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Dominica to defer decision on electricity tariff

Published:Friday | August 1, 2014 | 12:00 AM

The Independent Regulatory Commission (IRC), citing the campaign for the next general election, announced on Wednesday it would defer until May 2015, a decision on a tariff review application by the Dominica Electricity Services Limited.

IRC Executive Director Lancelot McCaskey told a news conference that in addition to the general election campaign, the ongoing geothermal energy exploration project had also been a factor in deferring the review.

"The conventional wisdom among regulators has been for them to avoid conducting public proceedings such as tariffs reviews where the discussion itself could be politically charged and thus impact the objectivity of the inputs received," he said.

"There is tacit consensus that the outcome of any decision on an issue as tariffs could influence the outcome of a plebiscite and, therefore, is not recommend that the regulatory proceedings be conducted during the electioneering period leading up to an election," McCaskey added.

Dominica's last general election was held in December 2009 when the ruling Dominica Labour Party won 18 of the 21 seats at stake. The Roosevelt Skerrit administration has until March next year to name a date for the new general election.