Editorial: PM Skerritt makes Dominica ‘Egypt’ of Caribbean

Is the Caribbean island of Dominica going to the dogs? This beautiful nature resort of some 70,000 islanders which is about the size of Singapore and home to the last remaining Carib Indians is under threat of creeping authoritarianism and a ‘Papa Doc’ style of government by its current millionaire Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerritt. The following is a summary of a worrying chain of events.

1. First, there is the ongoing unprecedented libel suit by Mr. Skerritt against a newspaper reporter who asked him how he got to be a millionaire while a public servant with a salary of ECD$5000 per month.

2. Then, there is the ongoing criminal case against the PM’s own lawyer, Stephen Isidore, who is being asked to account for some ECD$6 million from the accounts of the law firm he had in partnership with veteran lawyer and ex-Chief Magistrate, G.O.N Emanuel.

3. That, followed by in December last year, the attempted murder of Mr. Emanuel and his wife via an arson attack on his house (no police investigation under way, no-one arrested/ charged with the offence) which many are saying are linked with the action for recovery of the money which has been initiated by Mr. Emanuel and which implicates Mr. Skerritt.

4. And now, in a desperate attempt to stem the tide of protest against his creeping authoritarianism, Mr. Skerritt has initiated prosecutions against former Prime Minister and Marigot MP Edison James, party leader Ron Green, Opposition Leader Hector John, Senators Ronald Isidore, Claudius Sanford and Ezekiel Bazil as well as executive member Daniel Lugay and former Roseau Valley MP Norris Charles, who had complained publicly about the stark erosion of civil society, rule of law and democracy in the tiny Caribbean state.  If convicted those charged with public order offences will face jail terms and/ or steep fines. They are claiming that they are not guilty of any public order offences.

Is Dominica breaking down and becoming a ‘Papa Doc’ state under Mr. Skerritt? The indications are all there – restriction of the press; nuzzling of political parties in opposition; rigid control and use of police powers for purposes of suppression and mis-management of justice. Sounds like a budding Egypt starting off its ’emergency governance’ provisions some 30 years ago. The only difference is that the state is Dominica  – a Caribbean island of some 70 thousand people and which has no oil and no reserves of anything useful to the international community, other than being a wonderful nature resort.

It is clear that people power is on the rise in the world spiralled by events in Egypt, neighbouring African states and the middle east region.  In that respect, Mr. Skerrit should take note that his reign can only be short-lived and in the end he will face the same fate as modern-day dictators. He should step down now for the good of his country and its citizens as the Caribbean area which has been badly affected by the global financial crisis, does not need dictators, it needs leaders who are commited to the welfare and development of their people and not the size of their own coffers and power.

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8 Responses to “Editorial: PM Skerritt makes Dominica ‘Egypt’ of Caribbean”

  1. Skerro must go! This is too much!

  2. Yes, really troubling! Who does Skerrit thnk he is, another Patrick John? Perhaps Patrick should remind Skerro of what happened to him when he tried the same thing a few years ago.

    Its a total disgrace and Skerro and his slimy bunch must go now.

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