Published On: Thu, Nov 20th, 2014

Citizens group claims evidence of electoral fraud in Dominica

dominicaROSEAU, Dominica -- The Citizens Forum for Good Governance has begun publicising the names of people who it claims have accepted bribes and tickets from the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) to come to Dominica to vote at the December 8 general elections.

Already, local activist Atherton Martin, on behalf of the group, has read the names of 18 such individuals on local radio.

Martin warned that videos and photos will be taken of those who come to Dominica to vote illegally and improperly. Such videos and photos will be published and distributed globally and will be sent to the appropriate authorities such as the US Department of State and the US Embassy in Barbados, he said.

Other sources report that the US Inland Revenue Service, (IRS) may also have an interest in such people, since failure to report such income could be a financial crime, both on the part of the receiver and the giver or agent.

Martin said the group’s job is to prevent the rigging of elections and violation of electoral laws.

Independent Candidates

Further, Martin claimed that the DLP has been contacting people and offering them between $20,000 and $50,000 to run as independent candidates in certain constituencies. Martin explained that the plan is that the votes against the DLP would be split, thereby favouring that party.

So far, the Citizens Forum for Good Governance has two such names but Martin said he understands that five such persons have been approached in a pre-poll attempt to divert votes from the opposition.

He said that, once it is confirmed that these persons are not genuine independents and have agreed to accept bribes and act on behalf of the DLP, then their names would also be publicised.

Additionally, Martin said there is video and photo evidence of the DLP candidate for the Kalinago Territory walking beside a flatbed truck of lumber and offering the lumber as bribes to the members of the community.

Describing this as open bribery and an open violation of electoral laws of the country and the recently signed code of conduct, Martin alleged that the DLP is carrying out similar action in almost every constituency.

According to Martin, the evidence from the Kalinago Territory has been sent to the Christian Council, which spearheaded the Electoral Code of Conduct. The footage will also be broadcast locally, he assured.

He noted that attempts to undermine Dominica’s democracy must be arrested.

Martin said the DLP is aware that many of their wrongdoings have been discovered and as such, they would have to have to face legal implications under a new government.

“They are scared to death… they are scared of the implications…” he said.

Meanwhile, the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) candidate for the Grand Fond constituency, Dr Thomson Fontaine, expressed concern that independent overseas observers such as the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the Carter Centre have not been invited for the general elections.

Fontaine said the UWP had made representation for the Carter Centre to be invited as an election observer.

Claiming that the Electoral Commission has failed Dominicans and has not done what it was employed to do, Fontaine said the office has had enough time to clean up the voters list and institute a voters ID card system to ensure free and fair elections in Dominica.

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