public put a stop to that ill-conceived nonstarter.  In response, Roosevelt Skerrit, Minister of Finance and Lord of Dominica, withheld Funds from the Commission in direct violation of the Constitution. Now Gerald Burton, who heads an Independent, Constitutionally mandated Body, is again playing footsie  with Democracy in Dominica. He realizes that Labor Administration is losing its grip on the National Narrative and this Forum is another ploy to control the Agenda. 

So, what should happen? Dominicans should flood the Venue with overwhelming numbers demonstrating against Gerald Burton, Francine Baron and Levy Peter. The latter characters are not good stewards. Francine has raged against current OAS [Organization of American States] Secretary General, Luis Almagro, for simply supporting the wishes of Dominicans to have 'Free and Fair Elections'.  Levy Peter has tried to interfere with the work of the Electoral Commission by advocating removal of Commissioners Wayne James and Hilary Shillingford for updating the Dominican public on the work of the Commission. Read here  A distinct message should be sent to Mr. Burton and the other in the Clown Car: 'Stop messing with Dominica's Constitution'! Mr. Burton, please do your work as Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission;  Stop 'conspiring'  with the Labor Party Administration, as the Commission is neither responsive to the Administration in power, Opposition parties or other operatives. It is time for Dominicans to send a resounding and unambiguous message to Gerald Burton, Francine Baron and Levy Peter: For Dominica to  excel, Gerald, Francine, Levy and their manipulator (Skerrit) must be permanently expelled from the reigns of Power