Skerrit on political challenges

The Dominican Prime Minister does not want to meddle in local politics.

However as a recent victor in a court challenge to election results in his country – Roosevelt Skerrit has personal knowledge of what such a challenge can do to a party attempting to govern.

The SLP is currently facing a legal challenge in three seats – one with the potential of drastically altering the November 28th election results.

Prime Minister Skerrit says political parties need to accept elections are won in ballot boxes and not the courts. On Tuesday January 10th, Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and his Education Minister Peter Saint Jean survived a legal challenge to their election victory.

The opposition UWP in Dominica had taken the two men to court alleging when they were nominated to contest the 2009 elections, they were in possession of dual citizenship in contravention of Dominican law.

In a 49 page ruling – Justice Gertel Thom – ruled there was nothing to disqualify either man from serving in Parliament.

A clearly amused Skerrit addressed his matter and what he calls a growing trend in the region to challenge election results in the courts.

The Dr Kenny Anthony administration is currently facing its own legal challenge from the UWP in the constituencies of Babonneau, Gros-Islet and Choiseul.

While Skerrit declined to comment on the Saint Lucia challenge directly he did weigh in on why he thought these challenges were unnecessary.

He says elections are won in polling stations, not the courts and that the will of the people should always triumph.

The Dominica Prime Minister is one of the OECS leaders attending the 54th meeting of the OECS Authority taking place this week in Saint Lucia.

The UWP legal challenge in the three constituencies has been adjourned to March 15th.

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