Judges to be chosen after the election

The PRSC did not obtain the support of the block of senators that comprise the Acuerdo de Santo Domingo, and has thus been unable to form the Consejo Nacional de la Magistratura (CNM) which will be responsible for selecting judges, including those of the Supreme Court. Last year, President Balaguer requested that the make-up of this important judicial body be postponed, leaving the selection of its members to the new government. But in his 27 February speech he changed his instructions and ordered his party’s senators to make a pact with the PRD, and support Milagros Ortíz Bosch as the remaining member of the Consejo. The senator for the PLD, Jaime David Fernández, said that he agrees with the Acuerdo de Santo Domingo senators in not voting to choose the CNM now, but prefers to postpone the matter until the next legislative period.

Political observers indicate that President Balaguer is promoting the choice of the CNM now in order to reach political agreements with the PRD. Some six members have been chosen but an impasse remains over the seventh.

The Senate decided to postpone the matter and concentrate on more important items such as the Codigo Monetario Financiero, Ley Orgánica de Educación and the privatization bill for electricity system.

On a TV interview in “Uno Más Uno” on TeleAntillas, Jacinto Peynado said a reform of the judicial power is necessary, and he considered that one cannot give the selection of judges to the political parties. “If we are going to pass the power of selecting the judges to the political parties, we will just be changing jackets, and the justice system will remain the same,” he said, referring to the fact that Dominican justice is in its worst state ever, with corruption at the highest levels. Mr Peynado believes that the judges on the Consejo Nacional de la Magistratura should be chosen by the consensus of the society, as occurred in the case of the Junta Central Electoral, whose judges no one has criticized and which are known for their excellence and integrity.