Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit Hosts Meet and Greet on St. Thomas

Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit addresses attendees. (Source photo by Nyomi Gumbs)

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica held a meet-and-greet on Sunday evening at Holy Family’s Columban Hall on St. Thomas, engaging with a crowd of supporters who gathered to hear about the progress and challenges faced by his administration.

Many attendees, adorned in red attire, symbolic colors of Dominica’s Labor Party (DLP), listened eagerly as Skerrit, alongside other members of his cabinet, discussed climate change goals, plans for the country’s new international airport and the variety of economic hurdles and recovery efforts following a series of natural disasters over the years.

Attendees at Columban Hall, showing their support for Dominica’s incumbent Labor Party. (Source photo by Nyomi Gumbs)

During the evening’s dialogue, DLP’s General Secretary Cassanni Laville made a point to highlight the party’s current stance on upcoming elections. “We just had an election in 2022, we are in 2024. We have no reason to ring the bell again, now it is time to work,” said Laville. Skerrit also elaborated during his remarks, “I want to say to you very clearly and to dispel any notion that there is [not] an election soon.”

Skerrit has been in office since 2004 and is currently Dominica’s longest-serving prime minister. According to the Political Database of Americas, term durations in Dominica are five years and limited to two terms for presidents. Prime ministers do not have term limits.

Dominica Sen. Austelle Lockhart speaks to attendees on achievements made by DLP. (Source photo by Nyomi Gumbs)

Among the evening’s topics of interest was the status of Dominica’s highly anticipated international airport, a key infrastructure project aimed at boosting the nation’s connectivity and economic growth.

“The long-term solution to air access problems in Dominica is the construction of an international airport and our airport will have one of the longest runways in the Caribbean. It is 2,850 meters long, where the average runway is 2,500,” noted Skerrit. “Once built, it [the airport] will be able to accommodate any type of aircraft in the world.” Skerrit, however, did not provide an estimated timeline for completion.

Attendees dance with pride to native Dominican music. (Source photo by Nyomi Gumbs)

Skerrit also provided a brief update on the country’s progress in the renewable energy space, noting that his administration is serious about combating climate change, recently securing parliamentary approval for EC $103 million for geothermal development.

“The energy costs in the Caribbean are very high, Dominica included. Investments in geothermal energy will help reduce the costs for existing businesses and domestic consumers,” noted Skerrit.  He also voiced that among challenges, Dominica’s mountainous terrain significantly increases project costs, and this funding will only cover transmission line installation for a specific portion of the project.

Prime Minister Skerrit addressing the crowd. (Source photo by Nyomi Gumbs)

Skerrit closed the evening by praising Dominicans for their resilience and encouraging Dominicans living abroad to remain active in the country’s development. “I wanted to come and visit outside of the usual interaction we have during election time,” said Skerrit. “We have to continue to work together to build our country.”

Tamra James, left, business owner and entrepreneur, and Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit. (Source photo by Nyomi Gumbs)

Editor’s note: This story was corrected to say that prime ministers in Dominica do not have term limits.