DOMINICA – Skerrit staying put
Dominica’s PM ignoring calls from opposition leader to step down
ROSEAU –– An attorney representing Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has responded to a letter from Opposition Leader Lennox Linton calling on Skerrit to resign in light of what Linton said was a “severe crisis of confidence into which our country has been plunged . . .”.
In a response to Linton, attorney Lennox Lawrence said Skerrit has “absolutely no intention of resigning”.
“Indeed, our client instructs us that it would be a complete betrayal of his oath of office, and duties to the people of Dominica on the basis of a smear campaign constructed on the salacious misinformation and scandalous lies manufactured and repeated and circulated by you, members of your political party and Mr Gabriel Christian,” a section of the letter reads.
Linton’s letter was dated January 30, 2017 and was copied to a number of people including the President of Dominica, members of Parliament in Dominica, CARICOM Heads of Government, UN Secretary General, Iranian Ambassador to the Caribbean, Commonwealth Secretary General, among others.
It demanded the resignation of the Prime Minister in the interest of “national salvation”, saying his “actions and associations with international racketeers, money launderers and fugitive from justice who pose continuing threats to global security and peace” has plunged Dominica into a severe crisis of confidence.
The letter also stated that the Prime Minister has since 2004 presided over a “corrupt” Economic Citizenship Program “that has compromised the global security architecture against money laundering and the financing of terrorism”.
It also spoke about the alleged sale of diplomatic passports “under the table to a band of international rogues and vagabonds, many of whom have been arrested for international crimes while holding Dominican diplomatic passports”.
But in response, Lawrence said Linton and his party (United Workers Party; UWP) are being aided by “foreign agents who seem to share a common interest in manufacturing facts and destroying the country”.
“Alternatively, the misinformation and smears now being published by third parties are a direct result of your reckless and malicious utterances and actions, and those of (sic) members of your party,” the response stated.
The letter stated that all the allegations outlined by Linton are false.
It also mentioned the matter surrounding Dominican ex-diplomat Ali Reza Ziba Halat Monfared, an Iranian, who was arrested on allegations of being involved in his country biggest-ever corruption scandal.
“Our client instructs that he specifically denies your allegations in relation to Ali Reza Ziba Halat Monfared,” the letter stated. “It is beyond question you are fully aware of the fact that due diligence was in fact conducted on Monfared and his family by Bishops Services.”
The letter also said that Linton will soon be hearing from attorneys representing the Prime Minister.
“In the circumstances, we have been instructed to collate all of your reckless and dishonest statements and publications, and to proceed against you forthwith with whatever proceedings are considered necessary including civil proceedings on the footing of aggravated damages,” it said.