Update on the wishy-washy municipal elections

With few candidates willing to be vocal about their municipal government plans, this has been a disappointing municipal electoral campaign nationwide. For many, though, the campaign is welcomed as a positive one for the absence of noisy campaign parading and filling of cityscapes with political propaganda. Political parties receive billions in taxpayer money for their campaigns.

As an editorial in Diario Libre published on 26 January 2024 had observed the candidates seem to fear screwing up if they air their views. Diario Libre complained that ruling party candidates were not accepting invitations to be interviewed. A party spokesman would subsequently deny there was a party order in place ordering candidates not to sit for interviews.

In some cities such as Puerto Plata, for instance, there are no political posters in the Central Park. No one would know the elections are on 18 February 2024. In Puerto Plata the ruling party mayor, Roque Garcia is running for reelection and expected to win.

None of the major polls have published updated findings for 2024. Political analyst Rosario Espinal has said these elections have not garnered more interest because they are about the consolidation of the ruling political party. In the Dominican Republic, political activism has traditionally revved up when people vote against a candidate, not in favor.

Meanwhile, electoral analysts focus on the complexities of the 2024 municipal elections. Voters this year for the first time have the opportunity to cast their vote for a city councilor in their district. Some 3,849 positions are up for election.

In the 2024 municipal election, the voters will receive two ballots. One is to place the X for the selected candidate for mayor, and the second one for choosing the city councilor, and in some areas the municipal directors.

As has occurred in the past, the Central Electoral Board (JCE) announces a ban on alcohol sales. The ban will be imposed from Saturday, 17 February at 7am to Monday, 19 February at 5am. Hotels located in touristic areas are allowed to continue with the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Read more in Spanish:

Listin Diario
El Caribe
El Caribe
Diario Libre
Diario Libre
Diario Libre

12 February 2024