Country Elects First Woman Head of State


Dominica on Wednesday elected its first-ever woman head of state overshadowed by opposition attempts to scuttle the “historic moment” and raising the possibility of the matter ending up before the courts here.

By a margin of 20-5, Dominican lawmakers – six government ministers and one opposition legislator were absent for various reasons – voted in support of 58-year-old Sylvanie Burton, the government’s nominee, who had faced a challenge from Anette Sanford.

She will be sworn in on October 2.

Ironically, both women are from the Kaliangoo Territory, where the descendants of the country’s indigenous people, the Caribs, still reside.

Burton has been a senior public servant since 2014 and when she retired, was the permanent secretary in the Ministry of the Environment, Rural Modernisation, Kaliangoo Upliftment and Constituency Empowerment.

She has been a justice of the peace for 25 years and holds a master’s degree in project management and a bachelor’s degree in rural development.

She is married and has two children.

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