ROSEAU, DOMINICA: Dominica Broadcasting Service is all set to give free advertisements and promotional spots to the nominated candidates for December 6 general elections. The announcement has been made by Prime Minister Dr Roosevelt Skerrit during the public meeting on Wednesday.
The step has received huge appreciation as it is said to be a landmark move that has been taken for the first time in the history of politics here.
PM Dr Roosevelt Skerrit cited, “I called the general manager of DBS (Dominica Broadcasting Service) radio today, and I said to him that DBS needs to call independent candidates in this election and to offer them free airtime to promote themselves as candidates in this election.”
He stated, “They will get x number of ads every day until election day, at no charge to them, to ensure they can have access to the people of Dominica to say what they will do…for them in Dominica.
The opposition officials always get full access to the various stations and other media outlets working in the Commonwealth of Dominica.
However, various nominated candidates have expressed their inability for not getting full access to the media due to lack of funding. Due to low budgets, they were unable to purchase campaign promotional spots even on private stations.
He noted, “The people of Dominica who are qualified to contest the elections under our constitution have put their hands up, and they have gone to get nominated and we have 45 candidates in the 2022 general elections, more than 2019 and more than 2014 – even though some parties say they are not running.”
A slew of independent candidates and at least two small parties filed their nominations on November 18, 2022, despite the call of a boycott of the polls by the considered main opposition United Workers Party.
Every general election held in Dominica since independence 44 years ago has been declared by observers as free and fair.
The UWP declared to boycott the election after claiming the lack of reformation in the electoral process, but critics have condemned their decisions.
During the current campaign, Prime Minister Skerrit has also indicated that he will also propose, as is the case in some countries in the Caribbean, that independent senators representing churches, business communities, farmers,s and trade unions be nominated for the next parliament to give opportunity for varying views in the community.
Greta Roberts, the DLP candidate for Grand Fond said this week at a public meeting in the rural east, “We fully understand that the coming period will bestow upon us a special opportunity to govern; one that we will have to accept with humility and with respect.”