(SNO) – Bishop of the Diocese of Roseau, His Lordship Gabriel Malzaire has described the situation in Dominica as ‘sad.’
His remarks came in light of of civil unrest which rocked the island’s capital on Monday evening.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Malzaire said the current climate in the country must be corrected.
“To me it is a very sad situation, that’s as much as I would say,” he stated. “It’s a very sad situation and I think we need to work towards correcting it because it is not a nice feature at all.”
Recently, the Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, announced that general election will be held on December 6.
The opposition United Workers Party (UWP) and several civic groups have been calling for electoral reform on the island. They say such reforms will reduce the ruling party’s advantage at the polls.
They have been calling on the Skerrit-led Dominica Labour Party (DLP) administration to clean up the voters’ list, issue voter identification cards, regulate campaign finance and grant equal access to state media resources to all political parties.
For several days protests have been held on the matter but it turned ugly on Monday night when police clashed with protesters who were demanding to see the President.
In the war of words that followed, Skerrit blamed the UWP for the incident while the UWP blamed the police.
At Wednesday’s press conference, Malzaire stated that every Dominican deserves a peaceful election.
“I think everybody deserves a peaceful election and everybody is looking forward to a peaceful election because the loss of Dominica is the loss of absolutely every single person,” he stated.
He said he has invited the Catholic community to fast and pray in preparation for election day and to dispose themselves to something peaceful.
“Anything other than that is not worthy of what we are doing,” the bishop said. “So I would pray that the election would be able to go on as peacefully as possible.”