Leonel proposes a referendum for people to vote for constitutional reform
SANTO DOMINGO. Former President and the president of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), Leonel Fernandez, suggested last night that the government hold a referendum of approval so that it is the people who directly say if they want a constitutional reform or not, according to what is established in article 272 of the Constitution and he said that he would join with enthusiasm this civic experience together with all those who feel identified with him.
“I share this opinion. The people are the ones who decide; and if it is so, let it be the people who express themselves,” said Fernandez as he gave a 20 page speech yesterday over a network of media outlets.
He responded in this manner to the supporters of the reelection of President Danilo Medina, that in order to make possible the re-nomination they start from the premise “of the enormous support which the President of the Republic receives, in the different surveys and upon this base they have hoisted the slogan that “the people are who decide.”
“This would be a beautiful example of direct democracy as never before seen in the history of the nation. In this manner, our Dominican Liberation Party would be at the level of the great national expectations, and would once again cover itself with glory, and leave written a new outstanding chapter in the struggles of our people for democracy and liberty,” he stressed.
Fernandez specified that he would enthusiastically join in this great civic effort and would travel the country once again, together with all those who feel identified with him in favor of the people manifesting their will in favor of the constitutional change.
“We have never feared the people. Let us have the people speak. This is what our Constitution calls for,” he said.
He said that he felt that the proposal for the reform which has been deposited in the Senate of the Republic does not offer by itself, sufficient guarantees or judicial security in the sense that the reform that they want to carry out at the present time, will not repeat itself in the future.
Fernandez proposed that in order not to leave any doubts in the coming years, and that there are no mistakes or false interpretations, that they should think about modifying article 270 of the Constitution so that in the future, in a direct manner they indicate that the Law for Convening the National Revising Assembly should be approved, “not even as a constitutional law, but rather as a special law, requiring (approval by) three quarters of the membership of both chambers.”
He also was of the opinion that they should submit article 271 for modification, in order to establish that from now on, if the Constitutional reform refers to the mandate of the constitutional election of the President of the Republic, “the decision should be adopted also by the three fourths majority of the members of the Revising Assembly.”
In addition, he suggested that the law which orders the Popular Consultation be submitted to the National Congress so that it is in force from now on, in order to be able to modify the Constitution according to article 210.
“With reverence and humility I bow before what would be the will of the people, expressed in a referendum,” he indicated.
More voters in the referendum
Regarding the celebration of a referendum of approval, allowed under article 272, Fernandez proposed that the number of voters be raised from 30% to 60% of those registered on the voting rolls, in order, in this manner, to make it more democratic and with greater participation. “The idea is, I repeat, that the Constitution should be rigid. That it can’t be changed or modified so easily. That it should not be open to malicious or accommodating interpretations. That the Constitution should be, permanently, the pact signed by the different sectors,” he said.
He recognizes that there are misgivings and volatility in the PLD
After proclaiming that he is not pursuing any position and that he is only invoking respect for the Constitution, he recognized that as a consequence of the discrepancies which have come about regarding the proposal for the constitutional reform which seeks the presidential reelection, there has been a lot of volatility and misgivings among the people, and a lot of humiliation and regrets in the PLD family. He added that in spite of the differences, he is doing everything in order that the PLD stays strong, cohesive and united, so that he is promoting a line of a permanent dialogue in order to “overcome our obstacles.”
“With regard to myself, I know that since I finished my last term of office in government, in 2012, I have been in the eye of the hurricane of interests in conflict and of excessive ambitions of power, that have been able to make my voice irrelevant on the national political scene,” he stressed. Nevertheless, he showed his hope that the PLD “will survive this difficulty, and come out stronger and more vigorous than ever before.”
May 26, 2015
Category: DR News |