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Dominica’s opposition leader strikes back; blames police for unrest in Roseau

By SNO Staff

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Linton said his party had nothing to do with the unrest

ROSEAU, Dominica — Political Leader of the United Workers Party (UWP) in Dominica Lennox Linton has struck back at the country’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit who blamed the party for civil unrest that rocked Roseau on Monday night.

In an address to the nation on Tuesday afternoon, Linton made it clear that the UWP had nothing to do with the disturbances, saying instead it was instigated by members of the police force.

“I want to make it clear upfront that the United Workers Party is not directing any protest action,” he said. “I want to be clear this afternoon that the incident on the evening of November 18, 2019 was instigated by members of the police squad.”

On Tuesday morning Skerrit blamed the UWP for the incident which saw the police clash with protesters who have been calling for electoral reform on the island. The protesters had been gathering for a day near the official residence of the president seeking an audience with him on the matter.

He said the days of protests is the approach of the current leadership of the United Workers Party to conflict resolution.

In his response to Skerrit, Linton instead blamed the police for the incident.

“It was not the protesters but the police that interrupted the flow of traffic to the entire south of the island because of a directive from high authority that the people should be prevented at gunpoint from having an audience with the president, the key guardian of the constitution,” he stated. “It is the dispensing of tear gas canisters against persons who carried only placards, that was an act of violence.”

Linton also accused Skerrit of “violently in breach of the oath of office of which he swore to serve without fear or favor, affection or ill will”.

“And that in the execution of the functions of the office of prime minister he will honor, uphold and preserve the constitution of the Commonwealth of Dominica with favor to himself and ill will to the people of Dominica, Mr. Skerrit has violently attacked the people’s right to free and fair elections and he is unrelentingly assaulting the constitution of the rule of law and good governance of our nation.”

Linton stated that the protests were being carried out by the people of Dominica who want to secure free and fair election with integrity “as the backbone of government of the people, for the people and by the people”.

“That is their right,” he remarked. “They are citizens of the Commonwealth of Dominica. Dominica belongs to them as it belongs to all of us.”

Linton said that his party stands firmly with the people of Dominica, protesting and standing for their rights by insisting on electoral reform.

“These protest actions did not fall from the sky, they are not being pursued by aliens,” Linton said. “The people involved are Dominicans, Dominican human beings with rights, with concerns….”

 

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