Dominica MP quits opposition United Workers Party

Joseph Isaac.
Last updated: 4 April 2018, 4:28 pm

The main opposition party in Dominica has today lost one of their MPs.

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

Speaking at Windsor Park stadium this morning, Isaac said: “Five years ago, when I took the decision to enter public life, and three years ago – when I took the oath of office as a member of parliament for the Roseau Central constituency – I was committed on both occasions to work in the best interest of Roseau Central and Dominica.”

He added that he has “consistently spoken against this practice of tribal politics because I saw little place for it in pre-Maria Dominica and there is absolutely no place for it, especially post-Maria where we find ourselves fighting for our survival in Dominica”.

“I have tried, ad nauseam, to persuade my party, the United Workers Party, that there is a wisdom in changing from the traditional opposition approach to politics and to adopt a more nationalistic approach – one in which the country comes first and everything comes second.

“I’ve tried selling the idea to the leader, executive, the General Council of the party, but to no avail.”

Move for ‘freedom’

Speaking on the radio, UWP Lennox Linton thanked Isaac for his years of service to the party – but said that his former colleague will have disappointed his constituents.

“I was surprised, and a bit hurt because I consider Joseph Isaac a friend.”

Lennox added that the party would be having a meeting within the next 48 hours.

Earlier on Wednesday the Roseau Central MP told the media that his move to being an independent means he can 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.

The United Workers Party saw another high profile exit at the end of 2017.

Joshua Francis, who represents Roseau South, announced in December that he would not contest the next general election.

He described his “political journey” as “turbulent”, although he appears to be committed to finishing his term as a UWP representative.

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