The National Senate, with its majority of ruling Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) senators, voted for People’s Force (FP) senator Bautista Rojas Gomez to fill the missing seat in the National Council of the Magistracy (CNM). The CNM is the government body that elects the members in the higher courts.
The FP has the second highest number of senators in the Senate, after three senators elected on the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) ballot crossed over to the new political party. The FP was created when former President Leonel Fernandez, who was also former president of the PLD, left the party alleging fraud in the party’s primaries, when Gonzalo Castillo was chosen the PLD presidential candidate and not Fernandez.
Twenty-three senators voted to choose the People’s Force as the second majority party in the Senate. He will join senator Eduardo Estrella (Dominicanos por el Cambio-Santiago) in the CNM.
Previously, the senator of the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), Antonio Taveras, president of the Justice Commission, had presented a favorable report to choose the Fuerza del Pueblo as the second majority. The motion was approved by the floor when it was presented on Wednesday, 18 November 2020.
The Senate tweeted:
“In a single debate session, the Senate of the Republic approved the report of the Permanent Commission of Justice and Human Rights, that grants the second Senate majority to the People’s Force Party and the senator @BautaRojas as a member of the National Council of the Judiciary.”
Article 178 of the Constitution orders that the CNM be composed of the President of the Republic, who will preside over it; the president of the Senate, and a senator chosen by the Senate and who belongs to the party or block of parties different from that of the President of the Senate and who holds the representation of the second majority.
The PLD has argued that the FP participated in the 2020 presidential and congressional election as an ally of the ruling Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) and was part of that block. They say this means the second majority should go to them. The party says it will contest the case in the higher courts.
19 November 2020