The subtleties of change: Guillermo Moreno looks into what Abinader promised to win the election and what he has delivered

The Dominican Republic is “in.” The country has navigated the Covid-19 pandemic as it deals with inflation caused by the freight container crisis and the impact of the war in Ukraine. Tourists and business people see the country as the darling in the Caribbean. President Luis Abinader’s ratings are among the best in the world. No one can deny these facts.

All that said, muckraking opposition politician, Guillermo Moreno writes in Diario Libre that the government has not delivered on its promise of “change.” He expresses concern the government is making compromises to continue more of the same in the name of political and economic stability and growth.

He points out the Dominican people voted for Abinader to end the stronghold of 20 years in government of the then ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), in power consecutively from 2004 to 2020.

In the opinion piece, Moreno asks: “How is it possible that this party [the Modern Revolutionary Party – PRM], which was so critical in the opposition, has continued with the “barrilito” and the “cofrecito” in the Congress? What is the explanation that, despite the campaign commitments, the Penal Code has still not been approved? How is it that they have not backed the efforts of Senator Antonio Taveras and his bill on the Extinction of Ownership Law? Two years later, we do not know the position of the government regarding the Social Security Law. Was the voter told that this government would deepen the neoliberal privatization line of the PRI governments? How can we explain so many legislators linked to drug trafficking? Is their extradition enough?”

He criticizes that almost two years of the present administration, the fight against corruption has kept to the immediate circles of former President Danilo Medina, with the Public Prosecutor’s Office “not lifting its little finger” to prosecute actions of corruption during the Leonel Fernandez administration (2004-2012). “The most serious thing is that the Public Prosecutor’s Office for the Prosecution of Corruption (Pepca) has kept filed, sleeping the sleep of impunity, countless cases of corruption of that period,” he writes.

He criticizes nothing new has come in the Odebrecht corruption case from the new prosecutors appointed by President Luis Abinader.

“The great disappointment has been to perceive that once again political compromises are gaining ground and the nefarious thesis that ‘former Presidents are not criminally investigated’ is gaining strength, thus enshrining impunity,” he writes. Former President Hipólito Mejía, a high-ranking politician in the PRM, father of Carolina Mejía who is the secretary-general of the party, has maintained always that former Presidents should not be touched. Mejía was always close to former President Danilo Medina.

A former National District prosecutor, Moreno criticizes the delays in police reform, indicating the President has disappointed citizens in this respect. He recalls during the presidential campaign, Abinader had been outspoken of his plans to solve the issue of citizen insecurity and overhaul the police. He said that instead, what the President did was appoint a committee, “apparently to gain time”.

Read more in Spanish:
Diario Libre

17 May 2022