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Re-election in the air

Re-election in the air

The sister of President Danilo Medina, former president of the Chamber of Deputies, Lucia Medina said on Saturday, 11 March 2018, that in her understanding the 2015 Constitution does not ban the President from seeking another term. She said to seek reelection or not is a personal decision to be made by the President.

Constitutional scholars would note that this is her interpretation of the 2015 Constitution that amended the 2010 Constitution. The 2015 Constitution allowed President Medina to seek reelection in 2016.

Lucia Medina says the 2015 Constitution includes language that authorizes the president to run for two consecutive terms and then never again. She noted that under the current Constitution, Danilo Medina has only been in office one election cycle. She feels the 2012-2016 cycle does not count.

She insisted that only President Medina would make the decision to seek reelection and that his political part, Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), would abide by his decision. Lucia Medina noted that, of course, the final vote of approval would be granted by the Dominican people in the 2020 election itself.

The legislator made the statement after the official spokesman for the Presidency, Roberto Rodríguez Marchena, said on a television program that a part of the population is in favor of the reelection of Medina. This was earlier responded to via Twitter by Franklin Almeyda, former Minister of Interior, and member of the PLD political committee, who said that Rodríguez Marchena should limit himself to his role as spokesman for the Executive Branch. Almeyda is said to be close to former President Leonel Fernández who has the highest ratings in the PLD of those authorized by the 2015 Constitution to take part in the 2020 election.

Chapter II of the 13 June 2015 Constitution includes temporary clauses that establish: “In the case of the President of the Republic, corresponding to the constitutional period 2012-2016, if candidate to the same position for the constitutional period 2016-2020, not being able to run for the next period or any other period, and neither for the position of Vice President of the Republic.”

Meanwhile, Listin Diario reported that lawyers and politicians are seeking a legal pathway that would re-interpret the clause that prohibits a president to be reelected. The alternative interpretation of key clauses in the Constitution could provide a framework for a legal argument to be made to the Constitutional Court that would essentially permit Medina to run for reelection. This appeal to the Constitutional Court was made by attorney Fredermido Ferreras Díaz on 15 February 2018, and has been assigned the case number TC-01-2018-003.

El Caribe newspaper recalls that on 17 June 2015, President Danilo Medina, in an address from the Presidential Palace on the constitutional amendment Art. 124 that allowed him to run for office in 2016, explained this would mark the end of his political career. “Also, by backing this reelection amendment, I was also taking the decision to end my political career, because it is understood that after these four more years, if the people vote for me in May 2016, I will not be able to be a candidate for President of the Republic again.”

The possibility of President Medina seeking reelection has divided the party, primarily between followers of Medina and those of former President Leonel Fernández who had sought to run again for President in 2016.

Source: DR!, 7dias
March 13, 2018

Category: DR News |

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Last updated March 15, 2018 at 9:26 pm
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