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Dominican Attorney General, Levi Peter. (Cana News image)

Dominican PM defends embattled AG

October 4, 2023

CMC – Dominican prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit, has defended his embattled attorney general, Levi Peter, who has defied calls for his resignation over remarks he made in the parliament last week, regarding the opposition nominee for the position of president of Dominica.

“I don’t think the statement has met the threshold for resignation. I think everything has to be taken into context and I believe that the Attorney General issued a statement and he placed his comment into context and he also went ahead and apologised,” Skerrit said.

Skerrit told reporters that he believes the statement made by the Attorney General “was sincere and genuine and I think it should be accepted by all who believe that he had offended them”.

During his statement to Parliament,  Peter told legislators that the opposition should have supported the government’s nominee, Sylvanie Burton, but instead “ they chose to put up a drumstick.

“Mr. Speaker, that’s the height of idiocy. This is a situation where there is no possibility, as the English would say, here is not a snow ball chance in hell that that candidate could be elected in this House,” he added.

But there have been calls for Peter to resign with the opposition nominee Mrs. Anette Sanford describing his remarks as “racist, abusive, and discriminatory on both moral and legal grounds”.

Peter has since apologised insisting that his remarks were taken out of context and that he had used a  “light hearted recounting of an event in which children on an outing to a fast food outlet expressed preference essentially for the same meal by a different name.

“The difference in the meals is that one included a drumstick. With the benefit of hindsight in making my statement, I perhaps ill-advisedly adopted the earlier light hearted use of the word , drumstick in referring to the nomination of Mrs. Anette Sanford.

“I meant Mrs. Sanford no ill in my use of that word and certainly was not in any way seeking to ruin her character. As is clear to anyone who has listened or listens with an open mind to the entire statement, the statement was not about nor directed against Mrs. Sanford,” Peter said.

However, Skerrit was critical of those whom he said were selective in their condemnation of the Attorney general, while remaining silent on other equally important issues involving women.

“We have seen many of my ministers, my own wife, so many things have been said about her, publicly, the deceased Madam Speaker and even the current President, many things were said leading up to the election.

“None of these organisations claiming to be representing women of all races, all creed, all class and political affiliation, said anything. One has to question the sincerity of some people putting their hands up.

“If you are going to stand for women, you must stand for all women. If you are going to defend women, you must defend all women and you must not be selective based on political affiliation or who said it”.

Skerrit told reporters that when women in Dominica were called prostitutes the organisations that were critical of the Attorney General “as if they were not existent in Dominica.

“If we are sincere about women’s issues and protecting women as we are in this government then the same people who condemned the Attorney General’s statement and say they representing women are yet to congratulate a woman President,” he added.

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