ROSEAU – The main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) Tuesday announced its “immediate” withdrawal from the National Reconstruction Advisory Committee (NRAC) established following the passage of Tropical Storm Erika that resulted in the death of 30 people and left more than US$400 million in damages.
UWP and Opposition Leader Lennox Linton said that the NRAC which consisted of all elected members of parliament “has outlived its usefulness”.
He told a news conference that the NRAC had turned out to be “nothing more than a political initiative by (Prime Minister) Roosevelt Skerrit to gain public sympathy in light of the inadequacy of his leadership skills and competencies for the task of post disaster reconstruction”.
Linton said that the UWP would no longer participate in the affairs of the committee that last met on September 21 and held only four meetings since the storm.
“We announce today on account of the refusal of the prime minister to uphold the principles and practices of good governance and its failure to respect the sacred oversight responsibility of Parliament for the conduct of government, the parliamentary group for National Reconstruction has outlived its usefulness in meaningfully serving the national interest.
“Accordingly we will no participate in the affairs of this informal group of elected Members of Parliament which has met on four occasions since the passage of Tropical Storm Erika…our request for a meeting on November 6, 2015 was rudely denied”.
Linton said that the opposition had been “faithful in service to the common good as members of this parliamentary group” despite “vicious public attacks” by a senior government spokesman and the refusal of Skerrit to distance himself from the allegations.
The Opposition leader said that there had also been the “routine rejection” of advice given by the opposition leading to public comments on the usefulness of the NRAC.
On Monday, Dominica hosted an international donor’s conference seeking financial support for the rehabilitation of the island and Prime Minister Skerrit later told reporters that the meeting had gone “beyond our expectations”.