SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (ViaNews) – After President Medina´s approval of the Political Party Law, the country´s election board (Junta Central Electoral or JCE) granted parties a period of 75 days to communicate their decision over the primary elections type (open or closed) they wish to conduct in preparation for the upcoming 2020 elections.
The brutal struggle being carried out internally in the PLD (Dominican Liberation Party), the current governing political party in the Dominican Republic, between the supporters of Danilo Medina and Leonel Fernandez has tainted and hindered the approval of the Law governing parties.
In this confrontation, Fernandez wishes for a closed primary system, in which only registered party members can choose their party candidates. President Medina, on the other hand, prefers open primaries which allow for registered an non-registered party members to choose their party candidates. The open primaries system has been approved by the Senate of the Republic.
According to the polls, it has already been predicted that the 2020 election will likely be dominated by 3 main candidates. Danilo Medina, current president and member of the PLD; Leonel Fernandez, former Dominican Republic president and also a leading member of the PLD; and Luis Abinader of the Partido Revolucionario Moderno (PRM).
Presently, due to delays in the compliance with the original directive, “the Central Electoral Board (JCE) has granted an additional 30 days extension to parties, groups, and political movements in order to decide if they will choose the modality of holding simultaneous primaries, as established by Law 33-18,” the Dominican newspaper Diario Libre reported.
Felipe Ciprián’s political analysis on Listin Diario sums up this situation the following way: “Heading the 2020 elections, there are three competing presidential projects. Danilo Medina is aiming at his second reelection for the Partido de la Liberación Dominicana (PLD); Leonel Fernandez searching for his fourth term on behalf of several ‘opposition’ parties because within the PLD his chances are slim; and Luis Abinader, leader of the Partido Revolucionario Moderno (PRM)”
The PLD may, in fact, be in a vulnerable situation regarding its unity as the same article reports: “Why will Danilo Medina be the presidential candidate for the PLD in the 2020 elections? Because he is searching for the nomination with his actions, always more effective than words, and all of his daily actions convince him that he will achieve it and he can become the candidate even in the event that Leonel flees the confrontation and accepts the external nomination and faces off with him.
Inside the PLD, where reason is now substituted by group interests,” wrote Felipe Ciprián,” Leonel will be defeated and all his followers who think that Danilo will let him substitute him, are dreamers.
We shouldn´t fool ourselves, in the PLD it will be Danilo, mainly because he is the President, will achieve whatever he wants due to the enthusiasm and willingness of his followers and I have to state once more that I have never seen Leonel, the only one that could challenge his aspirations, as a gladiator willing to face him in a defining confrontation.”
Will the PLD risk a split after 14 years in power?
Ramón Ventura Camejo, a member of the PLD Political Committee, believes that the great threat facing that political organization is to maintain its internal unity and stay in government. In order to achieve that, he proposes a dialogue between the President of the organization, Leonel Fernandez, President Danilo Medina, and the party´s Political Committee.
As reported by the Dominican newspaper Diario Libre, Ramón Ventura Camejo believes “It’s necessary to place ourselves at the level of the circumstances and transcend individual and personal issues because the main preoccupation now is to maintain the PLD in government.”
Ventura Camejo added that “the party must make an intelligent and constructive decision, that should not be a mere sum of items, because presidents should be allowed to carry out their administration´s government programs.”