PRM sweeps municipal elections

The municipal elections to choose 158 mayors nationwide were for the most part eventless, both during the campaign and on election day, Sunday, 18 February 2024.

The Central Electoral Board (JCE) closed the vote at 5pm on Sunday, as had been announced. The first bulletin was issued at 8pm as announced, with 20% of the vote counted. From the start, it looked like a sweep of the candidates backed by the ruling Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) in almost all of the most populated municipalities of the country.

As of the 10:30pm JCE bulletin, with 70% of the vote in, the PRM candidates were clear winners in 119 of the 158 municipalities.

In the 2020 municipal election, the party had gained 113 of the 158 mayoralties. This 2024, the first vote counts indicate the PRM will increase its hold on city governments. As of Sunday at around midnight, the party was expected to add six more city mayoralties, for a total of 119.

In the National District, the capital city, the vote had the current mayor Carolina Mejía with a far lead over Domingo Contreras of the Dominican Liberation Party + People’s Force coalition. The PRM announced that with 77.4% of the vote counted in the evening, Carolina Mejia had grabbed 61.10% of the vote to 37.63%. Carolina Mejia is the secretary general of the PRM.

Dio Astacio, running for the PRM in Santo Domingo East, the second largest voting district in the Dominican Republic, with 81.94% of the vote counted, had 58.69% of the votes to 35.19% of Luis Alberto Tejeda of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD). Julio Romero, the candidate for the People’s Force had but 4.99%. Romero had been accused of having sex with a minor when he was a deputy in Congress.

Likewise, in Santiago de los Caballeros, with 83.75% of the count completed at the voting stations, the PRM candidate Ulises Rodríguez had 61.68% of the votes compared to runner up, PLD deputy Victor Fadul with 37.37%.

In Higuey, La Altagracia, capital of the Punta Cana area, many times mayor Karina Aristy is likely to return to the position. She competed for a coalition backed by the ruling PRM. She had 51.31% of the vote as of around midnight.

In La Vega, incumbent mayor Kevin Cruz appeared will accomplish the feat of being reelected a second time. He sought a third term in government.

Guarocuya Cabral of the PRM will also be reelected for his third term as mayor of Moca, Espaillat province. He garnered 65% vote count in the first bulletin of the JCE. He defeated Pedro Fernández Veras, who ran for the Alianza Rescate RD coalition of the PLD + FP that reached 33% of the vote.

As one of the exceptions to the generalized sweep of municipal governments by the PRM, the former ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), Fuerza del Pueblo and PRD coalition was able to keep its stronghold in the province of San Juan de la Maguana, the hometown of former President Danilo Medina and of FP senator Felix Bautista. The PLD candidate Lenin de la Rosa had received 54% to two times mayor Hanoi Sánchez (2006-2010 and 2010-2016), with 44.85% of the votes. Hanoi Sanchez had switched to the PRM from the FP. She had been mayor on the PLD ticket on different terms.

As was expected, the abstention was reportedly higher than the 50.86% in the 2020 election.

Participacion Ciudadana’s electoral watchdog team reported violations of the electoral law with the distribution of propaganda, mainly by the majority parties, starting with the ruling Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), followed by the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) and the People’s Force (FP) at the voting stations.

The chief of the Organization of American States observer mission, Eladio Loizaga said that the political parties and other entities had worked for the celebration of elections that were held in a civic and respectful way.

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19 February 2024