The Dominica Labour Party is being commended for the way it managed the country during 2002 to 2009 but University Lecturer Dr. Bernard Anthony Frampton says when Roosevelt Skerrit took over as prime minister, things took a turn for the worse.
He told those gathered in New York for a UWP Town Hall Meeting that there’s nothing wrong in admitting that the DLP government did a fairly decent job to stabilize the economy during the country’s 2000 to 2001 crisis when there was a contraction in output by 10%.
“In fact, we need to emphasize that had the government continued with that type of responsible governance, transparency, and fiscal discipline, today Dominica would be a regional leader in national development. But it did not,” he said.
On the contrary, according to Dr. Frampton, the Roosevelt Skerrit administration that inherited power from the late Pierre Charles went rogue and took a dark, destructive turn.
He said PM Skerrit had some achievements no doubt, like the smooth implementation of the VAT and excise duty in March of 2006, “but few patriotic Dominicans will deny that he has led Dominica into a sinister abyss with deep echoes of corruption, victimization, division, and relative autocracy.”
Frampton, a university lecturer, said during 2002 to 2009, the DLP government also did a fair job at improving social indicators like unemployment and poverty, decreasing unemployment from 25 to 14 percent, however, this improvement did not reach the youth, who remained unemployed at a rate of 31%.
“Poverty dropped from 39% to 29%. Perhaps, with a more conciliatory approach, we would have been more effective in making the argument that while it was doing a reasonable job at addressing poverty levels, it was making inequality a big problem,” Frampton said
He concluded by saying that opposition voices must not be afraid to point out the achievements of the government when warranted.
“This does not necessarily weaken our message of change but instead, forces us to be clearer and more lucid in our arguments and helps stimulate more healthy political engagement,” he said, adding, “there were times when I felt that we could have been more targeted and more prudent with our critiques of the government. It has not done everything badly, although it has done quite a bit very, very badly.”