Former prime minister gives advice to opposition party

ROSEAU, Dominica, CMC – Former prime minister Patrick John Friday urged the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) to file a vote of no confidence in the Roosevelt Skerrit government and end their boycott of parliament.

Speaking on a radio programme here, John, who led Dominica into independence under a Dominica Labour Party (DLP) administration (DLP) disagreed with the policy of the UWP to boycott Parliament over what it claimed to have been a flawed general election in 2009.

The DLP, under Skerrit won 18 of the 21 seats in the elections, but the UWP, which governed this Caribbean island from 1995-2000, has been accusing his administration of corruption.

“My suggestion to the United Workers Party is to return to the parliament and make noise in the parliament, bring out the issues,” John told radio listeners.

He said a vote of no confidence would allow for the Opposition to expose the alleged corruption practices of the government during the debate.

“The United Workers Party should move a vote of censure against the Speaker, (Alix Boyd-Knights) which gives them the opportunity to expose all the wrongs that the Speaker has done against the opposition,” John added.

The former prime minister, whose government was forced out of office following a popular uprising in 1979, said while the UWP would lose the vote of no confidence in the parliament, it would nonetheless give the population an opportunity to hear its concerns.

Last week, a High Court dismissed an attempt by the UWP to get Prime Minister Skerrit and his Education Minister Petter Saint Jean removed from parliament on the grounds that they had been illegally nominated to contest the December 2009 general election.

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