Santo Domingo (Agenzia Fides) - The Central Electoral Council (JCE) canceled the municipal elections which took place on 16 February due to a serious computer system flop in part of the polling stations. Citizens have been called to the polls again on March 15 for an extraordinary election day.
The Dominican Episcopal Conference, which in a recent pastoral Letter had invited candidates in the municipal elections in February and in the general elections in May, to present proposals based on the solution of the most urgent needs of the Dominican people (see Fides, 16/1/2020), expressed in a statement sent to Fides "its profound satisfaction" with the exemplary civic behavior of the population, who went to the polls on 16 February demonstrating their sense of responsibility. The suspension of the electoral process "obscures the long democratic tradition of our country", write the Bishops, who invite the competent authorities and political leaders to "live up to the circumstances: it is time to leave aside special interests and give first place to the true interests of the homeland".
"It is urgent to foster a climate of trust that fosters dialogue for the search for consensus, in order to respect the provisions of the Constitution and laws", hopes the Episcopal Conference, asking "our people, and in particular political leaders, to maintain calm and common sense", then urged the Central Electoral Council to clarify what happened. Finally, the Bishops invite Christian people to pray "for a climate of peace, development and social harmony in order to achieve the consolidation of our democratic institutions". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 20/2/2020)