The Organization of American States (OAS) will audit the automated voting teams of the Dominican Republic, this in affirmative response to a request from the Dominican Government and the Central Electoral Board.
The decision was announced by Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the OAS, in a press release released on Friday afternoon, where the regional entity highlights that the elections on February 16 were suspended due to insurmountable technical problems, accompanied by a “ notoriously insufficient planning of the elections.
“Accepts the request of the JCE, coinciding with requests in the same direction of the national Government and different candidates and parties, to conduct an audit on the automated, complete and binding voting process around their results with the same standards of technical quality and professional rigor, as it happened recently in Bolivia, for the purpose of delimiting responsibilities, ”the statement said.
The OAS clarified that the technical working group that will be in charge of the audit will be independent of the Electoral Observation Mission, which will continue to work autonomously under the direction of Chilean President Eduardo Frei.
He pointed out that, so far, and according to the observation mission present in the country, there is no evidence that indicates a mishandling in the use of electronic instruments designed for automated voting.
“We appeal to all political actors in the country to accompany the work of the JCE, an autonomous constitutional power, with the purpose that on March 15, with a paper voting process, the democratic stability of the country be ratified, consolidating the electoral process as the central base of said stability, ”says the statement.
Hours before, the Dominican Government offered a press conference from the headquarters of the executive in which he recognized that a local investigation was not able to meet the real requirements of broad sectors of society.
The Dominican Government revealed having met for several days with opinion leaders from the country and the business community, in search of a way out of the political crisis that has arisen in the Dominican Republic with the suspension of the general elections. Also that on Thursday they met with the leaders of the OAS to discuss the current crisis.
“Nothing is achieved if the explanation offered, can still be true, does not have that credibility that is the basis of the trust that must exist between rulers and governed. Recognizing this, we must find a way to give credibility to any investigation that is carried out to determine what happened and if there was any malicious action in this unexpected interruption of municipal elections, ”says the Dominican Government in its statement.
Another of the announcements of the Government was the request to the Public Ministry to stop the investigations carried out by the country, until the international audit takes place, which will already be in charge of the Organization of American States.
The JCE declared itself as the most interested in everything that happened being duly clarified, which would give an answer to the citizens “who legitimately demand an explanation of what happened.”
All this movement takes place on the sixth day of protests in the Plaza de la Bandera, right in front of the electoral institution, where at the end of the afternoon thousands of young people have been gathering to ask for the departure of the five titular members of the electoral entity and an explanation, accompanied by impartial investigation, of what happened on election day.
Julio César Castaños Guzmán, president of the JCE, said Friday that no personnel of the entity have been questioned or investigated by the authorities investigating the alleged electoral crime committed last Sunday in the suspended municipal elections.
“They have not yet (investigated) that we have knowledge, not yet,” said the president of the JCE.
On the report requested by the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic, on the events of last Sunday, Castaños said they will deliver it as soon as possible “But it should be emphasized that the JCE investigation is the technical investigation carried out by IFES, Uniore of the OAS (Organization of American States), ”said the president of the JCE.
The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and the Inter-American Union of International Organizations (UNIORE) reported that they would conduct the technical investigation of the Automated Voting system used in the suspended municipal elections of last Sunday, February 16.
Former President Leonel Fernández said yesterday afternoon that the false investigation carried out by the Public Ministry and the National Police on sabotage of municipal elections was defeated.
Fernandez, through Twitter, said that due to popular pressure, the government was forced to “abandon its strategy of distraction from the failed attempt at fraud in municipal elections.”
The president of the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), Senator José Paliza, considered the request for the Organization of American States, OAS, to take the investigation until the end, in a statement provided last night.