Outgoing President of Dominica His Excellency Charles Savarin has described new President-elect Sylvanie Burton as a leader in her own rights.
Mrs. Burton won the majority of votes in Parliament on Wednesday morning over her opponent Anette Sanford and created history by becoming the first duly-elected female president of Kalinago descent.
“Mrs. Sylvanie Burton is an exceptional person in her own rights,” he said. “I have known her for more than 20 years and she has always struck me as being a very level-headed person, very well-informed, and a leader in her own rights.”
Mr. Savarin continued, “A leader in her community, somebody in the various issues in which she gets involved in, whether it is community development which was one of her responsibilities, or foreign affairs, and a person who rises to the office of Permanent Secretary in the public service, rises to the pinnacle of the public service.”
According to him, there are only two positions in the entire public service higher than that of permanent secretary and that is cabinet secretary and financial secretary.
“Other than that, each ministry has a public officer who is in charge of the ministry and that public officer is called a permanent secretary,” Mr. Savarin explained. “Mrs., Burton has been permanent secretary in several ministries and nobody can challenge her competence, her leadership, her eligibility to be President of Dominica.”
Furthermore, he is happy for Mrs. Burton, on a number of levels, as someone he knows and respects.
“I am happy for her because she is the first woman in Dominica to assume the office of President,” Mr. Savarin noted. “I am happy for her because she is the first Kalinago woman to be elected to the office of President Dominica which says a lot for Dominica.”
He went on to state that there are issues for indigenous people all over the world, but here in Dominica, “we have [not] only said but we have demonstrated that we consider the Kalinagos to be an integral part of the Dominican society.”
“They can hold any office; they can rise to any occasion and I think that this is an excellent demonstration of that fact and no one can dispute that from henceforth.”