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18 Feb 2020 | 07:59 AM UTC

Dominican Republic: Protests continue in Santo Domingo as JCE sets new election date February 17 /update 2

Protests against the JCE reported in Santo Domingo on February 17; new election date announced

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Event

Additional protests were reported in Santo Domingo on Monday, February 17, as the public called on the government and Central Electoral Union (JCE) to allow for a democratic and transparent vote to take place following the electronic glitches reported in the Sunday, February 16 municipal elections. Protesters called for the JCE staff to step down amid disappointment in the electoral process.

The JCE called for fresh municipal elections on Sunday, March 15, though protests called for the electronic ballot system to be abandoned to avoid further inconsistencies.

Associated protests are likely to continue over the coming days amid a heightened security presence.

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 by 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.

Advice

Individuals in Dominican Republic 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.