Charles Savarin, President of Dominica (elected on Sept 30, 2013; re-elected on Oct 1, 2018)
Following the demise of the Patrick John government (in which Savarin played and integral role)Savarin was made Chairman of the Committee for National Salvation (CNS). This body comprising members of the greater cross section of Dominican Society, was tasked with overseeing the transition to an interim government.
Savarin contested the 1980 General Elections on a Dominica Freedom Party ticket losing to Mike Douglas in a four way race. Savarin polled 405 votes to Douglas’s 531 votes.
In 1983, Savarin was appointed as Minister without Portfolio in the Prime Minister’s Office with special responsibility for Trade, Industry and Tourism.
In 1986, Savarin was appointed Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the European Union. He also served as principal ambassadorial spokesman for African/Caribbean/Pacific States on bananas. That assignment ended in 1993, when he returned to Dominica to become General Manager of the National Development Corporation (NDC).
When Dame Eugenia Charles decided to walk away from politics, Savarin contested the Leadership of the Dominica Freedom Party losing to Brian Alleyne. He however replaced Dame Eugenia as the party’s flag bearer in the Roseau Central Constituency. Savarin emerged victorious at the polls with some 1013 votes to Norris Prevo’s 759. When Brian Alleyne resigned as DFP Leader and Leader of the Opposition in 1996, Savarin again entered the leadership race. On Saturday 20 April 1996, Savarin received 86 out of 107 votes at the party’s General Council. He served as Leader of the DFP until 2007 where mounting criticism of his leadership forced him to resign.
During his first term as Roseau Central MP Savarin championed the cause of “equal educational opportunities” for children in the Roseau catchment area. He was again re-elected as MP for Roseau in the 2000 General elections this time by a much reduced margin. Savarin entered into a coalition arrangement with the Roosie Douglas led Dominica Labout Party. He was appointed Minister for Tourism. After Douglas died some eight months later, Pierre Charles was appointed Prime Minister. He added the responsibilities of Enterprise Development and The Public Service to Savarin’s portfolio.
Savarin was one of the most vocal defenders of the Pierre Charles government, often acting for Charles when the later was overseas. He was also Chairman of the cabinet sub-committee on the economy. This placed him in the forefront of discussions and negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and other donor agencies. Savarin was also one of the main speakers at town hall style meetings of the government to inform the public on the serious difficulties facing the economy.
Following the death of Pierre Charles on January 6, 2004, Savarin remained as Tourism Minister following the appointment of Roosevelt Skerrit as Prime Minister. The Freedom Party continued to decline and won no seats in the May 2005 General Elections. Savarin was however rewarded for his loyalty to the coalition and was named Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Labour. In a 2008 Cabinet reshuffle Savarin was made Minister of Public Utilities, Ports and The Public Service.
Savarin joined the Labour Party and was instrumental in the public campaign for the 2009 General Elections. He co-hosted a popular night time show alongside Attorney Anthony Astaphan and DLP stalwart Eddie Lambert. Savarin known for his platform oratory skills was also a key figure on the DLP political platform.
Eliud Williams, Former President of Dominica (since Sept 17, 2012)
He obtained a Masters degree in Business Administration at the University of the West Indies.
He served as Commissioner of Cooperatives from 1985 to 1987, then had a career in public service until 2004, whereupon he became Director General of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority, a position which he held until 2008.
Following the resignation of President Nicholas Liverpool due to ill health, Eliud Williams was the Dominica Labour Party’s candidate for the presidency. He was elected by Parliament on 18 September 2012, in an election boycotted by the main opposition United Workers Party, which claimed the process was unconstitutional.
His Excellency The Honourable Dr. Nicholas J. O. Liverpool, Former President of Dominica
His Excellency The Honourable Dr. Nicholas Joseph Orville Liverpool was born in the southern village of Grand Bay, Commonwealth of Dominica on September 9, 1934. He is married and has five children.
Dr. Liverpool began his university Education in 1957 and obtained an LL.B (Hons) from Hull University in 1960. He was attached as a Barrister-at-Law at Inner Temple from 1958 to 1961. He pursued studies at the Sheffield University from 1962 to 1965 and obtained a Ph.D in Law.
In 2003 Dr. Liverpool received the Dominica Award of Honour.
Dr. Liverpool’s entire professional life has been spent in the field of law. He served as senior Lecturer (1974 -1992) and Dean (1976-1978), Faculty of Law at UWI, Cave Hill Barbados.
Dr. Liverpool served as a Judge of the High Court in Antigua and Monsterrat from 1973-1974 and Justice of Appeal – Court of Appeal in Grenada 1979-1991, Court of Appeal in Belize 1990-1992 and 1996-2000, Bahamas Court of Appeal 1996-1997.
Dr. Liverpool served as Ambassador of the Commonwealth of Dominica to the United States of America from 1998 -2001. He has served on several Boards, Tribunals and Commissions has written various articles, publications and papers and has attended numerous conferences/ seminars nationally, regionally and internationally.
Roosevelt Skerrit, the Honourable Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica
Roosevelt Skerrit (born June 8, 1972) is the Honourable Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica as well the Member of Parliament for the Vielle Case constituency. In addition to being Prime Minister, he holds the ministerial portfolios of Finance, Planning, National Security and Overseas Nationals. Regionally, he is the Caricom Lead Head of Government with respect to Free Movement as part of the implementation of the CSME. Skerrit is an alumnus of the Dominica Grammar School. He began his college education at New Mexico State University and transfered to the University of Mississippi, from where he graduated with a BA in English and Psychology. As a high school senior he was elected ‘head boy’, President of the Student Council. While at New Mexico State University he was also president of the Dominica Students Association.
He was initially a member of the youth arm of the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP), the Young Freedom Movement, but became a member of the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) when he returned to Dominica from college. He was an English lecturer at the Clifton-Dupiny Community College until he was elected to parliament for the Vieille Case constituency in the February 2000 elections. He initially served as Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, and upon the death of Roosevelt Douglas he was made minister of Education, Sports and Youth affairs. As Minister of Education, he established the Dominica State College. He also led a secret mission to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Barbados, irrespective of the fact that Dominica already had diplomatic relations with the Republic of China on Taiwan.
On the death of Pierre Charles on January 6, 2004 he was nominated to be the country’s prime minister and was sworn on January 8, aged 31. After becoming prime minister, he was elected as the Leader of the Dominica Labour Party. Skerrit is currently the youngest head of government in the world. In April 2004 Skerrit established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China, severing relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan). As part of the move Beijing agreed to give the country an aid package of over US$100,000,000. In the 2005 General Elections he retained his seat by an even wider margin and his party gained one seat in the Parliament. His party won 12 seats in the parliament and 52% of the popular vote. The DLP defeated the Edison James-led opposition United Workers’ Party who won 8 seats and 44% of the popular vote. The opposition sought to criticize his age and relative inexperience, as well as pointing to the country’s generally poor economic performance since the 2000 elections. The DLP response was that the poor economic performance was due to irresponsible borrowing during the UWP administration. Further, he noted the country’s aid package from China and used his young age to mobilize youth voters.
Skerrit has forged a close relationship with leftist leaders Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez, which has resulted in Dominica receiving substantial aid from Cuba and Venezuela. Dominica is set to play a major part in the Petrocaribe initiative; crude oil from Venezula will be stored on the island for distribution to other islands. Further, the Venezuelan government has given Dominica a US$10.1 million grant for the expansion of the Melville Hall Airport and forgiven the island nation’s US$1.5 million debt to Venezuela. On February 16, 2007 Chavez paid a state visit to Roseau, rare visit by a major head of state to the island, where he inaugurated a fuel storage tank as part of the Petrocaribe initiative. Skerrit’s administration agreed to join the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas. In addition, Skerrit announced that his government had agreed to the construction of a $80,000,000USD refinery on the island.
The proposed refinery has prompted criticism from some environmentalist groups that an oil refinery is inconsistent with the island’s image as an eco-tourist destination.
A Caribbean Development Research Services Inc (CADRES) poll conducted between February 2nd and 5th 2007 found that Prime Minister Skerrit was the most popular leader in the country with 58% of respondents favoring his leadership.