|Volume No. 1 Issue No. 56 - Tuesday March 02, 2004|
|Prime Minister Skerrit Elected as Labour Party Leader |
by Thomson Fontaine
In leadership elections held in the eastern village of Grand Fond over the weekend, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit soundly defeated challenger Griffin St Hilliare in a 290 to 24 vote. The assembled delegates of the Dominica Labour Party gave Skerrit a resounding vote of confidence as the youngest ever Prime Minister and leader of a political party in the Eastern Caribbean.
St Hilliare who unsuccessfully contested the Wesley constituency in the 2000 general elections, and who is currently employed at the Geneva offices of the United Nations had earlier challenged for the leadership of the party following the death of Prime Minister Pierre Charles. Another contender for the top spot, Dr. William Riviere had earlier withdrawn his bid for election in the interest of party unity.
Following his victory, Prime Minister Skerrit said his mission is to reposition the party to cater to the needs of the economic depressed islanders.
‘’Politicians cannot develop a country in isolation; we must find innovative ways in empowering our people through the major constituencies of their lives.
‘’I therefore want to reposition the party so that its ideology and vision of a prosperous, peaceful and progressive Dominica will resonate through every social activity in this nation,’’ Skerrit told reporters.
Also at the delegates conference, Gerard Cools-Latigue was reelected President and Simeon Albert retained the post of party spokesman. Mayor of Roseau Cecil Joseph and Dr. William Riviere were elected as vice president and general secretary respectively. Ian Pinard was named treasurer, Jacinta Bannis education officer, and Edward Registe youth coordinator.
Elections are constitutionally due in Dominica in May 2004.