SANTO DOMINIGO, Dominican Republic -- The Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (EOM/OAS) to the general elections of May 15 in the Dominican Republic, headed by former Colombian president Andrés Pastrana, on Tuesday presented a preliminary report that proposes an in-depth structural reform in order to help strengthen the electoral process in the country.
The mission specifically made observations and recommendations on the implementation of an electoral technology, loopholes in campaign financing, inequality in terms of access to the media, and the system of representation and participation of women in politics.
On election day, the 38 international experts and observers who were part of the mission visited 292 voting centres in 18 provinces of the country. Two additional observers witnessed the voting process in Washington, DC.
On Sunday, Dominican citizens expressed their will at the polls and, according to data by the Central Electoral Board, more than 60% voted in favor of Danilo Medina, who will be re-elected as president for the next four years.
In the days leading up to the election, the Central Electoral Board (JCE, by its Spanish acronym) and a group of opposition parties requested the mission’s good offices to bring about a dialogue between parties who disagreed on the procedure for counting votes. The mission welcomed the fact that the board listened to the complaints received but regretted that doors were not opened for a dialogue with concerned parties.
The mission deplored the isolated incidents of violence that left six people dead. Despite these facts and with the exception of the opening and closing of polling stations, the day progressed in an orderly manner. Proper training of polling station members, familiarity with the manual method, and the willingness and experience of party delegates helped to ensure the election process took place without further setbacks.