Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit.
Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit.
Associated Press/Craig Ruttle/File

Saying this is definitely his last term as prime minister even though he is only 50, Roosevelt Skerrit’s Dominica Labor Party (DLP) returned to power for a sixth consecutive time as opposition parties and some independents boycotted the polls over allegations of an inaccurate list.

The boycott meant that the DLP was easily able to win 19 of the 21 parliamentary seats. Results were declared much earlier than usual this time around as even before polls had closed, the DLP had already picked up six constituency seats because no one else was on the ballots and contestants. The six had included the seat of the prime minister.

The two main opposition parties — The United Workers Party (UWP) and the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP)- failed to nominate any candidates. They had been complaining for months about an inaccurate voters list which they claimed had favored the DLP. They carried through with threats not to field any candidates giving the DLP a clear run of the Eastern Caribbean nation, nestled between the French Overseas Territories of Martinique and Guadeloupe. Skerrit, one of the most senior leaders in the 15-nation CARICOM bloc of nations along with Ralph Gonsalves of nearby St. Vincent, was first elected back in 2004 as a fresh-faced 32-year-old following the sudden deaths of his two previous prime ministers.

“I accept this victory from the people of Dominica with the greatest humility. This is an extraordinary confidence that the people have shown in us,” Skerrit said, arguing that DLP voter turnout was nothing short of “exceptional.”

Skerrit had called snap elections just weeks ago in a bid to catch a divided opposition off guard like heads of government in Barbados and Grenada. Unfortunately for Keith Mitchell in Grenada, his party was swept out of power in a landslide victory by new PM, Attorney at Law Dickon Mitchell. In the case of Barbados, Mia Mottley’s labor party won all 30 seats for the second consecutive time, while in St. Kitts, the Team Unity coalition administration which had been seeking a second five year term was banished to the opposition after a massive and embarrassing fallout among coalition parties. These elections were all held this year, a very active year for polls in the bloc.

The win means that Skerrit has had four consecutive victories as head of government. In the previous elections in 2019, the DLP had picked up 18 of the 21 seats. The UWP carried away the other three.

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