“I have no apology to make…I stand ready to retain counsel to defend myself if sued” – the words of Floyd Capitolin in response to a demand letter from attorney-at-law, Joshua Francis.
Francis, who is the deputy political leader of the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) and the Member of Parliament for the Roseau South constituency, demanded in a letter sent through his attorneys Dyer and Dyer to Capitolin on May 31, 2019, that he, Capitolin, apologize and issue a retraction for publication of what the letter alleges were defamatory statements which he made on social media about Francis.
The two-page letter with which Capitolin was served on May 31st, demanded that he “immediately submit a draft of a clear and unqualified apology as well as a retraction for publication in an equally conspicuous manner as depicted and played out on social media and also national radio in the Commonwealth of Dominica.”
The letter further stated that in view of Francis’ position as an attorney-at-law of long standing in the Commonwealth of Dominica, the OECS and the wider Caribbean, “your defamatory statements are meant to injure, not only his profession as an attorney, but his character as an elected member of Parliament and Deputy Leader of the official Parliamentary Opposition in the Commonwealth of Dominica.”
The letter also asked that Capitolin submit a proposal for “substantial compensation” which it indicated would be donated to a charitable organization in Dominica.
“Should you fail to submit a satisfactory reply within the next 4 days upon receipt of this letter, our instructions are to issue a writ without further notice. In the meantime, you are to cease and desist all defamation of our client’s character and reputation,” the letter stated.
In his response, dated June 4, 2019 to Francis’ attorneys, Capitolin stated that “Francis was charged on November 4, 2016 for the criminal offence of indecent assault and remains charged as at this date. That, instead of facing his day in court, he sought judicial review to have the charges dismissed or delayed and that as a result of using this strategy, the charges have not yet been read to him and the criminal process delayed.”
Capitolin’s letter continues, “Further, your client’s wife has filed a divorce petition in which very serious assertions of fact were made against your client. I believe her as I find no other reason than a sincere desire for protection, for a wife and mother to make such assertions. In my mind, these assertions reflect seriously on your client’s state of mind and conduct against your daughter.”
The letter adds, “I am also fully aware of his conduct on February 7, 2017. I should add that I am, and I am hoping you are as well, aware of your client’s history. This history cannot be swept aside or under the carpet. This history includes the fact that your client’s wife being your own daughter, did obtain an order of Protection against Domestic Violence so the facts are clear and they speak for themselves. In the circumstances, I have no apology to make. I stand ready to retain counsel to defend myself, if sued.”
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Electoral Office Correction Notice: Nomination Day is November 19, 2019
1 hour ago
November 19, 2019
The Electoral Office informs the public that although the Writs issued by His Excellency the President stated that Nomination Day is 19 November 2019, the notice issued by the Chief Elections Officer and published in the Official Gazette in respect of the same contained a typographical error in that the date for Nomination Day was stated as “Wednesday” the 19th day of November 2019.
Please note that nomination day is on 19 November 2019 as stated in the Writs, which is a Tuesday.
The requisite publication of the Notice without the error is being done. We ask all prospective candidates to note that ALL nomination centres will open be open on Tuesday, 19 November 2019, between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm to receive nomination papers and Statutory Declarations, in accordance with Section 15 of the House of Assembly (Elections) Act.
UPDATE: Electoral Office takes responsibility for error with date for nomination day; insists nomination day is Nov 19President misses deadline to cancel Nomination Day
4 hours ago
November 18, 2019
It seemed as though President of Dominica Charles Savarin was going to miss a 3:00 pm deadline to respond to a request from the Leader of the Opposition, Lennox Linton and a group of concerned citizens to cancel nomination day. However, the Electoral Office appears to have come to the rescue.
The request to the president is contained in a letter sent by attorney Cara Shillingford on behalf of Linton and the group in which she cites eight grounds under which the president has to consider the request for the cancellation and threatens further legal action if the President fails to accede to the request.
The attorney in her letter reminds the President of his responsibility under section 55 of the constitution that gives him authority to set the election date for as late as February 5th, 2020.
The letter also cites the non-existent date of Wednesday, November 19th and speaks to the 10-day gazetting requirement before nomination day.
The letter also points to the promises made by the Electoral commission to cleanse the voters list, and shares information about a meeting between the returning officers and the Chairman of the Electoral Commission and Commissioner Alick Lawrence without the knowledge of or invitation of the two commissioners appointed by the Leader of the Opposition.
Issues such as the promise of voter ID cards and the recommendations of international organizations such as the OAS, CARICOM and the Commonwealth were also raised in the letter.
Shillingford told Dominica News Online (DNO) shortly after 4:00 pm today, that she still had not heard from the President.
However, just prior to publication of this update, DNO received a copy of a letter sent to the president of the United Workers Party in which the office takes responsibility for what it describes as a typographical error and maintains that nomination day is on “19 November 2019 as stated in the Writs.”