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Election 2000, by JulyEye on the Campaign trail - Their politics and their parties.

Election 2000, by July

Sq. km: 750
Population: 74,000
Capital: Roseau

The island's Executive:

The president is elected for a five year term by parliament, and the government is formed by the United Workers Party (UWP).

The Parliament:
The House of Assembly has 32 members, 21 members that are elected for a five Year term in single-seat constituencies. There are nine (9) appointed senators, the Speaker and 1 ex-officio member.

In 1995, the United Workers' Party won 11 seats (34.4%), the Dominica Freedom Party 5 (35.8%) and the Dominica Labour Party 5 (29.6%) of the 21 constituencies.

…. "During the Miocene period, over 26 million years ago, Dominica and her sister islands were beginning to take shape. The seabed in this area was already covered in thick layers of sediment, which had been washed down by the rivers of South America from the lands, which now make up the Guianas, Venezuela and Colombia. Beneath this sediment, pressure was building up in the earth's crust as the thick tectonic plates pushed and ground against each other, moving like heavy rafts upon the hot soft mantle heated by the fiery core at the centre of the earth.

… "Our planet's solid surface is a restless jigsaw of these abutting, diverging and colliding slabs called rectonic plates. Two of these plates meet along the curved line where our islands now stand. To the East Side is the Atlantic or South American Plate beneath the Atlantic Ocean, which is been pushed westward. Our islands sit on edge of the Caribbean Plate, which is being pushed eastward. As these two plates collide into each other from opposite directions, the Atlantic Plate has been forced under the edge of the Caribbean Plate. We are therefore sitting on top what geologists and geophysicists call a subduction zone. (The Dominica Story)

".... We shall pursue a policy of the good neighbour and the non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. As a corollary, therefore, we would not welcome in our internal affairs by any countries.

We shall support the cause for the Protection of Human Rights and the fight to bring Peace to the World.
First Prime Minister of Dominica, Patrick John We intend to respect and preserve the right to life and liberty, to property and in short to adhere to all the fundamental freedoms which we have had enshrined in our Constitution.

We intend to adhere to the rule of law, and to respect and to except, as we have done in the past, the independence of the judiciary and the decisions of the Court."

No November 3rd, 1978, Dominica's first Prime Minister Patrick Roland John, addressed the Nation.

Dominica gained its independence on 3rd November 1978 and from since then, the country has seen four (4) political leaders. Will the Nature Island as we call it, see a fifth (5) Prime Minister in the year 2000? ÇaKaFete will follow the road to general elections, which will be held by July, 2000 according to PM James.

(The following text is an excerpt from Eugenia Charles Independence address on Nov. 3rd, 1978)
".... To begin with they have given us the Westminster model of Government. We have adapted it to our circumstances and left out the Upper Chamber. But did not we leave out more than that in the pattern set before us? Anyone who has sat in the stranger's gallery in the House of Commons at Westminster and seen the complete control which the Speaker maintains over the members and has sampled his impartially and complete lack of bias equaled only by his strict adherence to the rule that he must not contribute or take part in the debate, must marvel at the travesty which we have made of our copy of that model. 1980 - 1994
Former Prime Minister Eugenia Charles
The former Prime Minister of Dominica, Mary Eugenia Charles, was the Opposition leader when Dominica gained independence from Great Britian in 1978. In 1980, she became the island's third Prime Minister and led her Freedom Party through three terms. The party lost the 1995 elections to the United Workers Party. She had already given up the leadership of the party leaving active politics.
Out methods are almost a parody of the conduct of affairs in the House of Commons. The manner in which we have rejected this part of the lesson in democracy is a cause for deep mourning. In our new Constitution we have insisted in pretending to keep to that pattern. It would be good to believe that it will not be pretence bit that with Independence will come wisdom and understanding and a greater sense of values. You must excuse the cynic in me, Mr. Speaker, who is quite certain that not only have we not learned the lesson in the past but that it is lost to us for the immediate future.''

… "I paid the political penalties by being maligned, for my 'so-called' boldness, in bringing to the attention of Cabinet the alarming developments of which most Cabinet colleagues were ignorant. Yes then, it is reported, openly expressed a desire to eliminate me politically." Words of former Prime Minister Oliver Seraphin in his resignation letter to the then Prime Minister Patrick John, as the first minister to resigned from the John government because of the 29 May, 1979 crisis.

Former Prime Oliver J Seraphine
Seraphin became prime minister out of the Committee for National Salvation (CNS) formed by people from the Left, the moderates, the church, the business sector, the farmers, and the union who all joined in the midst of developments arising out of the crisis.

As tempers flared among Committee members because of different ideologies, the debate on constitutional or non-constitutional solutions created heated argument among the CNS members. Emotional Left wing elements accused the then Opposition Freedom Party of a 'sellout' when Opposition Leader in Parliament Mary Eugenia Charles agreed to link with the remnants of the battered Labour Party to from a constitutional Assembly under the Prime Ministership of Seraphin. Seraphin who ran for the Salisbury seat lost.

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Created: Saturday, July 07, 1999, 12:45:45 AM