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Dominica’s Electoral Office dismisses opposition’s concerns

As Dominica prepares for next month’s general election, the Electoral Office there says everything is on track for a free and fair poll despite concerns by the opposition United Workers Party (UWP).

The UWP has been demanding the use of voter identification cards and for a re-registration of persons across the 754 square kilometer island.

UWP Leader, Lennox Linton says the Electoral Office has been silent on re-registration of all Dominicans as well as the introduction of voter identification cards.

But Dominica’s Chief Elections Officer , Steven Larocque tells Caribbean News Desk that the law currently does not provide for a new registration of all persons on the island. Instead, he says there is provision for continuous registration and a claims and objections period.

On the demand for voter identification cards, Mr Larocque says there are plans by the sub-regional Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to provide residents with a multiple identification card.

He, however, says Dominica’s Elections Commission has decided against using that card for the general election because only about 5,000 persons have enrolled so far.

The Chief Elections Officer also says the law does not prohibit overseas-based Dominicans from registering and returning to vote in an election.

More than 70,000 persons are expected to vote for 21 constituency representatives