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Dominica’s people vote for a new Parliament

Roseau, Dec 8 (EFE).- Dominicans go to the polls Monday to elect a new Parliament with the ruling Dominica Labor Party facing a formidable challenge from its main rival, the United Workers Party.

The UWP, fighting its first election under the new leadership of Lennox Linton, is urging voters to oust the DLP administration of Roosevelt Skerrit, which it has accused of being corrupt.

The 250 polling stations in this former British colony opened at 7:00 a.m. and are set to close at 5:00 p.m., allowing the estimated 72,484 eligible voters an opportunity to cast their ballot.

There are 44 candidates, including two independents, vying for the 21 seats in Parliament, though the outsiders – one of them is Carbal Douglas, son of late Prime Minister Roosevelt “Rosie” Douglas – are not expected to have an impact on the battle between the DLP and the SWP.

There has been some controversy since the Electoral Commission over revealed that the number of people on the voting rolls exceeds the island’s current official population of just under 70,000.

The commission, however, says that names can only be removed when it can be proved that the individuals have died or emigrated or are otherwise ineligible to vote.

The UWP has said brought the issue of the electoral list to the attention of the Organization of American States, which is observing the elections along with the Commonwealth and the Caribbean Community.

Skerrit, 42, a close ally of China and Venezuela, is running on his record, while Linton, 56, has already indicated that his UWP party would re-examine Dominica’s relationship with Beijing