Dominica: Isaac ‘must choose side’ in parliament

Joseph Isaac.

A former independent MP from Dominica has warned Joseph Issac that he may be forced to pick a side when he returns to parliament.

Joseph Isaac, the parliamentary representative for Roseau Central, announced last week that he was stepping down from the opposition United Workers Party because it is “diametrically opposed” to moving away from the “politics of hate”.

And now Frederick Baron who sat as an independent MP after the 2000 general election said that he expects Isaac to be given a choice of two sides.

“When I wrote to the Speaker informing her.. the Speaker’s response to me was ‘you either on the government side or on the opposition side’,” Baron said, Dominica News Online reports.

“I’m sure Joseph Isaac didn’t just do that without asking… he knows full well that when parliament next meets, he has a decision that he and only he can make, which is: do I remain on the opposition or do I go to the government?

“And… usually you find people gravitating towards the government because they [are] greedy. They not concerned about their constituents; they concerned about themselves.”

Politics ‘is about service’

Baron represented the Soufriere constituency when he was a member of parliament, having stood for the Dominica Freedom Party.

He said that although he remained a member of the DFP, the decision to enter into coalition with the Dominica Labour Party caused him to want to sit as an independent.

According to Dominica News Online, Baron took issue with what he characterised as a complaining attitude by Joseph Isaac about the sacrifice he made and how much money he could be making.

“Politics is about service, my brother. It’s not about how much money you can make. You should have known that. That if you not part of government, you wouldn’t get the salary of a minister,” the website quoted him as saying.

Announcing his decision to leave the UWP last Wednesday, Isaac told the media that his move to being an independent meant he could act for his constituents, adopting policies based on merit.

“I will be free to vote for and against policies of the government consistent with my philosophical belief and the impact of such policies on the people I serve,” he said.

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