Dominica - Leadership

Pierre Charles has served in government and community organizations ever since his years as a student. He developed his political skills beginning in 1975; with a group of his friends from his high school years, Charles formed the activist group, L'Echelle. Their goal was to raise social consciousness and political involvement among the young people of his home town of Grand Bay. L'Echelle was also devoted to the cause of Dominican independence. It was during these days that Charles probably first met and worked with Roosevelt Douglas, who was a driving force behind the Popular Movement for Independence for Dominica, a group with a strong base of support in the Grand Bay area during the mid-1970s.

Pierre Charles's leadership and ambition were not limited to the arena of politics. He was a member of the Grand Bay village council for over a decade, served as president of Dominica's National Youth Council, and was a district chairman of the trade organization, Banana Growers Association.

In late 2000, during his first months as prime minister, Pierre Charles took an honest, open approach to delivery of the news about the economic downturn the country faced. He was straightforward in his request that citizens prepare for the challenge of sacrifice to cope with the effects of a difficult economy. By early 2003, after two years in office, the economy was in dire straits and the Charles administration was under siege from the opposition inside the government and even its supporters among the citizenry.

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