By Ken Richards
ROSEAU, Dominica (WINN) -- Dominica’s new head of state, Charles Savarin, has responded to his critics who suggest that he is a divisive character who won’t be able to unite the nation. His exploits as trade unionist and politician have been held up as examples that his so-called partisan nature won’t augur well for his stint as the country’s president.
Dominica’s new president, Charles Savarin
At his swearing in ceremony on Wednesday, however, Savarin, who was until last week the minister of national security, sought to allay those fears.
“At the outset I wanted to say to you, the members of parliament and to all citizens and residents of Dominica, that I assume the office of president without malice or ill will towards anyone, without fear of intimidation, and with respect for the traditions, laws and constitution of Dominica which I am sworn to uphold,” Savarin told the nation.
The new president also called for efforts to work toward a more dynamic democracy. He appealed too for “restoration of civility, and decency to public and private discourse” as well as cooperation in matters of national importance and greater respect for the institutions which are the pillar of the country’s democratic society.
“A dynamic democracy which provides opportunities for all” has also been recommended by the new head of state. Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit’s choice for president has been heavily criticized by the opposition United Workers Party and others.
He defended that choice during the swearing in ceremony.
“History will, I am sure, record the true legacy of Charles Savarin as nation builder par excellence,” the prime minister said.
In comments seen as directed at his political opponents and those critical of the choice of president, Skerrit said, “It is good that we each have the freedom to criticize, if needs be, but criticisms alone will not take Dominica forward.”
Savarin has meanwhile advised that the country and its people should seek to resolve its differences through dialogue and compromise.
Republished with permission of West Indies News Network