Presenting an Address to the Nation by Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit
I am humbled by the overwhelming response of the electorate of Dominica to our appeal for the mandate to continue to govern Dominica for another five years.
Unfortunately, some of my Dear Candidates were not elected this time for some reason. You have my sympathy and my on-going support…… and I am sure that you will continue to serve Dominica in some noble capacity.
Also, I wish to welcome new members – Catherine Daniel, Roslyn Paul, Casius Darroux and the returning Ian Pinard to Parliament and public life.
By the same token, I wish to congratulate Mr. Lennox Linton, Political Leader of the United Workers Party, on his election to Parliament and also the other new opposition members.
In this new term, numerically speaking, there will be a stronger Opposition in Parliament. I accept the will and verdict of the people.
I want to sincerely thank Dominicans of all ages and political affiliations for conducting themselves properly throughout the campaign and minimizing the incidence of intimidation, violence and destruction which we often see taking place elsewhere.
I congratulate you all on demonstrating to the world that Dominica is now a MATURE DEMOCRACY. I thank you for showing that in the Commonwealth of Dominica, commonsense has triumphed over propaganda and the appeal to raw emotions.
I am convinced that the onslaught on poverty and ignorance by the Dominica Labour Party during the past 14 years has already begun to bear fruit.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I promise you that in our next term more resources will be devoted to wiping out poverty and ignorance from the island of Dominica. THE BEST IS YET TO COME.
I am particularly mindful of the fact that there are only four other occasions on which a ruling Party has been returned to office for the fourth consecutive time in the entire Caribbean Region.
I am therefore exceedingly proud that we have made history today in more ways than one. Not only have we conducted the best campaign ever seen in Dominica; not only have we won our fourth consecutive term in office; but we have also refuted the simplistic argument that democracy is about giving Parties two or three bites of the cherry and then sending them packing.
The truth is that in any country, especially in developing countries, a Party that consistently delivers on its promises and takes the country along a clear path of development can win a fourth consecutive term.
Tonight we can celebrate the fact that Dominicans will continue to enjoy a rising standard of living and quality of life as we have been doing since 2000.
I am delighted that you have carefully studied our record of achievements which were outlined in our 2014 Manifesto. Every Dominican in every age group and in every community has benefited from at least one of the economic and social policies and programmes we have introduced during the past 14 years.
I am sure that this is your way of showing gratitude. This is why you have decided to give us the new mandate to continue to deliver the many realistic promises we made to you in the Manifesto.
I therefore want to take this opportunity to assure you that this Manifesto was drawn up, not just to win the election but also to serve as a manual to guide our governance of Dominica during the next five years. We shall do our utmost to deliver the feasible promises we made to you in the Manifesto.
I also want to make it clear to you that what we have been doing during the last three terms was not just for the supporters of the Dominica Labour Party. What we have done and what we shall continue to do is for the benefit of ALL Dominicans.
I therefore want to appeal to all Dominicans that this is not the time for boasting or ridiculing anyone who may have supported other Parties. This is a time for reconciliation, for patriotism and for unity in pursuing the shared goal of creating a PROSPEROUS, PEACEFUL AND JUST DOMINICA.
Let us proceed hand in hand to improve the country’s infrastructure; to green our economy; to modernize and diversify agriculture; to enrich and diversify our tourism products; to boost our manufacturing and service sectors; to spread the entrepreneurial culture; and to create more wealth and employment for our people.
Let us work together to ensure that every Dominican continues to benefit from the God-given assets we have in abundance in Dominica. No one should go hungry, homeless or destitute in such a richly endowed country like ours.
We want all Dominicans to work together to strengthen the safety net and ensure that no Dominican falls through the cracks to poverty and neglect.
Let us also reach out to Dominicans abroad to get them involved in the continuous development of Dominica and benefit from the new opportunities that will be on offer during the next five years.
Let us transcend our political differences and pull together to make Dominica one of the best places in the Region to live, to work, to study, to do business, to visit and to enjoy life.
Never forget that we are all Dominicans and that I get up every morning knowing that I am the Prime Minister of ONE DOMINICA.
I do not want to delay you any further from celebrating the fruits of our labour. The harvest promises to be bountiful and I want every Dominican to share the proceeds and spread the joy.
On behalf of ALL my re-elected and newly-elected Parliamentary Colleagues – and even the unsuccessful Candidates – I want to thank you for the faith, trust and confidence you have shown in us.
WE PLEDGE THAT WE SHALL NEVER LET YOU DOWN.
So let the Celebrations begin and never cease until after Christmas. Indeed, I believe we have all worked hard these past five weeks, and we each deserve some rest. But, I am not minded on this occasion to declare tomorrow a public holiday.
I believe this country has out-feted itself over the past six weeks and, with Christmas less than three weeks away, I believe we need to buckle down as a country and get back to work. Accordingly, I am appealing to all Dominicans to take it easy tonight and let us get back to work tomorrow.
By tomorrow afternoon, I will update the country as to when the new government will be sworn into office.
Once, again, I thank you most sincerely for your vote of confidence and I look forward to another term of peace, progress and prosperity…in this fair land of ours.
I WISH YOU ALL A MERRY EARLY CHRISTMAS NOW………… … AND ANOTHER MERRY CHRISTMAS ON 25TH DECEMBER.
THANK YOU… GOD BLESS YOU ALL… AND GOD BLESS DOMINICA.