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  • Protests in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, due to the failure of the municipal elections of February 16th, 2020.

    Protests in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, due to the failure of the municipal elections of February 16th, 2020. | Photo: Twitter: @JuanSantanaC30

Published 27 February 2020
Opinion

Medina gave his eighth and final speech as president as people took to the streets to brand him as corrupt.

The Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina addressed the Dominican people on Wednesday with a speech praising his administration, while thousands of people took to the streets to brand him as corrupt and demand a solution to the political crisis the Caribbean country is going through.

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The economic development that the Dominican Republic has experienced in recent years and the efforts to reduce inequality in the country were the main issues that Medina addressed during his eighth and final speech as president. 

"The Dominican Republic is one of the top countries in the region, in terms of growth of the gross domestic product, in direct foreign investment and in the reduction of unemployment. In 2019, we grew by 5.1%, the highest increase in Latin America and the Caribbean," he said in his victory speech.

What Medina did not include in his speech is that the country's democracy is at stake, as claimed by the thousands of protesters who took to the streets after the suspension of municipal elections on February 16th, in which they were to elect mayors, vice mayors, aldermen, district board directors, and members.

"The rally, dubbed "Trabucazo 2020," coincides with the last accountability speech to be given by President Danilo Medina, whose second term ends on Aug. 16."

The February 16 elections were suspended throughout the country, just four hours before voting began, due to failures with the electronic vote. 

In this decision, unprecedented in the country, it does not matter if the elections were held with automated or manual voting, preventing thousands of Dominicans from exercising their right to vote.

Today the protests reflect the concern of the Dominican people about the protection of the elections, vulnerable to foreign intervention, vote manipulation, and errors, according to local sources.

"I fully identify with the clamor of broad sectors of Dominican society, especially the new generations, for a thorough search for the truth, the whole truth, without any restrictions or restrictions. The Dominican people demand and deserve a response," he said briefly in his speech.

In his speech, Medina did not clarify how the government will provide a solution to the electoral crisis facing the Dominican Republic. He only referred to his confidence in the Organization of American States - the main party responsible for creating situations of social instability in the region - to find out the reasons for the electoral failure of February 16th.

"We will try to guarantee that something similar will not happen again in the extraordinary electoral commissions that will take place on March 15th and May 17th," concluded Medina.​​​​​​​

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