What’s going on in the Dominican Republic?
What’s happening in the Dominican Republic?
Some information you should know:
Let’s recall that the municipal elections were scheduled on February 16, and for the first time in the history of the Caribbean nation electronic voting was used in national elections.
Election Day and after 4 hours of the electoral process, authorities suspended the elections when a “technical failure” was discovered in the system. There was a political and media scandal which fueled intense protests in the iconic Plaza de la Bandera in Santo Domingo.
The Central Electoral Board (JCE) indicated that in several voting centers the complete list of candidates was not showing up, proceeding to suspend the elections. The opposition was not convinced by the argument, and denounced “electoral sabotage” by Danilo Medina’s government.
Protests continue, bringing together 13 opposition parties under the slogan “They’re all going out”, just months before the presidential elections scheduled for May. Middle class and the youth of Dominican society leading the protests.
The use of electronic voting in the municipal process represented a test-scenario for the presidential elections. In that sense, the JCE acquired 55,000 voting machines for a cost of $19 million, an investment that could be lost if the technical failure is not resolved.
One of the main figures of the opposition and presidential candidate, former President Leonel Fernández, has questioned the use of automated voting and has demanded a thorough investigation to clarify the technical ruling that caused the suspension of the municipal process.
The municipal elections will be held again on March 15. The results are expected to be a kind of referendum on the management of Medina’s government and his party, which face an unprecedented political and institutional crisis in the Caribbean country.