ROSEAU, Dominica, CMC – Former prime minister and President of the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP), Edison James, Friday called on Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit to “walk the talk” regarding the olive branch he has extended to the opposition during the celebrations marking the island’s 39th year of political independence from Britain on Thursday.
“I would love to see him give effect to handing over the olive branch. It is one thing to talk….but I want to see you act,” James said during a live interview on the State–owned radio station of the Dominica Broadcasting Corporation (DBS) from the rural village of Marigot.
“I heard the talk, I am looking for the walk,” James said, as the island is celebrating National Day of Service.
During his address at the annual Independence Day Parade at the Windsor Park, Skerrit said that his office is always open for consultation on matters of state.
“Where there is disunity and confusion, men stop listening to each other and can accomplish nothing,” he said.
“I say to the Leader of the Opposition and all the other members of the opposition that the office of the prime minister is open if they wish to consult him on any matters of state.
“I extend an olive branch to the Opposition that as we join hands in building this country to overcome the present day challenges and make Dominica a more prosperous nation for our people because if we stand united we could achieve great things, but if we are divided we will not benefit from what God has in store for us.”
Skerrit’s ruling Dominica Labour Party (DLP) and the UWP are at loggerheads ever since the 2009 general elections that the DLP won by a significant margin.
The UWP has gone to court challenging the outcome of the polls, including the victories of Skerrit and his Education Minister Petter St. Jean on the grounds that they were not eligible to be nominated to contest the polls.
A High Court judge is expected to hand down a ruling on the matter by year end.
The UWP has also claimed that it is barred from airing its views on the State-owned media, and James, a former DBS chairman, said the “nation’s station should be available to the elected representatives of the country”.