President Danilo Medina declared electoral victory in the Dominican Republic on Monday as results showed him ahead with a huge margin, but the win was marred by deaths and violence exacerbated by the slow pace of the vote count. Medina swayed voters with a record of surging GDP growth and social projects that outweighed stubborn poverty, high crime and accusations of graft in the Caribbean’s largest economy. “We have received the support of the majority of the Dominican people,” Medina said in a speech at his campaign headquarters, thanking the nation for his victory. Final results were still not out more than 24 hours after polls closed on Sunday night, a situation electoral authorities blamed for tension between candidates that led to six deaths and unrest in the provinces.
The Caribbean tourist haven of the Dominican Republic votes for a president on Sunday, with incumbent Danilo Medina tipped to win despite crime, poverty and corruption accusations against his party. His centrist PLD party has been in power for 12 years in the Spanish-speaking state, which shares the island of Hispaniola with its troubled neighbor, Haiti. The Dominican Republic’s economy is booming thanks to the millions of dollars foreigners spend visiting its luxury hotels and beaches. Output grew seven per cent last year. But 40 per cent of the island’s 10 million residents are estimated to live in poverty and the unemployment rate is about 14 per cent, according to the government.
In January of this year, Puerto Rico’s Governor, Alejandro Garcia Padilla, made an announcement that would be political suicide for any politician in the mainland United States. Garcia Padilla, standing beside President Danilo Medina of the Dominican Republic, announced a proposal to broaden the voting franchise to include every resident of Puerto Rico, regardless of legal status. It is an established fact that illegal immigrants cannot vote in U.S. elections. This is also the current law in Puerto Rico. However, Garcia Padilla expressed his opinion that since every person who chooses Puerto Rico as his or her home is affected by the decisions that the government makes, all residents should have the right to participate in deciding who governs. So far, neither the Governor nor the members of his political party, the Popular Democratic Party (PPD), has drafted a bill on this issue. However, the Governor’s proposal sparked discussions about the constitutionality of giving illegal immigrants the right to vote, particularly given Puerto Rico’s relationship with U.S.
Puerto Rico: Governer Proposes Voting Rights for All, Regardless of Immigration Status | Good Magazine
Puerto Rico governer Alejandro Garcia Padilla has announced plans for legislation that would grant the right to vote to all of its estimated 200,000-400,000 undocumented immigrants. The statements came at a recent public meeting with the president of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, during which the two politicians signed various agreements to tackle economics, education, security, and environmental issues together. “Today, we would like to break down the barriers that prevent immigrants from contributing all that they truly can to economic recovery and social progress in Puerto Rico,” said Padilla earlier this month.
A governing party official appeared headed for a first-round win in the Dominican Republic’s presidential election as supporters of his opponent complained of rampant vote-buying and other forms of fraud. Danilo Medina of the current president’s Dominican Liberation Party led with 51 percent of the vote with 75 percent of ballots counted. His main rival, former President Hipolito Mejia of Dominican Revolutionary Party had nearly 47 percent. The winner needed more than 50 percent to avoid a runoff. Reinaldo Pared Perez, the secretary general of the Dominican Liberation Party, told jubilant supporters that Medina had won but they were still awaiting official confirmation from the Electoral Commission. Mejia’s representative on the Electoral Commission accused the ruling party of fraud, saying the former president should have received many more votes than what was being reflected in the results. “We all know what party the director of the Electoral Commission belongs to,” he said at a news conference.
A governing party official appeared to have scored a first-round win in the Dominican Republic’s presidential election but supporters of his main opponent complained of vote-buying and other forms of fraud and said they would challenge the results. Danilo Medina of the current president’s Dominican Liberation Party received just over 51 percent of Sunday’s vote with 83 percent of the ballots counted, according to the Caribbean country’s Electoral Commission. His main rival, former President Hipolito Mejia of the Dominican Revolutionary Party, had nearly 47 percent. The winner needed more than 50 percent to avoid a runoff. Medina said he was confident he would win, but that the Electoral Commission would keep scrutinizing ballots through the night. He thanked a crowd of supporters and sent them home. “We will celebrate in a big way tomorrow,” he said.