Attorney general issues apology for statement against presidential nominee
ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC):
Attorney General Levi Peter has issued an apology to the unsuccessful opposition nominee for the post President of Dominica, saying that his reference to her as a “drumstick” had been taken out of context.
During last week’s parliamentary vote for the new president to replace Charles Savarin, whose two five-year terms came to an end on Sunday, Peter told legislators that the opposition should have supported the government’s nominee, Sylvanie Burton.
Peter told legislators that he had hoped that the opposition “would have at least said, we have concerns but we will support.
“But no, 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, there is not a snowball chance in hell that that candidate could be elected in this House,” he added.
But there had been calls for Peter to resign, with the opposition nominee Anette Sanford describing his remarks as “racist, abusive, and discriminatory on both moral and legal grounds”.
In his apology read out on the state-owned DBS radio on Monday, Peter said that he had never meant to insult or degrade the opposition nominee, but had used a “light-hearted recounting of an event 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.
Dominica’s first-ever female head of state was elected by a margin of 205, with six government legislators and one opposition member absent.
Both Burton and Sanford are from the Kaliangoo Territory where the descendants of the country’s indigenous people, the Caribs, still reside.
Burton, 58, will be sworn into office later on Monday.