PM dismisses rumours of general elections

ROSEAU, Dominica: Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has dismissed speculation that he will announce a new date for general elections just over a year after his ruling Dominica Labour Party (DLP) was returned to office for a third consecutive term.

“I know that none of you in here were so naïve to expect the calling of elections. However, there are those out there who wanted a date. I feel obligated to give them one. Therefore I am pleased to announce that general elections in Dominica shall be held in 2014,” Skerrit said last Sunday at the DLP annual delegates’ conference in Grand Fond.

Voters gave the DLP an 18-3 majority in the December 2009 general election. The main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) has claimed the election was marred by voter irregularities.

Skerrit and his education minister, Petter St. Jean, are currently facing allegations of possessing dual citizenship when they contested the polls.

However, Skerrit told supporters that his government would continue to work to bring development regardless of the efforts by the UWP.

“While we are working, the others are talking and walking,” said Skerrit. “I urge you to remain focused, remain united, and remain steadfast in your support for the policies of the Dominica Labour Party. Do not be distracted by the other side. Your government is working for you.”

At the conference, Skerrit said his government, with the help of friendly donor countries, had accomplished significant improvements in agriculture and infrastructure. The improvements include the Chinese-funded West Coast Highway, a Morocco-funded hotel now under construction in the northern town of Portsmouth and a Venezuela-funded coffee processing plant.

“There are hundreds of millions of dollars on infrastructural projects taking place in Dominica and to date the workers of Dominica have not been called upon to find an additional dollar to contribute to the cause. Not only have we not increased taxes in any fundamental way but we have also spared future generations from having to pay back anything.

“Most countries in this economic environment are forced to borrow or increase taxes to balance their budget and certainly to provide infrastructural development. This government is keeping the wheels of development turning and with minimum costs to both current and future generations,” said Skerrit.

Skerrit said his government was also planning on a new state of the art general hospital to be built with funding from China.

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