Over 70,000 citizens will choose 21 members of the House of Assembly and nine senators.
Dominica's polling centers Friday opened their doors to over 70,000 people who will cast their vote in the general elections to decide the new government that will rule over the next five years.
The Dominica Labor Party (DLP) candidate Roosevelt Skerrit and the United Workers’ Party (UWP) candidate Lennox Linton appear as top political figures in elections in which citizens will choose 21 members of the House of Assembly and nine senators.
Updates are in local time in Dominica.
Update 11:30 pm
Voters are turning out in numbers in Dominica for the elections. So far the voting process has been entirely peaceful.
“What we have seen is the lines at polling stations around the country are getting long pretty early this morning which we take as a good sign, a sign that Dominicans are conscious and want to be involved in the politics of their country,“ Electoral Commission spokesperson Elias Dupuis told outlet DNO.
He also mentioned that security measures are currently in place "if any incidents were to occur."
Update 8:30 pm
From early on Friday morning, the inhabitants of the Caribbean island began to go to the electoral boards to record their vote. No incidents were recorded.
"Some early morning rain did not appear to deter voters as long lines have begun forming at some polling stations," local outlet DNO reported and added that "voting is proceeding peacefully."
Skerrit, who was elected Dominica's Prime Minister in 2004, is the leader of the DLP, a leftist party that has 15 seats in the legislative branch and has been attacked by the political opposition, which has been trying to delegitimize the elections in advance and calling for the population to block the streets.
The opposition leader Linton, who has presented himself as the promoter of a "Real Change" program, filed a legal appeal with the Superior Justice Court to suspend the elections.
Since this request was not accepted, UWP supporters chose to use violent methods to impede the electoral process.
This Caribbean nation has a population of around 75,000 inhabitants, 70,541 of whom are registered to vote.
This electoral process has been marred by some events that hinted at a possible foreign interference.
Since the beginning of the year, the Organization of American States (OAS) General-Secretary Luis Almagro delegitimized the elections by supporting the call to stop the polls.
Besides rejecting the OAS's silence regarding the riots promoted by Linton, PM Skerrit criticized Almago's position, who sought to send a mission to observe the elections in Dominica.
In this context, St. Vincent & the Grenadines PM Ralph Goncalves and Antigua & Barbuda PM Gaston Browne pointed to Almagro as an enemy of the Latin American progressive forces and recalled his interference statements on Venezuela, Cuba, and Bolivia.
Previously, on Thursday, the Caribbean Anti-Imperialist Network (CAN) also rejected the violent political attitudes promoted by conservative opposition leader Linton.
"If those who have outlined these aims are allowed to continue on this road, there is a serious danger of bloodshed and loss of life in Dominica. This is an outcome that the Caribbean must raise its voice against. There is no justification for shedding blood in Dominica over an election," the CAN stressed.
The Caribbean anti-imperialist activists also condemned "in the strongest possible terms" the OAS interference in Dominica.
This U.S.-controlled organization "is notorious for undermining democratic governance in the region, organizing coups, backing racist forces, and acting as an instrument for Washington organized regime change... The OAS must end its colonial interference in Dominica."