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(SNO) — Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, said he is not satisfied with the way in which his country is treating its past leaders, saying they must be acknowledged for their contribution at the highest level.
Addressing his country on Independence Day on November 3, he stated that he intends to write to the leader of the Opposition as early as this week on setting up a bi-partisan committee “to look at and make recommendations for the enactment of a Past Leader’s Protocol”.
“I do not wish to anticipate the work and recommendations of that committee, but, I am persuaded, that at this stage of our development, no former leader should be receiving, as a pension, anything less than the current salary of a minister of government,” he said. “Also, that they should not have to drive themselves or seek out transportation to official events, and furthermore, that they should be provided a State-sponsored vehicle every five years.”
He said Dominica is fortunate to have living leaders who were able to share in the island’s moment of national pride and celebration
“I think here of our very first prime minister and the man who led us into Independence, and was there to raise the very first flag. Today we salute Patrick John. The first leader of an independent Dominica. Then also there is Oliver Seraphin and Edison James,” Skerrit noted. “Reflecting on their contributions to our development, I am not satisfied that we have been as kind and generous to our past leaders, as we should be. I can understand what might have obtained 20, 30 or even 40 years ago. But this is not acceptable in today’s Dominica. And it will not be perpetuated under my watch.”
He said he hopes the Past Leader’s Protocol will be etched into law and practice to acknowledge the people who served Dominica at the highest level.
Skerrit stated that his views on the matter will be shared with the committee which will have its inaugural meeting at the end of this month.