Dominica Gov’t wants apology from OAS official

Dominica Gov’t wants apology from OAS official

Sunday, February 10, 2019

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ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC) — The Dominica g overnment is demanding an apology from the Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, after he posted a message on social media regarding free and fair elections in the country.

In the message posted on his Twitter account on Thursday, Almagro said he had met with the island’s former ambassador to the OAS, Crispin Gregoire, who “expressed his concern that the upcoming elections in Dominica are not free and fair.

“He also requested OAS official assistance to help ensure a level playing field in the country,” Almagro added.

But in a two-page letter to Almagro on Friday and reproduced in the local media here, Foreign and Caricom Affairs Minister Francine Baron demanded that the OAS Secretary General immediately remove the message on his Twitter account as well as apologise.

“You are the head of the Organisation of American States, an organisation that the Government of Dominica has invited for the last two elections, to monitor our elections in Dominica. As with any system in the world, our electoral system is not perfect, but observers have consistently held that our elections are free and fair,” she wrote informing him that general elections are constitutionally due in 2020.

She said that recommendations have been made regarding ways to improve the electoral system “chief of which is through the introduction of voter identification cards and the revision of the voters list”.

Baron said that the Electoral Commission has approved a system for the introduction of the cards and the legislation to facilitate the process has been drafted.

She attempted to give a detailed account of the measures being followed regarding the situation, adding “the Opposition took the opportunity at the consultation to raise a different objection to the legislation.

‘They have insisted that the Electoral Commission should not go overseas to our population centres, to allow citizens, who are already on the voters list, to participate in the confirmation process and that confirmation should only be conducted in Dominica”.

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