When she was an opposition deputy in the Chamber of Deputies, young legislator Faride Raful was very vocal speaking up, calling for an end to corruption, more checks and balances in government, and eliminating the slush fund in Congress. The fund delivers legislators upwards of RD$300,000= US$1 million + a month for use at their discretion. The legislators defend the fund saying they use it to meet the humanitarian needs of their constituents.
When campaigning for National District senator, Raful had said she would resign “the little barrel.” But so far, she did not join the Senate’s president, Eduardo Estrella (DxC-Santiago) and Antonio Taveras (PRM-Santo Domingo) who did resign, keeping their promises to do so made during the electoral campaign. Raful now instead announces she has created a technical fund. She explains this is a way to “redirect the funds to the real needs in the National Congress.”
“We are opposed to using these resources for our own welfare or assistance practices, that is not the role of the National Congress,” the legislator said on her Twitter account. The National District senator receives RD$1,059,000 a month for use at her discretion. Records show she received this amount in September 2020.
“Coherence and transparency are not one-day attitudes; they make up a permanent exercise of actions that are determined by real convictions. If it bothers you so much you have two options: 1) emulate or 2) ignore, never with lies say what it is not,” said Raful in her Twitter account. She is now leading the Senate committee that is assessing the candidates for the president and four members and five alternates of the Central Electoral Board (JCE).
News commentator Altagracia Salazar said that Faride Raful becomes a big loser, losing credibility and disappointing the thousands of people who voted for her to become the National District senator.
News commentator Huchi Lora on El DiaTV called for eliminating the slush fund or “little barrel.” He said it is a way of officializing corruption. He said the fund is a way legislators can permanently campaign for staying in the position or aspiring to higher positions in government. He said if legislators want to help people, they should draft good laws. Speaking on the same morning TV show, journalist Edith Febles said: “The Dominican people have evolved, and politicians have stayed behind.”
16 October 2020