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Dominica’s ruling party wins 4th straight term with fewer seats

The red constituencies are those of the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) while the blue belongs to the United Workers Party.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit Monday retained power in the Caribbean island of Dominica for a fourth straight term but with fewer seats in an election that his opponent charged was “tainted” with irregularities.

Addressing the nation, Skerrit conceded that his Dominica Labour Party (DLP) lost three seats to the United Workers Party (UWP) led by Lennox Linton. “. “In this new term, there will be a stronger opposition in Parliament. I accept the will and verdict of the people,” said Skerrit.

The DLP won 15 of the 21 Parliamentary seats, while the remaining six went to the UWP which had mustered three seats in the previous election held in 2009.

The Prime Minister did not dwell on what might have caused his party to lose three additional seats. “Unfortunately, some of our dear candidates were not elected for some reason. You have my sympathy and my ongoing support and I am sure that you will continue to serve Dominica in some noble capacity,” he said.

For his part, Linton accused the DLP administration of stubbornly rejecting numerous calls for electoral reform including a fresh registration of all residents on the 754 square kilometer island to address concerns that the list contains the names of 72,489 eligible voters which is more than the island’s total population of 72,301. The UWP leader has also flayed the DLP administration for allegedly paying air-fares for hundreds of overseas-based Dominicans to return home to vote.

The DLP campaigned on what it said was its record of improved physical infrastructure, better social services and improved housing.  The UWP’s platform was against alleged corruption, economic mismanagement, general mismanagement and nepotism.

The Prime Minister appealed for national unity rather than division.

Observer missions deployed by the Caribbean Community (Caricom) and the Organisation of American States (OAS) will release reports, including recommendations, about the general election.