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05 Dec 2019 | 06:37 PM UTC

Dominica: Tensions remain high ahead of December 6 elections /update 2

Parliamentary elections will be held on December 6 despite recent disruptive protests in recent days; heightened security presence deployed throughout the island

security
transportation
DMA

Event

Political tensions remain high across Dominica as the country prepares for parliamentary elections on Friday, December 6. Security personnel from Regional Security System (RSS) member states were deployed to Dominica on Tuesday, December 3, to help maintain law and order during the vote. Supporters of the opposition United Workers' Party (UWP) have held multiple protests within the past week calling for electoral reforms, which have sometimes resulted in violence. Demonstrators blocked roads to Douglas-Charles Airport (DOM) on Tuesday, forcing at least one flight to be canceled. Police officers also reportedly fired live ammunition to disperse crowds in Marigot on Tuesday.

Heightened security measures, including an increased police presence, are anticipated near polling stations and throughout Dominica on Friday and until the results are announced. Political protests may also continue depending on the outcome of the election. Further violence between demonstrators and security forces cannot be ruled out.

Context

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is seeking a fifth consecutive term despite allegations of corruption. UWP leaders claim that the current election laws allow the possibility of fraud and gives an unfair advantage to the ruling Dominica Labour Party (DLP).

Advice

Individuals in Dominica are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all demonstrations and polling stations as a precaution, prepare for disruptions to transportation, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.