Heavily armed security personnel are guarding Dominica’s two airports, in the wake of concerns by Leader of the Opposition United Workers Party (UWP), Lennox Linton that the incumbent Dominica Labour Party (DLP) was flying in persons to vote in next Monday’s general election.
The UWP has repeatedly accused Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit’s DLP of planning to rig the December 8 polls by taking advantage of legal loopholes so that overseas-based registrants could be flown into to cast their ballots and leave.
Plans by the UWP to confront plane-loads of would-be voters on their arrival have been aborted, but the Dominica Air and Sea Ports Authority (DASPA) has said that security at the Canefield and Douglas-Charles (Melville Hall) Airports have been heightened in keeping with international regulations.
“There are international provisions which we have to carry out and the necessary measures are being taken by DASPA to assure the protection and safety of all persons utilizing the airports in Dominica,” said DASPA’s Chief Executive Officer, Benoit Bardouille.
He said that vehicles would be searched and only persons on legitimate business would be allowed entry.
The Elections Office has revealed that the number of eligible voters is more than the total population- 72,489 versus 72,301. Chief Elections Officer, Steven La Rocque has said that the law does not provide for fresh re-registration, but instead continuous registration and claims and objections.
Meanwhile President of the Dominica Christian Council, Josiah Hilton has called for peace and restraint during the election period. “They should go out to the polls and do the best that they can to ensure that we preserve the democratic rights and the democratic opportunities that we enjoy here in Dominica.
“My prayer is that we would have elections that are free from violence and that they are conducted in an orderly way in keeping with civil society,” he said.
Major campaign issues are alleged corruption, mismanagement, nepotism and the need to preserve and promote social programmes.
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IN TODAY’S PROGRAMME, YOU CAN HEAR
Tension grips Dominica as the island heads into general election
Caricom preparing to crackdown on dangerous non-food goods
Britain slashes Air Passenger Duty – a move that has been welcomed by the Caribbean Tourism Organisation
Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados ink agreement to deal with unauthorized fishing
The St. Lucia government and the Civil Service Association in gridlock over wage negotiations
And we hear about perceived corruption in Guyana