AMERICA/DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Bishops hope for a peaceful solution to social tension due to the postponment of elections

Wednesday, 26 February 2020 local churches   elections  


Santiago (Agenzia Fides) - The hope that the political crisis that the Dominican Republic is going through will have a peaceful solution was expressed on Sunday, February 23, by the Archbishop of Santiago, Mgr. Freddy de Jesús Bretón Martínez. "After the suspension of the municipal elections (see Fides, 20/2/2020), the Dominicans are experiencing moments of uncertainty, with many protests and public demands. We understand that we must continue to pray for a peaceful solution", said Mgr. Bretón Martínez in a message broadcast by Radio Amistad in the program "Despertar del cristiano".
According to the note sent to Fides, the Archbishop underlined the right of youth movements to protest in the streets of the city, always in compliance with the law, and concluded by hoping that the Dominicans are not fooled by those who want to buy their votes.
Also the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese, Mgr. Tomás Morel Diplán, criticized clientelism and urged the Dominicans not to sell the ballot papers or the votes. "The interests of the country must always be above personal or group interests", said Mgr. Morel Diplán in the homily of the Sunday mass celebrated in the Santiago Apostle Cathedral, in Santiago.
The exhortations of the Bishops indicate that the climate in the country has become very tense. Protests in front of the Central Electoral Board (JCE) of the Dominican Republic over the suspension of municipal elections on February 16 have never stopped. On Monday, February 24, hundreds of people gathered again to ask for explanations on what happened on election day. The ruling party and the opposition accused each other of the alleged sabotage which created problems in the automated voting system and led to the suspension of the elections. The elections have been announced again on March 15 and will be followed by the elections on May 17 of Congress and the President. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 26/2/2020)