Embajador dominicano envía carta al Congreso de EE.UU. defendiendo primarias del PLD

El embajador dominicano en los Estados Unidos, José Tomás Pérez, envió una carta al Congreso de Estados Unidos defendiendo la labor de la Junta Central Electoral (JCE) en las primarias del pasado 06 de octubre, en la que resultó ganador por el Partido de la Liberación Dominicana (PLD), Gonzalo Castillo, frente al expresidente Leonel Fernández.

El documento, que consta de tres páginas, fue realizado por el diplomático el pasado 11 de octubre. En este, Pérez dijo que Fernández está denunciado el fraude del cual presuntamente fue víctima, alegando que el sistema de voto automatizado implementado por la JCE fue supuestamente manipulado por este organismo para favorecer a Castillo.

Pérez defendió el trabajo del presidente de la junta, Julio César Castaños Guzmán, diciendo que este realiza “un buen trabajo y es una abogado independiente y respetable”. Añade que “la junta rechazó cualquier tipo de fraude o manipulación, los resultados de las primarias del PLD fueron muy cerrados”. Sin embargo, “eso no significa que Castillo no sea el ganador. Hasta el momento, no han presentado ninguna evidencia de fraude”, explica el diplomático.

El embajador calificó como “desafortunado” el hecho de que el expresidente Fernández “se embarque el mismo en una cruzada para cuestionar el proceso” el cual ha sido valorado por organizaciones de la sociedad civil, según Pérez.

Asimismo, agregó que “el principio fundamental de la democracia recae en que Fernández acepte los resultados de las pasadas elecciones primarias”. Pérez añadió que el país necesita “seguir adelante y estar listo para las elecciones generales del próximo año”.

“Es antidemocrático que el exmandatario Fernández esté creando una crisis artificial solo porque perdió las primarias” recalcó Pérez.

De igual modo, se refirió al Partido Revolucionario Moderno (PRM), en el que también se disputó la candidatura presidencial para las elecciones del 2020, en la cual Luis Abinader resultó ganador por encima del expresidente Hipólito Mejía. Este último felicitó al ganador y “no cuestionó los resultados de la junta”, explicó el diplomático.

Carta integra en inglés enviada por Pérez al Congreso de Estado Unidos

Embajada de la República Dominicana

Washington, D.C.

EDW-0842-19

The Embassy of the Dominican Republic presents its compliments to the Honorable Members of the U.S. Congress, and has the honor to inform the results of the Primary Elections in The Dominican Republic that took place this Sunday, October 6th,

Primary Elections in the Dominican Republic

For the first time since the adoption of the legislation that regulates the political parties, the Dominican Republic celebrated primary elections this past Sunday, October 6th.

According to the law, participation in primary processes is optional for political parties; thus, only the two major parties participated in the primaries: the PLD (governing party) and the PRM (the main opposition party):

The primaries were organized by the Central Electoral Board, an autonomous body presided by a well-respected and independent attorney Mr. Julio C. Castaños.

The PLD celebrated an “open” primaries, that is, any person could vote in said primaries, whereas the PRM celebrated a “closed” primaries, that is, only those registered in this party could vote. This had an important impact in terms of participation: in the PLD primaries, 1,872,505 people voted, whereas in the PRM primaries 382,294 voted.

In the PLD primaries competed five candidates, but the main contenders were former president Leonel Fernández and former Minister of Public Works in President Medina’s administration Gonzalo Castillo. Castillo won with 48.72% (911,023 votes) against Fernández with 47.29% (885,233) votes).

e Former President Fernández is making the claim that he was victim of an electoral fraud, which allegedly consisted in a manipulation of the electronic voting system to benefit Castillo. He delivered a speech on national television to further present his allegations.

The Central Electoral Board has defended its work, and strongly rejected that any fraud or manipulation of results have taken place. It has expressed that it has worked with transparency, in consultation with political parties, and with the presto of national and international observers.

Theresults of the PLD primaries were, indeed, very close, but that does not mean that there is not a clear winner: Mr. Gonzalo Castillo. Thus far, no evidence has been presented of the alleged fraud.

Former President Leonel Fernández, who was President of the country for three terms (1996–2000, 2004-2008 and 2008-2012) was seeking to be the candidate for its party to opt for a fourth term. Perhaps, he was not ready to lose the primaries from a new comer, someone who had never run for office.

Itis unfortunate, to say the least, that Former President Fernández has embarked himself in a “crusade” to question a process that has been highly commended by different sectors of Dominican society, including the main civil society organizations that work on electoral observation and on issues of institutional reforms.

A fundamental democratic principle is to accept the victory of your opponent. Unfortunately, Former President Fernández is not honoring this principle, and this is the only explanation of his claim. No key sector of Dominican society has echoed his claim.

After this first successful experience in primary competition, the country needs to move – forward and get ready for the general elections next year. Itis undemocratic on the part of Mr. Fernández to create an artificial political crisis only because he lost a primary election.

With respect to the PRM, the winner was Mr. Luis Abinader against Former President Hipólito Mejía. The latter congratulated the former and congratulated the Dominican people for its democratic behavior. This party has not questioned the work of the Electoral Board.

Inresponse to requests for greater transparency, the Central Electoral Board (JCE) decided to manually count 100% of the votes at the presidential level of the PLD primaries. The Central Electoral Board published today the result of the manual counting carried out by the 158 electoral boards of the country, naming, again, Gonzalo Castillo as the winner. The manual counting was carried out in the presence of officials of the Board, delegates of the Party and of the candidates, and civil society organizations as Participación Ciudadana.

The Conference of the Dominican Episcopate, on the occasion of the celebration of the simultaneous party primaries of October 6th of this year, expressed its vote of confidence in the honesty, commitment to seriousness and impartiality of the members of the Central Electoral Board (JCE), to carry out the process and dissipate any doubts that could be generated. They also highlighted the respect for institutionalism as fundamental for the development of the democratic climate, and called on the various sectors of society to collaborate to maintain the climate of peace, respect and harmony in the country.

The Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) ofthe Dominican Republic decided yesterday on the appeal filed by the former President of the Republic, Leonel Fernández, in which he requested that the JCE be ordered to refrain from disclosing the final calculations of the Party’s primaries of – the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) at the presidential level, and proclaiming Mr. Gonzalo Castillo as a presidential candidate for the PLD. The TSE rejected, regarding the merits, the aforementioned claim, based on said decision that the plaintiff “failed to prove to the Court that the damage invoked, if it occurred, is irreparable.”

The Embassy of the Dominican Republic avails itself of this opportunity to renew to Honorable Members of the U.S. Congress, the assurances of its highest consideration.

Washington, DC October 11, 2019

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