Dominica: Political System
Dominica is a parliamentary democracy. The head of state is the president,
who is elected by parliament every 5 years. You can be re-elected as often as
you like. The head of government is the prime minister. The House of Assembly is
a unicameral system. It consists of 30 members: 21 elected constituency MPs and
five senators appointed by the president and four senators appointed by the
opposition. Parliament is elected every five years. The right to vote applies
from the age of 18. According to Digopaul.com,
the official name of the country is:
Based on flag descriptions by
Countryaah.com, the Dominica national anthem was written by Wilfred Oscar Morgan Pond and set
to music by Lemuel McPherson. It became the country's official
anthem on the occasion of the state uprising in 1967.
In English language
Isle of beauty, isle of splendor,
Isle to all so sweet and fair,
All must surely gaze in wonder
At thy gifts so rich and rare.
Rivers, valleys, hills and mountains,
All these gifts we do extol.
Healthy land, so like all fountains,
Giving cheer that warms the soul.
Dominica, God hath blest thee
With a clime benign and bright,
Pastures green and flowers of beauty
Filling all with pure delight,
And a people strong and healthy,
Full of godly, rev'rent fear.
May we ever seek to praise Thee
For these gifts so rich and rare.
Come ye forward, sons and daughters
Of this gem beyond compare.
Strive for honor, sons and daughters,
Do the right, be firm, be fair.
Toil with hearts and hands and voices.
We must prosper! Sound the call,
In which ev'ryone rejoices,
"All for Each and Each for All."
Do the rig,
And in the English translation
An island of beauty, an island of splendor, an
island that is so friendly and beautiful to
everyone, everyone must truly look in amazement
at your so abundant and rare treasures.
Rivers, valleys, hills and mountains
We praise all these treasures in you,
well-being land, as all your fountains
call for praises that warm the soul.
Singer, Ophelia is a well-known cadence-lypso singer who celebrated her great
success in the 1980s. She is sometimes referred to as Dominica's Lady of Song or
the "First Lady of Creole". The singer was often on the road in France and also
had concerts outside the Francophone world. Her first recording was "Ay
Dominique", which became the "national anthem" for the Dominicans. She was the
first non-French winner of the Maracas d'Or Prize, she was also awarded the
Sisserou Award of Honor, the second highest honor in Dominica, as well as the
Lifetime Award in 2005 and the Golden Drum Award in 1984.
Edison James (born: October 18, 1943 in Marigot/Dominica)
Politician, Head of Government/Prime Minister (1995-2000)
James received his university degrees in biochemistry and botany in the UK and
then returned to his home island. He first worked in various local and regional
institutions such as the Caribbean Development Bank, but it was not until he was
the manager of the Dominica Banana Marketing Company that he became publicly
known in Dominica when he revived the critical banana industry after Hurricane
David. In 1988 he founded the United Workers' Party and became its first
leader. From its inception, the Unites Worker's Party has been dubbed the
“greedy” businessmen's party by the established parties, but in 1990 the United
Workers won 6 seats in parliament and James became the leader of the
opposition. He led his party to victory in the 1995 elections,
In his 5-year reign, James was criticized in many of his decisions, for example
he wanted to bring an Australian mining company into the country to mine mineral
resources, which did not quite fit into the image of the "nature island", then
the law was passed that Foreigners could buy citizenship of the country, this
was then converted again as there was a risk of offering a port of call for
On the other hand, a lot has been done for the development of educational
institutions, there have been successes in leading the country from the
agricultural monoculture of banana cultivation to other products and the
island's road network has been expanded. In this way the domestic economy was
able to flourish and grow.
In the 2000 elections there was a surprising slump, despite its popularity, the
party lost three seats in parliament and thus a majority, the other two parties
also had no majority, the Dominican Freedom Party and the Dominican Labor Party
then joined against them UWP together and Edison James had to vacate his seat in
favor of Roosevelt Douglas. James became the leader of the opposition again
Phyllis Shand Allfrey (1908 in Dominica to 1986 in Dominica)
Politician and writer
Phyllis Allfrey is best known for her only novella, "The Orchid House" from
1953. The book was produced in 1991 by the English television station Channel 4
as a miniseries. Between 1965 and 1982 she also published in the Dominican Star,
a daily newspaper. Her political career was in no way inferior to her
writing. She founded the Dominica Labor Party and was the only female minister
in the West Indies Federation. After her death in 1986, a posthumous collection
of her short stories was published.
• In Circels, 1940
• Palm and Oak, 1950
• The Orchid House, 1953
• It Falls into Place; published 2004
Jean Rhys (from 08/24/1890 in Roseau to 05/14/1979 in
Cheriton Fitzpaine (Devonshire)
Her real name was: Ella Gwendolen Rees Williams
Writer. As the daughter of a Creole and a Welshman, Jean Rhys felt white and was
on her very early on She left Dominica at an early age to go to school in Great
Britain and later live there. Nevertheless, her Caribbean background accompanies
her all her life, she envied blacks their vitality in comparison to the
“sterile” white world, but understood also that the black world of her nannies
could never be hers.
Her first years in England were those of her post-colonial colleagues who felt
betrayed by the British motherland, it was only in her seventies that she was
able to find her social niche. Even so, or perhaps because of it, she had an
unconventional writing style throughout her life. Her inner turmoil between the
black and white world is reflected in all of her works. In the last years of her
life, she achieved fame and financial independence.
Some of her works:
• The left Bank and Other Stories, 1927
• Postures, 1928
• After Leaving Mr Mackenzie, 1931
• Voyage in the Dark, 1934
• Good Morning Midnight, 1939
• Wide Sargasso Sea, 1966
• Tigers Are Better Looking, 1968
• Penguin Modern Stories I, 1969
• My Day: Three Pieces, 1975
• Sleep it off Lady, 1976
• Smile Please: An Unfinished Autobiography, 1979
• Jean Rhy Letters 1931-1966, 1984
• The Complete Novels, 1985
• Tales of the Wide Caribbean, 1985
• The Collected Short Stories, 1987
Phillip Anthony Jason "Daffy" DeFreitas (born February 18,
1966 in Scotts Head/Dominica),
English cricketer and player on the England national team.
DeFreitas made his Leicestershire debut in 1985 against Oxford University. The
following year he had a wonderful season, he achieved "94 wickets" and was
posted for the Ashes Tour 1986/1987 for the English team. He played there until
the mid-1990s. His two best test series were against the West Indies in 1991 and
against New Zealand in 1994 when he scored 22 and 21 wickets, respectively. His
best test score of 88, in which he achieved 42 runs off in three overs, he
achieved in the game against Australia in Adelaide and secured the Man of the
Match prize. He was also named Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1992.
In 2000 he returned to his former club in Leicestershire and became team captain
for 2003 and 2004. In April DeFreitas announced his retirement from
cricket. DeFreitas became the hundredth player to score 100 crickets in a test
Almost all wild mammals on the island are of a rather small stature, such as
the opossums, hares and diurnal agoutis that are widespread here.
Numerous bats also live here
As on most of the Caribbean islands, lizards and iguanas are very common on
Almost everywhere you can meet members of the anole family, the most
species-rich group of iguanas, some of which are endemic to Dominica - only
found here. The very slender and often bright green lizards with a noticeably
long tail have particularly intense colors that they can change depending on the
situation. Because they are excellent climbers, they can mainly be seen on trees
The Green Ameive, which belongs to the rail lizards, is also endemic. A
special feature, however, are the turtles that occur here between March and
September, including the giant leatherback turtle and the hawksbill
turtle. Unlike other turtles, the leatherback turtle's shell is covered with a
The sea turtle always lays its eggs on sandy shores. There are also nests on the
Atlantic coast in North America, in other coasts of the Caribbean and Central
America as well as in South America, Africa and on the coasts of the Indian
However, the stock is endangered by fishing as the animals get caught in the
Therefore, the turtles are under nature protection, since in addition to the
natural dangers for the eggs such as birds and animals of prey, humans also
repeatedly steal eggs, which results in decreasing population numbers for
The amphibians include a species of frog that only occurs from around 300 m
above sea level and is often found on the menu, the mountain chicken.
Snakes, poisonous animals
There are no poisonous snakes and no other poisonous animals worth mentioning on
One of the five non-poisonous snakes and the largest on the island is the Boa
constrictor - a strangler snake.
Birds are one of the most biodiverse groups on the island.
Special features include two parrot species, the blue-headed and
the imperial parrot. The latter is Dominica's national bird
and one of the species threatened with extinction. The approximately 46 - 51 cm
tall bird with the blue-green head and the red underside lives exclusively in
the mountain forests from 600 m above sea level, where it prefers seclusion due
to its sensitivity.
The imperial amazon population has already been significantly reduced by two
devastating cyclones that have struck Dominica in the past. However, there is
still a great danger to the population, which only counts a few specimens, due
to the clearing of the primeval forests and the penetration of humans into the
already limited habitat of the bird.
Hummingbirds, herons, black swifts, broad-winged buzzards, pigeons, wrens,
kingfishers, cuckoos, warblers and bullfinches are far more common. One
phenomenon, especially during courtship, is the magnificent frigate bird. In
order to impress the female and outperform competitors, the male inflates his
red throat pouch like a balloon to an enormous size.
The smooth-beaked ani, an American cuckoo bird, appears again and again in
grasslands, bushes and on cultivated land. The sugar bird is characterized by
its yellow breast and the gray tyrant by its crumbled hood on its
head. Occasionally one also meets the brown pelican, the golden warbler and the
There is an unmanageably large selection of insects, but most often you will
encounter cockroaches, often 4-5 cm in size, which, however, does not
necessarily have to be related to the hygienic conditions on the island, but
rather to the temperatures and humidity there can be.
Butterflies, bumblebees, wasps, bees and especially mosquitoes are also very
More than 55 different species of butterflies have been identified so far.
Whale watching can be particularly exciting, as there are always numerous
species of whales that come near the coast. These include sperm, minke and
killer whales as well as pilot and minke pilot whales. Rather rare guests are
humpback whales, which only stop by in winter, if at all. But there is also no
shortage of tropical fish species and divers get their money's worth.
Dolphins and a number of different shark species can also be seen here.
General preliminary remarks
Especially in the mountainous regions of Dominica there are large contiguous
The rainforest grows here from 300 m above sea level and covers half of the
entire island area. At even higher altitudes there are mountain and cloud
The areas cleared for the cultivation of crops are mainly found along the coast,
but humans are also advancing further and further into the mountain regions
The national plant of Dominica is a 3-5 m tall deciduous tree with the
botanical name Sabinea carinalis.
In the local language the tree is called Bwa Kwaib. It grows exclusively on the
west coast, and there only between the towns of Picard and Roseau. The red
flowers that can be admired between February and June and between September and
December are remarkable.
Breadfruit trees are also common and there are various types of stone slices in
the Morne Trois Pitons National Park.
Useful and medicinal plants
In addition to bananas and coconuts, the most important crops also include
citrus fruits and cocoa. All four play an essential role in the country's
In the 7 m tall evergreen tree named Nanche, an anti-inflammatory effect of the
active ingredients in the striking yellow flowers was found.
The flamingo flowers from the arum family contain calcium oxalates in their
leaves, which lead to inflammation of the affected areas when touched. When
consumed, the consequences are more serious, the tongue and the oral mucous
membranes swell and burn, swallowing difficulties and speech disorders are
further symptoms of poisoning, as are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps and
general gastrointestinal complaints. Just as it is for humans, the plant with
its striking, beautiful and large flowers is also poisonous for animals.
Other and introduced plants
The most common plants, especially in the rainforest, include so-called
epiphytes. These are epiphytes that grow on a host plant (usually a tree), but
do not deprive it of nutrients and are therefore not parasites.
They use the host exclusively to better reach the light. The wild pineapple
belongs to this group, as does some of the ferns, many of which are also found
in the rainforest. However, other fern species can also reach tree size, such as
the tree fern.
Heliconias enchant with their beautiful flowers, which are represented in many
different colors, as well as those of orchids and bromeliads. As on most of the
Caribbean islands, the flamingo flowers (anthurium) and the bird of paradise
flowers are also represented here. The long stalk of the latter can grow up to
1.5 m tall, but what is more impressive is the shape and color of the petals
than the size of the plant. Orange-yellow and blue petals grow out of the bract,
which can often be varied in color, and are reminiscent of the head of a
The first residents of Dominica to come from South America brought Kassavas
and the sweet potato with them. Kassavas is known by several names, but the most
common is probably cassava. The plant belongs to the milkweed family, grows up
to 3 m high, has a bushy habit and greenish-yellow flowers. The starchy, up to 8
cm thick and up to 90 cm long tubers are used. All parts of the plant contain a
toxin that is destroyed by washing out and exposure to heat. This makes the