JCE speaks to transparency in organization of the 19 May elections and calls for citizens to go to vote

The Dominican Constitution establishes that voting is a civic right and duty. It is also a privilege of citizens living in a democratic society. “The hard work is now over, almost all the electoral boards have in their possession the material that will be used in Sunday’s elections,” says JCE Director of Elections, Mario Núñez, in an interview in Listin Diario.

The Central Electoral Board (JCE), in charge of organizing the elections in the Dominican Republic, says all is ready for the election and called for mass attendance to the polls. JCE member judge, Dolores Fernandez said that the JCE guarantees transparent, equitable and free electoral process for the 8,145,548 Dominicans registered to vote. Fernández, a career officer at the JCE before being named a plenary member, explained that the setup of the elections is very good, with the electoral logistics complete, as reported in Listin Diario.

“The Central Electoral Board invites you to vote, that participation be massive because when we vote democracy flourishes. Let’s vote consciously, for democracy, with joy, with enthusiasm, for what? To guarantee the strengthening of political parties. We guarantee a process in freedom, in equity, with transparency, we are going to vote, to vote for our country, for that Dominican that we carry inside,” she said when interviewed at the headquarters of the electoral body.

The JCE has installed an information center at the Dominican Fiesta Hotel, nearest to the JCE headquarters. The 2016 election also set up an information center at the hotel. The center is fitted with computers and screens to facilitate the work of journalists covering the election for Dominican and foreign audiences.

The large hall will have a giant screen to transmit the results of the presidential level, two areas dedicated to voting abroad and 32 screens corresponding to the same number of provinces. The information center will be the stage for the plenary session of the JCE when JCE president Roman Jaquez opens the election at 7am on Sunday, 19 May 2024 in the presence of more than 200 national and international observers and delegates from political parties.

Prison vote
Regarding the vote of non-convicted prison inmates, JCE member Dolores Fernandez said that this program, which was carried out in the 2016 elections, though interrupted for the 2020 election due to the Covid-19 pandemic, also has international observation of the Electoral Advice and Promotion Center (Capel). She said 4,030 identification cards were issued to inmates.

“Now we are going to have the prison vote and we are very happy because it is part of a modern society. Respecting article 69, ordinal 3 of our Constitution on the presumption of innocence. These are people deprived of liberty who have not had a conviction, and now we are going to allow them to vote in 21 jails,” she explained. 4,296 inmates are registered to vote.

Satisfied delegates
Rescate RD, a political alliance of the Fuerza del Pueblo, Partido de la Liberación Dominicana and Partido Revolucionario Dominicano, had requested on 10 May 2024 that the JCE change the 1,500 secretaries and heads of voting precincts, arguing their questionable performance in the municipal election of 18 February 2024. Nevertheless, it seems that most political party delegates are pleased with the organization of the 2024 elections under the JCE authorities.

Rolando García, observer of the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), said that the process has been laborious, and that when they have made any observations and taken them to the board’s staff, these have been corrected instantly.

“When we had some type of observation to make, we called the authorities, we made them and they have always been open to making any type of correction. Always keeping in mind that we are here to co-help any situation that arises and not to hinder the work of the Board, so far everything has gone smoothly and we are satisfied,” he said.

While Miguel Antonio Hiciano, observer of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), described the packaging and dispatch of the electoral kits as excellent. “At the beginning, there were a few difficulties, but these were all resolved. Everything has been normal, we have always been observing and everything has been perfect,” he said.

The political party delegates had praise for the security measures implemented in the packaging and distribution of the materials they send to the electoral boards and abroad for the presidential and congressional elections in which more than eight million Dominicans are eligible to vote.

The first bags that the JCE sent were those for voting abroad, and although it had to reprint more than 600 thousand ballots, the delegates say that the materials are now in the corresponding constituencies.

42 political parties are participating with candidates in the 2024 election. Most of the minority parties have adhered to the ruling Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) and its candidate President Luis Abinader. The other leading candidates are three-term former President Leonel Fernandez running for the Fuerza del Pueblo (People’s Force) and former Santiago mayor Santiago Abel Martinez, running for the former ruling party, the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD).

TV variety show host, Mariasela Alvarez warned on her 13 May 2024 program that people should check with multiple sources before giving credence to fake news that may seek to cause chaos where there is no chaos, especially as desperate measures by those who see themselves losing the election.

The leading polls, Penn/Stagwell, Greenberg-Diario Libre, Gallup-RCC, Centro Economico del Cibao, all reveal President Luis Abinader has a comfortable around 30-point lead into the election.

Read more in Spanish:
Listin Diario

Listin Diario
Z101 Digital
Noticias SIN

Esta Noche con Mariasela

14 May 2024