2004 Election in Pictures!


Stay Frosty!
Jan 2, 1999
Sent to me via email by Loren Moss, a observer for the Global Commerce Consortium.
Great piece, thanks Loren!


The 2004 Dominican Republic election in pictures


Voting Site


GCC Observer Richard Poullet with local electoral staff of a "mesa" or voting location


Checking of "Cedula" or voter id card during the voting process


Typical scene. Notice the "urna" or ballot box in the middle of the room, sealed with security tape.


A partisan delegate allows GCC Observer Max Contreras to check his credentials at a voting site


Voters mill about outside a voting location in the Capital City neighborhood of Guachupita, known for its high violent crime rate. GCC Observers saw a gun pulled by a partisan at another individual as the offender chanted a partisan slogan.


Yet in the same neighborhood we see civil coexistence between partisans. Notice in the following picture the PRSC red flag in the first floor residence, the Purple PLD flag on the second floor and the white PRD flag in the top floor apartment balcony.


In mockery of the alcohol curfew in effect, these colmado patrons tranquily drink beer and rum outside of a Colmado 1 block from the Guachupita polling station. This picture was taken about 10 am Sunday morning, election day.


The late Pe?a Gomez, widely revered by Dominicans across political ideologies and statesman of the PRD party was staunchly opposed to presidential re-election. Here a poster outside of the PRD headquarters controlled by embattled Party leader Hatuey DeCamps is displayed to denounce their own party's incumbent candidate Hipolito Mejia for engineering the change of the country's constitution so that Hipolito could run for a second term (but also allowing former President Fernandez to run again). President Hipolito's PPH (Presidential Project Hipolito) faction was able to outmaneuver opposition within their party to secure their candidacy. The mystery is why the PPH went through this exercise when polls showed overwhelming dissatisfaction with Hipolito who it could be argued, would have had better chances in picking a successor within his party to run thus maintaining his influence Balaguer-style (Balaguer is a former Dominican "caudillo" or strongman). By going against the constitution and against the principles of Pe?a Gomez, Hipolito split and severely damaged his own party. Now the PPH faction deposed from government & under threat of prosecution are battling with Party President Hatuey deCamps for control of the party. Pe?a Gomez was defeated in the 1996 election when in a 3 way race, Balaguer and his PRSC threw their support behind Fernandez and the PLD to create a majority block. There are 2 ironies to this: The PLD was founded by Balaguer nemesis Juan Bosch and the two were archenemies; and Leonel (raised for part of his youth in New York City) led perhaps the most free-market, pro-US and capitalist government in recent times, even though Juan Bosch founded the PLD after the PRD he had founded before became in his eyes to moderate and US-friendly, and he wanted a party that conformed to his leftist, anti-US and pro-Communist sympathies. Surely Bosch must be spinning in his grave to know that the PRD's attack against the PLD was on populist grounds and a PLD win was the hope of not just the majority of Dominicans but the global investment community and international bankers as well!


In a desperate electioneering ploy, President Mejia openly promised new motoconchos (small motorcycles under 200cc displacement used generally as neighborhood motor-taxis) to the "motoconchistas" (drivers) in exchange for their support. The idea apparently backfired and such open corruption annoyed most, who didn't seem to believe the promise would or even could be fulfilled pursuant to the country perched at the precipice of insolvency. Here a motoconchista demonstrates support for Candidate Fernandez.



Celebrants outside of PLD headquarters Monday morning, the day after the election


The broom became a symbol of victory for PLD partisans. Here a celebrant has attached a banner of the incumbent President Hipolito's PRD party to a broom and is leading an impromptu parade sweeping the street with it and chanting their merengue slogan "E Pa Fuera Que Van!" (And out they go!) This was in the community of Los Mameyes.



Notice the brooms attached to the wiper blades of this "Yipeta" (Dominican vernacular for S.U.V.)


The suitcase like the brooms, became a common motif. The paper plastered on this celebrant's suitcase reads "PPH" and signifies that the PPH, or President Hipolito Mejia's faction of the PRD party currently in power must pack their bags and get out promptly. Celebrations were very vocal and vigorous but overwhelmingly peaceful. Supporters of the losing parties mainly stayed inside Monday as it was still considered a decreed holiday so for most the only reason to be out was to celebrate. Though an alcohol ban was still in effect it was apparently completely ignored.


A large crowd has gathered outside of a Colmado in the neighborhood of El Faro.


The alcohol ban was openly ignored Monday morning but because of the festive mood the consumption did not cause notable violence.




Dr. Fernadez' PLD party was not the only celebrant. With the exception of the Late Strongman Joaquim Balaguer's PRSC party, many smaller parties threw their support behind Dr. Fernandez and joined the PLD in celebration.




The Malecon (which translates literally as pier but in Caribbean vernacular generally means seashore drive) was turned into a virtual parking lot until late Monday evening as jubilant partisans gathered to celebrate. PRSC or PRD partisans were nowhere to be found.


This may look like some local guy taking a siesta but is actually one of our observers under "deep cover" in a neighborhood where observers would not generally want to go walking around with vests and cameras and microphones and sunburns. By using GCC perfected tactics and methodologies our observers are able to go "incognito," striking up casual conversations with people and ascertaining opinions that might not otherwise be openly shared. Wide awake and listening intently to the conversation the adjacent limpiabote (shoeshiner) was engaged in, he was able to blend into the background and go unnoticed for as long as he chose.


GCC Delegation leader Loren Moss (grey suit, 2nd from right) with embattled PRD leader Hatuey deCamps (green suit, 2nd from left) and his contingent.

" E Pa Fuera Que Van"

By Loren Moss with Richard Poullet and Max Contreras; observers for the Global Commerce Consortium

Texas Bill

Feb 11, 2003
An absolutely graphic display of DEMOCRACY IN ACTION!
Many Kudoes to the participants! These are the type of people who, when they band together, make democracy work as it should!!!

Congratulations to ALL OF YOU!!!

Texas Bill