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Parliament convenes to elect new president

Outgoing President-Charles-Savarin

Parliament will convene on Wednesday (September 27) to elect a new President.

The new president will replace outgoing President His Excellency Charles Angelo Savarin as his second five-year term comes to an end on October 1, 2023.

On August 30, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit unveiled his nominee, Senior Public Officer Mrs. Sylvanie Burton, for the presidential position while Opposition Leader Jesma Paul-Victor nominated former Opposition Senator Anette Sanford as her choice for the upcoming presidency of Dominica.

“The 1st of October will be my last day in office, we will have a new President sworn in on the 2nd of October,” President Savarin said. “Ten years as President is a privilege which I believe anybody called upon to serve in that office would be proud to make his or her contribution.”

According to him, he leaves the presidency with no regrets.

“I leave the presidency being satisfied that I have done my best, sometimes in trying circumstances, but generally I believe I have sought to make a contribution and all my life have been given to public service and being president, I think, is a pinnacle of service to your country,” he noted.

His Excellency Savarin is the eighth President of Dominica.

He was first elected President of the Commonwealth of Dominica by the House of Assembly on Monday, September 30, 2013, in accordance with the provisions of Section 19 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

He comes to the Office of President after a long and distinguished career as a Teacher, Trade Unionist, Parliamentarian, Diplomat, and Government Minister.

Prior to this, he served as a Senator in the Parliament during the Interim Government (1979-1980); during the first term of the Dame Eugenia Charles, Dominica Freedom Party Administration (1980-1985); and during the Dominica Labour Party government (2005-2013).

His Excellency Savarin has held several ministerial appointments including Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with special responsibility for Trade, Industry, and Tourism (1983-1985); Minister for Tourism and Enterprise Development (2000-2005); Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Labour and Minister with responsibility for the Public Service (2005-2007); Minister for Public Utilities, Energy and Ports and Minister with responsibility for the Public Service (2007-2009); and Minister for National Security, Immigration and Labour and Minister with responsibility for the Public Service (2010-2013).

He has also served at the diplomatic level, first as Minister Counsellor/Dominica High Commission to the United Kingdom (1985-1986). In 1986, His Excellency was appointed Ambassador/ Permanent Representative to the European Union, Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Swiss Federation. He was also the Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva and Principal Ambassadorial Spokesman for African-Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP).

As Principal ACP Negotiator he was instrumental in the successful negotiation of the new Banana Import Regime, EU Regulation 404 of 1993, which secured special preferential access conditions for ACP bananas entering the European Single Market.

Upon his return to Dominica, His Excellency served as General Manager of the National Development Corporation from 1993 until his resignation in 1995 when he was elected Parliamentary Representative for the Roseau Central Constituency. He was re-elected in 2000 and served until 2005. He was also Political Leader of the Dominica Freedom Party (1996-2006).

Mr. Savarin served as a Teacher at the Dominica Grammar School in his early years (1963-1970). He was also one of the most influential leaders of the trade union movement of the modern era during his stint as General Secretary of the Civil Service Association (1966-1983).

His Excellency Savarin was born in the town of Portsmouth, is married to Clara Josephine Savarin, and has five children, Paula Savarin, Dr. Anthea John-Phillip, Carla Savarin, Hubert Savarin, and Dr. Amanda Savarin.

He is a devout Catholic and attended the St. John’s Primary School, the Dominica Grammar School, and Ruskin College, Oxford, England. He has professional training in industrial relations, development studies, and international relations from the United Kingdom and Germany.