Presidential nominee, Sylvanie Burton, is of the belief that her Kalinago ancestors are dancing on the clouds in anticipation of the first woman and Kalinago to be president of Dominica.
She gave her first major speech since she was nominated by the Government of Dominica to hold the office during a celebration in her honor at the Barana Aute on Saturday afternoon.
“Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sister, I believe our Kalinago ancestors are dancing on the clouds in anticipation of the first woman and first Kalinago to be elected to the office of president, the highest office in this our homeland,” she said.
She praised God and said she was humbled by the opportunity to serve the people of Dominica.
“To God be the glory, great things he has done,” Burton stated. “Proverbs chapter 16 reminds us that the mind of man plans his way but it is the Lord who directs his stead. I stand here before you today humbled by the opportunity to serve the people of this majestic island, Waitukubli, a land that is soaked with the blood, tears, and sweat of my indomitable ancestors, the Kalinago.”
She thanked her immediate family for their support, saying that they would shelter her with their love when the storm clouds gather.
“My heart is filled with gratitude first and foremost for Almighty God, our creator, for my husband Gilbert, who has been the anchor in my life for the past 33 years, my son Irwin, my daughters Kimara and Natasha, and my beautiful granddaughter, princess Gabrielle who is at the front,” she remarked.
“I know when the storm clouds gather, they will shelter me with their love.”
She also thanked Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, the man behind her nomination.
“I am very grateful to the Prime Minister Honorable Dr Roosevelt Skerrit and his government for my nomination to be president of the Commonwealth of Dominica and to my Kalinago people and to the entire Dominican community who have so warmly and enthusiastically embraced my nomination,” Burton stated.
She gave a brief summary of her education and professional life expressing her gratitude to numerous families in the Kalinago Territory who nurtured her, however, she said she believed it was God who plotted her destiny.
“I am of the firm belief that God plotted out my destiny as a Kalinago woman but, as is always said, he helps those who help themselves,” he said.
“The sacrifices were made, the challenges made me a stronger individual, and with determination and the opportunity, we can conquer any background.”
A lay minister in the Catholic Church, Burton told her audience that they should always give praise to God.
“Develop a relationship with the Divine Master and let him guide your path,” she stated.
“Let us unite as a people to bring hope and development to ourselves, our communities, and our country. As I end, I want to pledge my fullest commitment to the service of my Kalinago people, to the service of my country. I love you. I will continue to love you. May God bless us all, may God bless our beautiful country.”
The election of the next president of Dominica will take place during the Fifth Meeting of the First Session of the Eleventh Parliament on September 27 as the second and final term of the current president, Charles Savarin ends on October 1, 2023. Burton will be facing Annette Sanford, another Kalinago woman, who was nominated by the parliamentary opposition.
However, her election is certain since the Dominica Labour Party-led government holds the majority in parliament and MPs have always voted along party lines.