As Dominica celebrated its 41st anniversary of independence November 3, the country also observed the eve of another very important event in the life of its people—the “upcoming” General Elections.
According to Bishop Gabriel Malzaire of Roseau, like independence, the General Elections, in which every eligible Dominican voter is afforded the opportunity and privilege of having a say in the governance of the country, is one of the greatest symbols of the maturity of a nation. As such, “we are duty bound to act accordingly”.
“While enjoying the full benefit of this festive moment, I wish to invite every patriotic national, to take some time to ponder deeply on the future of the country, as it prepares to engage in this sacred act,” he said.
The Bishop’s full Independence Day message ‘Independence and Hope…’ was published via online news source Dominica News Online.
In it, he challenged all citizens: Government, Parliamentary Opposition, the religious community, the Media Association and the entire civil society to take a conscientious look at the Election Code issued by the Dominican Christian Council, which has served throughout the years of independence, to guide the conduct of the various persons and groups during the pre-election period.
Bishop Malzaire highlighted elements of the Code and the responsibility of political parties, politicians and party supporters, citizens eligible to vote and personnel of the media. He also mentioned the role of pastors and preachers in promoting unity in their communities and refraining from saying or doing anything likely to be interpreted as partisan politics.
Their responsibility is to give, at all times and especially during the period before and up to election time, moral and spiritual guidance to their “flocks”.
Bishop Malzaire said it is his hope that in the days to come, the representatives of the various groups: the Dominica Labour Party, United Workers Party, Freedom Party, Dominica Christian Council, Dominica Association of Evangelical Churches and the Media Association will meet to affix their signatures to the document as a sign of their commitment to work for justice, love and peace in the country.
“May the good Lord take us safely through this important time of decision-making,” he prayed.
Last Tuesday Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit called the election for December 6.