Opposition party outlines plans for Dominica
The main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) is promising to establish a Commission of Inquiry “to publicly inquire into the exit of Ross University from Dominica,” to Barbados should it win the December 6 general elections here.
In a 48 page manifesto, which the party released over the weekend, the UWP, is also promising to review the controversial Citizens by Investment (CBI) programme, through which foreign investors acquire Dominican citizenship in return for making a substantial financial contribution to the socio-economic development of the island.
The CBI has emerged as a major campaign issues here amid allegation of diplomatc passports being sold to foreigners under them scheme, with the UWP alleging that the proceeds are being used to finance the campaign of the ruling Dominica Labour Party (DLP).
The party is also pledging to reduce the size of the Cabinet “by at least forty per cent” and review the House of Assembly and Registration of Voters Legislation. The UWP has been calling for a reform of the electoral system and party activists have gone to the High Court here in a bid to postpone the elections to February next year.
The US-based Ross University had late last year decided to to relocate to Barbados after decades operating here
“Given the apparent support of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit for the relocation of Ross University to Barbados, the people of Dominica have a right to full disclosure of the 25-year agreement that allowed this to happen without notice. We need to know what are the unmet government obligations under the agreement that allowed Ross to relocate without breaching the agreement,” the UWP said in a statement in August last year.
The UWP said that if elected to office, it would revamp several key institutions within Dominica “to improve efficiency and accountability.
“Some institutions which have been identified to undergo this process include the Integrity Commission, the Judiciary, Local Government, the Civil Service, the Dominica Police Force, Statutory Boards, and the Electoral Commission.”
The party said that it also intends to build a new economic framework, driven by the private, public, co-operative and civil society sectors.
It said strategic aspects will include eco-tourism; information technology parks; the creation of a water industry as well as the formation of a cultural industry, the building an international airport and rebuilding the manufacturing sector.
There are also promises to transform the island’s energy sector to 100 per cent generation from multiple renewable sources by 2025, and the transition to the use 75 per cent electric vehicles by 2030.
UWP leader, Lennox Linton said his party vision for “our Isle of Beauty” is sustainable, harmonised growth and development in which every Dominican has an opportunity to have an education, proper health care, employment, an affordable home, a reasonable standard of living and an exceptional quality of life, in a peaceful and secure social and natural environment.”
Linton said that the UWP intends to reverse the” last 15 years ‘of lost progress through the games of petty partisan politics and the folly of governance dedicated to uniting people with hate,
“By sharing our blessings with a world in need, we will build a stronger, more competitive economy; a fairer society,” he added. (CMC)