The Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) has presented its preliminary findings on the 6 December general elections in Dominica.
Elections results crowned the Dominica Labour Party (DLP), led by the current Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, with 19 out of 21 seats. The remaining two seats were secured by independent candidates.
Polls only took place in 15 of the country’s 21 constituencies.
The COG’s findings after the results showed that election day and the pre-election atmosphere were largely peaceful, and voters were free to exercise their franchise, the results of which are a collective will of those who voted.
However, the Group noted that while wholly consistent with the Constitution, the announcement of the snap elections on 6 November created certain challenges for some stakeholders with opposition parties taking the decision to boycott the elections, due to the alleged lack of progress on electoral reform.
Issuing the Group’s interim statement in Roseau, Amina Mohamed, Chairperson of the Group and former Kenyan Cabinet Secretary, said: “The Group commends and congratulates all Dominicans who participated peacefully in an important civic exercise.
“The Group also congratulates the election authorities and polling staff, the political parties, candidates, the police, and candidates’ agents for their respective roles in ensuring the success of the electoral process.
“It is the Group’s hope and expectation that the peaceful atmosphere that characterised Election Day will prevail. All Dominicans, especially political parties, candidates, and their supporters, are encouraged to continue to show magnanimity and uphold their commitments to peace, in a spirit of national unity and solidarity.”
The Group praised the large number of women and youth who participated in the electoral process, not only as candidates and voters but also as polling staff, party agents, and witnesses/observers.
The Group also reported that while there is room for improvement in verifying the identity of voters, no challenge to voter identity was observed at polling stations.
The Group arrived in Roseau on 1 December at the invitation of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, and were deployed across the country to observe all aspects of the election process including the pre-election environment, the opening of polling stations, the voting process, and the counting of ballots.