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28 Feb 2020 | 05:54 AM UTC

Dominican Republic: Protests scheduled in Barahona, other cities February 29 /update 7

Protests against the JCE to continue in Barahona, other cities on February 29; transportation disruptions expected

security
transportation
DOM

Event

Residents of Barahona have called for a protest on Saturday, February 29, in continued opposition to the Central Electoral Board (JCE), nearly two weeks after the election incident that prompted the peaceful nationwide movement. Protesters will gather at Plazoleta Duarte as of 15:00 (local time). Spontaneous protests remain possible in urban centers across the Dominican Republic, especially so in Santo Domingo, likely at Plaza de la Bandera, and in Santiago, likely near the Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration.

Peaceful protests were again reported nationwide on Thursday, February 27, Dominican Independence Day, for the twelfth consecutive day.

Protests are likely to continue across the country until the JCE addresses protesters' demands. A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions should be expected in the vicinity of all gatherings.

Context

Municipal elections were held on February 16, in which several polling centers operating electronic ballots reported glitches. Following these reports, several protests were reported in cities across the country as a response to the glitches, seen as election rigging to benefit the leading party, the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD). The electronic system was used in just 18 of the 158 municipalities - areas with high population density. The Central Electoral Union (JCE) subsequently suspended the elections and called for a new vote on March 15.

While the protests have been largely peaceful, significant transportation disruptions have been reported in the aforementioned cities.

Advice

Individuals in Barahona and in the Dominican Republic more generally are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all large public gatherings as a precaution, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, and refrain from discussing political topics in public or on social media.