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General Election Results - 5 May 2005

On 7 April 2005, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced that parliamentary elections would take place on 5 May for the 21 Representatives of the House of Assembly. 

The unicameral Parliament of Dominica, the House of Assembly, is composed of 21 elected Representatives, in single-member constituencies through a fisr-past-the-post system. Of the remaining eleven members, nine are appointed by the Head of State and two - the Speaker and the Attorney General - are ex-officio. The normal duration of the legislature is 5 years.

At the age of 32 Skerrit was the third person to hold the post of prime minister since the last parliamentary elections in 2000.  Prime Ministers Rosie Douglas and Pierre Charles had passed away in October 2000 and January 2004 respectively.

Skerrit led the Dominica Labour Party (DLP), which had returned to power in 2000 in closely contested elections and formed a coalition government with the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) the ruling party between 1980 and 1995.  The main opposition party the United Workers Party (UWP) was led by Edison James who had served as prime minister between 1995 and 2000.
The election campaign focused on two main policies implemented by Skerrit: the suspension of diplomatic relations with Taiwan in favour of relations with China and economic reform supported by an IMF loan.

In March 2004, Skerrit’s government broke off 20 years of diplomatic relations with Taiwan after receiving US$ 112 million in aid from China.  On 25 April 2005, Prime Minister Skerrit claimed that the UWP was receiving campaign funds from Taiwan based on an agreement to restore diplomatic relations upon UWP’s victory.

Nevertheless, the controversy over foreign campaign funds was overshadowed by economic issues.  A number of natural disasters have devastated the country’s volatile economy, which is dependent on agricultural exports and tourism and made dealing with the high unemployment rate a priority.  A three-year loan totalling US$ 11.7 million was accorded to Dominica in December 2003 under the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) programme aimed at re-establishing economic growth and reducing unemployment.  In exchange, the government agreed to raise sales tax from 3 to 7.5 per cent and reduce the number of government workers.  During the election campaign, Prime Minister Skerrit argued that the project supported economic growth, which registered 3.5 per cent in 2004 and a projected 3.7 per cent in 2005.  The opposition leader insisted that the government had failed to create sustainable jobs and tangible benefits for ordinary citizens.

About 59 per cent of registered voters cast their ballot.  The DLP secured 12 seats two more than in the 2000 elections.  The UWP share remained at eight seats while for the first time in 35 years the DFP did not win any seats.  The remaining seat went to an independent candidate sympathetic to the DLP.

Skerrit was sworn in as prime minister on 9 May.  On 10 May 1 000 UWP supporters rallied in front of the government headquarters to protest the election results.  Opposition leader James insisted that irregularities at the polls had enabled the DLP to win five of its twelve seats.  The UWP also accused the DLP of buying airplane tickets with funds from money laundering activities to enable some Dominicans to return to vote in the elections.  The prime minister denied these accusations.  The new cabinet was sworn in on 12 May.

The new parliament held its first session on 27 July 2005 and re-elected Alix Boyd Knights as speaker.

ELECTION SNAPSHOT
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Total Valid Votes 37,945
Invalid Votes 982
Total Votes Cast 38,927
Population -
Voting Age Population 47,422
Registered Voters 65,889
Voter Turnout 59.08%
PARTY MANIFESTOS
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Critical Dates
Dissolution of Parliament Nomination Day Polling Day
Wednesday, 6 April 2005 Monday, 18 April 2005 Thursday, 5 May 2005
Summary by Party
Party Code Votes % votes Candidates Seats
Dominica Labour Party DLP 19,656 51.80% 19 12
United Workers Party UWP 16,569 43.67% 21 8
Dominica Freedom Party DFP 1,271 3.35% 2 0
Others OTH 449 1.18% 4 1
Total Valid Votes 37,945 100% 46 21
Election in Graphs
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Summary by Constituency
Constituency Registered Voters DLP UWP DFP IND Valid Votes Invalid Votes Total Votes Voter Turnout
Castle Bruce 2,664 799 798 - 12 1,609 69 1,678 62.99%
Colihaut 1,502 - 237 267 401 905 18 923 61.45%
Cottage 1,959 927 116 - - 1,043 23 1,066 54.42%
Grand Bay 3,819 1,409 294 - - 1,703 37 1,740 45.56%
La Plaine 2,363 649 775 - - 1,424 18 1,442 61.02%
Mahaut 6,229 2,064 1,813 - - 3,877 23 3,900 62.61%
Marigot 2,563 208 1,032 - - 1,240 16 1,256 49.01%
Morne Jaune/ Riviere Cyrique 1,583 477 617 - - 1,094 10 1,104 69.74%
Paix Bouche 2,605 1,154 289 - - 1,443 67 1,510 57.97%
Petite Savanne 2,525 1,136 392 - - 1,528 18 1,546 61.23%
Portsmouth 2,965 1,253 177 - 27 1,457 10 1,467 49.48%
Roseau Central 3,904 - 1,075 1,004 - 2,079 43 2,122 54.35%
Roseau North 6,450 1,364 1,833 - - 3,197 297 3,494 54.17%
Roseau South 6,038 2,191 1,564 - - 3,755 83 3,838 63.56%
Roseau Valley 2,009 703 739 - - 1,442 13 1,455 72.42%
Salisbury 2,520 471 911 - - 1,382 33 1,415 56.15%
Salybia 2,277 932 844 - - 1,776 36 1,812 79.58%
St. Joseph 3,149 1,112 991 - - 2,103 16 2,119 67.29%
Soufreire 3,640 1,168 903 - - 2,071 57 2,128 58.46%
Vieille Case 2,113 866 303 - 9 1,178 16 1,194 56.51%
Wesley 3,012 773 866 - - 1,639 79 1,718 57.04%
Total 65,889 19,656 16,569 1,271 449 37,945 982 38,927 59.08%
Elected Members of the House of Assembly
The Dominica House of Assembly has 32 members, 21 members elected for a five year term in single-seat constituencies, 9 appointed senators, the Speaker and 1 ex-officio member.
Constituency Representative   Party
Castle Bruce Loreen BANNIS-ROBERTS   United Workers Party
Colihaut Ronald TOULON   Independent
Cottage Reginald V. AUSTRIE   Dominica Labour Party
Grand Bay John FABIEN   Dominica Labour Party
La Plaine Ronald M. GREEN   United Workers Party
Mahaut Rayburn BLACKMORE   Dominica Labour Party
Marigot Edison C. JAMES   United Workers Party
Morne Jaune/Riviere Cyrique Abraham BROWNE   United Workers Party
Paix Bouche Matthew J. WALTER   Dominica Labour Party
Petite Savanne Urban BARON   Dominica Labour Party
Portsmouth Ian C.A. DOUGLAS   Dominica Labour Party
Roseau Central Norris PREVOST   United Workers Party
Roseau North Julius TIMOTHY   United Workers Party
Roseau South Ambrose GEORGE   Dominica Labour Party
Roseau Valley Norris M. CHARLES   United Workers Party
Salisbury Earl M. WILLIAMS   United Workers Party
Salybia Kelly GRANEAU   Dominica Labour Party
St. Joseph Vince HENDERSON   Dominica Labour Party
Soufriere Ian PINARD   Dominica Labour Party
Vieille Case Roosevelt SKERRIT   Dominica Labour Party
Wesley Peter CARBON   United Workers Party
Key
DLP = Dominica Labour Party; UWP = United Workers Party; IND = Independent Candidate; *incumbent; ** Political Leader
Sources
Electoral Office of the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica
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