A city street in Roseau, Dominica. (FILE)
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ROSEAU, Dominica – Police Commissioner Daniel Carbon Monday appealed for peace and calm in Dominica amid allegations of violence during the campaign leading up to the December 6 general election.
Carbon, speaking on the state-owned DBS radio, said that acts of violence had been reported to law enforcement authorities and he was appealing to all stakeholders to ensure that the campaign is conducted in a peaceful environment.
“General election day is on the sixth of December 2019, and tomorrow is Nomination Day. Dominica is a democracy and general elections must be conducted in an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity.
“The general election campaign must be conducted in an atmosphere of peace, tranquillity, love, and mutual respect for each other regardless on which political side you are on. Since the start of the general election campaign there have been numerous threats of violence and it has to my mind…degenerating into actual acts of violence,” Carbon said.
He said that political candidates from the two major political parties have been complaining that their posters and billboards are being destroyed and as recent as Monday morning in the southern constituency of Point Michel the political billboard of the candidate of the ruling party was pulled down and “set on fire on the public road with tyres.
“That is not what Dominica should be at this present time,” carbon said warning that the police would be taking action to ensure the campaign is a peaceful one.
“It is a fact that we are a developing country and we must demonstrate to the entire world that we are people who observe and respect the rule of law and order,” he said, adding that he was giving the general public the re-assurance that the “police shall ensure that the general election campaign and the general election will be executed in an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity”.
He said that while the police are not looking to be involved in any confrontation with party supporters, he has nonetheless noticed at ‘some political meetings, so called protest action that there are some people are bent on provoking the police to cause some form of reaction.
“The police are sensible, they have been exercising a lot of restraint. We will not look for confrontation but we must exercise the authority and the power we have lawfully. Let me again advise the people who have criminal intent and are bent on doing criminal acts to refrain, desist from doing those things,” Carbon said.
The ruling Dominica Labour Party (DLP) headed by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is seeking a fifth consecutive term in office. It will be challenged by the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP), led by Opposition leader Lennox Linton. The other opposition party, the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) has said it would not be contesting the polls, but would lend support to the UWP.
In the 2014 general election, the DLP won 15 of the 21 seats in the Parliament with the remainder going to the UWP. (CMC)