Dominica opposition leader says election was stolen
Lennox Linton, Dominica’s opposition leader has declared that the results of the December 6 elections are illegitimate. And his party, the United Workers Party (UWP) will not recognise the government because it is a result of a stolen election.
Linton made these remarks during a live Facebook broadcast on Saturday night, December 7 during which he called for fresh elections to take place in Dominica.
“…The elections were not free, the elections were not fair. The elections were rigged. They were stolen and so we don’t recognise the results in our collective responsibility for the advancement of global civilisation, we should not elevate skullduggery to a virtue by congratulating those who succeed with dishonesty,” he said.
He also said that “we cannot recognise governments where ruling parties pervert democracies, pervert the will of the people by stealing elections and so we don’t recognise this government that has come as a result of the theft of elections of 2019”.
Results of the December 6 General Elections show Dominica Labour Party (DLP) winning in 17 of the 21 constituencies, leaving the UWP with only 4.
Linton said that almost 40,000 people cast votes in the elections and according to the figures, 23,300 voted for the DLP while 16,300 voted for the UWP.
But he says that up to 13,000 of DLP votes came from Dominicans who were bribed to return to the country to cast their vote.
“So let us say it is not as high as 13,000, 12,000, it was 8000 people who came, bribed with airline tickets, bribed with ferry tickets, bribed with spending money, Dominica, just to cast a vote for the Dominica Labour Party,” the opposition leader said. “All of that money, paid for, all of that money coming from the sale of the passports of the People of Dominica but used in the service of the Dominica Labour Party illegally, against the law, against the spirit of the constitution, against the spirit of our electoral system in a government of the people, for the people, by the people with votes of conscience, not dollar bills, not bribes.”
Using these calculations, Linton said that the people who actually lived in Dominica and voted for the DLP is less than the votes received by his party.
And it is based on this theory hat he says more people living in Dominica voted for the UWP, which means that the election was in fact decided by Dominicans living overseas who accepted bribes to come home and vote, only to return to their homes in various jurisdictions.
“We note the observations of the observer missions, two of them who far, the Commonwealth and the OAS, which have indicated in broad that the elections reflected the will of the people who voted, whatever that means,” Linton said.
He continued: “the elections reflected the will of the people who voted including 8000 people who were bribed by the Dominica Labour Party to come from some other country into Dominica to influence the results of the election and any observer mission, any observer mission is supposed to recognise such a blight in an electoral system or process in a country where it is observing elections”.
The opposition leader said his party spoke with observer missions and pointed out what the biggest threats were to a fair election, namely the lack of electoral reform and the purchasing and bribing of overseas votes.
Linton said that given the large numbers of persons that came in via charter flights and ferries to influence the results of the elections, he does not believe that observer missions “could truthfully conclude that the elections were free and fair when they knew about these challenges”.
The leader of the UWP thanked the people who wanted “real change” and came out to vote for his party in the elections.
He said that the people have had their hopes and dreams set aside by another stolen election and he expressed concern for young Dominicans who have been “going nowhere fast with their lives, trapped in that never ending cycle which the struggle to survive just keeps getting harder and harder and harder”.
“That is where we stand. We at the Workers Party consider that the [four] seats that we hold were properly won because they have nothing to do with bribing or bringing in of any overseas votes. We submitted ourselves to the requirements of the constitutional rule of law and were elected as the representatives of our separate communities in the Parliament of Dominica,” Linton said.
He added that those who “ stole elections in their separate constituencies will need to answer for what they have done because what they have done is wrong”.
“Stealing elections is not right and the people of Dominica must rise up and stand up to make sure that those who have done wrong to Dominica, those who have moved purposefully to provoke democracy and subvert the will of the people in Dominica, must be made to pay for it,” Linton said. “That’s the only how we move on, that’s the only how we stand up and do justice to our role, collective responsibility of advancing global civilisation and democracy around the world.”