High abstention expected in municipal elections; JCE motivates voters

Rosario Espinal / Esta Noche Mariasela

During the Tuesday, 6 February 2024 discussion on the leading variety show Esta Noche con Mariasela, sociologist Rosario Espinal explained that the 2024 elections seek the “consolidation of the ruling party,” and thus, the election is generating less interest among the voters. The 2020 elections garnered much participation, as it was a vote against a political party that had controlled the different branches of government for around 20 years.

Municipal elections garner less support than presidential elections. In the 2020 municipal election, almost four years ago, electoral abstention was 51.86% of the total votes cast. The total was relatively high considering that in 2020 the country was smack into the Covid-19 pandemic and the municipal election had to be rescheduled after electronic voting system failure. Nevertheless, 3,679,081 of 7,487,040 persons showed up to vote.

El Nacional reports that the Central Electoral Board (JCE) is airing a campaign attempting to get more citizens to vote this 18 February 2024. So far, the municipal election is described as a campaign where candidates are showing pretty faces rather than debating ideas and proposals for city government. The leading candidates have not accepted public debates.

In 2020, the candidates of then opposition party, the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), obtained 1,432,414 votes in mayoralties and 294,839 in municipal districts for 1,727,553 and 40.76%, winning 86 municipalities.

The Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), then the majority party, obtained 1,129,807 votes in mayoralties and 296,591 in municipal districts for 1,426,398 and 33.66%, and 65 municipalities.

The Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) reached 143,429 votes for its mayors and 43,036 in municipal districts for 186,465 and 4.40%.

El Nacional recalls that regarding the presidential elections, the number of registered voters was 7,529,932, and the votes cast amounted to 4,163,305 for 55.29%. In the Presidential race, today incumbent President Luis Abinader of the PRM and allies, received 52.52% of the vote.

Likewise, the PRM opposition party won a simple majority in both the Senate and Chamber of Deputies in the National Congress in the 2020 legislative election held concurrently with the presidential election in July 2020.

El Nacional reports that the JCE campaign seeks to instruct people how to vote, what preferential voting is and the differences between municipalities and municipal districts. In the 2024 election, votes can be cast for both the mayor and the city councillor of whatever party.

In the 18 February municipal elections, 158 mayors will need to be elected. Likewise, citizens are asked to vote for 1,164 city councilors.

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El Nacional
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Esta Noche con Mariasela

7 February 2024