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Commission approves constitutional reform

SANTO DOMINGO. Two hours after the second meeting behind closed doors, the special Senate commission charged with studying the legislative proposal which declares the need to reform the Constitution in order to reintroduce the consecutive presidential reelection decided yesterday to give its approval to the initiative with a favorable vote by seven of the nine commissioners.

The two abstentions from the favorable vote of the legislative proposal that would modify article 124 of the Magna Carta were those of Senators Julio Cesar Valentin and Aristides Victoria Yeb.

Those who approved the proposal were Reinaldo Pared Perez, who is the chairman of the commission, Adriano Sanchez Roa, Amable Aristy Castro, Rafael Calderon, Felix Vasquez, Felix Nova and Euclides Sanchez.

During the meeting which began at 4:10 in the afternoon, Senators Amilcar Romero and Carlos Castillo were present but without being able to vote because they did not belong to the Senate commission.

However, the details of the voting were not reported officially during the meeting with the reporters, after the end of the meeting. At this time Pared Perez reiterated as an answer to the question regarding the details that “it was a majority vote.”

It was Senator Victoria Yeb who reported the outcome in statements in the hallways on the second floor of the National Congress.

The two dissidents

“Senator Julio Cesar Valentin and I voted against,” he said at the same time as he indicated that he would present a dissenting report in which he will reaffirm his position against the modification of the Constitution.

“It is a law which should be approved by the qualified majority, by two thirds parts, which would be 22 votes. But we have seen that they are trying to find the shortest road in order to approve this proposal,” he said.

He said his proposals for holding public hearings and the invitation for the participation in the meeting of the total of the 13 Senators that presented the legislative proposal were rejected “by the majority.”

He added that during the meeting he asked for the postponement of the discussion given the fact that the Senate president, Cristina Lizardo had not answered the motion to remake the membership of the special Senate commission in order to include a female representative, which he indicated “was the principal reason” for the postponement of the first meeting last Thursday, but this was also rejected.

In another hallway, Valentin expressed his proposals – among which he pointed out reforms related to the referendum for revocation – were also rejected and that he voted against because “it is a right to assume the position which we feel is correct.”

It will not be presented today

During the press conference, Pared Perez indicated that the report will not be presented during today’s Senate session this afternoon, because of the need to modify parts of the text which was approved by the special commission, and this is an administrative process which takes a lot of time.

He did not specify when the report would be heard in the full Senate.

The man who is also the secretary general of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) indicated that they will eliminate the phrase “disposes the right of power” in article 2 of the proposal, in addition to some conjunctions in paragraph ‘b’, as well is in article 3.

He also said that the commission does not have any more meetings programmed, but another meeting could be set if needed. “We have advanced in a very significant manner. Very significant,” he said.

The decision to leave open the possibility of another meeting of the commission was pointed out as “encouraging” by Julio Cesar Valentin in his statements. In his judgment “it would give time in order to return to any issue that might be a product of some misunderstanding by the national political leadership and specifically the Dominican Liberation Party.”

Valentin said that he felt, in addition that the fact that the report will not be presented today will offer “time to meditate and not hurry.”

The first meeting of the commission was last Thursday, 14 May. The initiative of the reform which convenes the National Assembly was presented on 30 April with the signature of 13 Senators.

Source: DiarioLibre

May 20, 2015

Category: DR News |

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