Although on several occasions the president of the Central Electoral Board (JCE), Román Jáquez Liranzo, expressed the need for that institution to increase the 2023 budget because they understand that it is a pre-election year and where the 2024 elections begin to be organized, this Thursday the Budget Law of 2023 for one trillion 479 billion pesos without including more resources for the electoral body.
The budget request made by the JCE for 2023 it was RD$18,742,756,561.62 and the amount granted to that body by the government was 8,011 million pesos, 10 billion pesos less than what was requested.
In this sense, representatives of the various parties asked the government authorities to resolve the issue of funds for 2023 of the JCESince the elections will be held with these items and without an appropriate budget, the 2024 elections may be in danger.
In this sense, the secretary of Electoral Affairs of the Fuerza del Pueblo, Luis Toral, indicated that the issue of the budget of the JCE and thus avoid a supplementary budget that “It would alter the institutional order, which could become a dangerous situation for the country.”
“The fundamental thing here is that Luis Abinader and the PRM stop speaking lies, because how are they going to solve the problem now, if they do not have it in the national budget, they are going to wait for the complementary budget of September or October of next year after the elections pass stated.
The member of the Political Directorate of the FP expressed that it is urgent to resolve the situation since it is not possible to have the JCE without the necessary resources.
He stressed that the population should demand that the government meet the needs of the JCEin the preparation and assembly of the next elections to guarantee their success.
In the same terms, the vice president of the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD), Hector Guzmanwho pointed out that there is great concern in the political class about what happens with the low budget for the electoral body.
“The president of the JCE has said that they presented a budget of about 18 billion pesos for the assembly of the elections and what the government is approving is barely eight billion (of pesos).”, he stressed.
He explained that his party supports Jáquez Liranzo’s request for a larger budget because the congressional and presidential elections will be taking place in February 2024, which would imply that the assembly of these begins in 2023.
“The February elections, you cannot mount it in February or January 2024, so everything that is the logistics of ballots and everything that implies investment in logistics for the 2024 elections must be done in 2023 and That was the case in the 2020 and 2016 elections,” said.
He assured that the people who prepared the budget did not take into account the recommendations that JCE they were made, “They are people who technically and financially looked at the budget, but did not understand that the 2024 electoral process must be set up in 2023.”
The director of the National Economic Commission of Alianza País, Francisco Tavarespointed out that it may be the case that the government is thinking of seeing the budget execution in the year and that, as usual, they reallocate the budget appropriations in a complementary budget in the middle of the year in the quarter of 2023.
He said that this would imply a considerable limitation of resources for an institution that must guarantee elections with sufficient quality and transparency so that they are not questioned. “Elections are organized, at least one year before, and without sufficient resources, it is most likely that it will be affected in terms of logistics, implements, necessary equipment and adequate personnel,” Tavares said.
“It is something that is done regularly. However, it is unfortunate that the safeguarding of democracy is not taken as a priority, such as the organization of elections, with all the uncertainties that this raises.” Tavares said.
While tacit perdomodelegate of the Social Christian Reformist Party (PRSC), indicated that the claim of the JCE It is more than justified due to what happened in the last 2020 elections.
“All the assembly, all the equipment for the elections is the previous year, that is, in this 2023, for which the JCE needs the resources; If you don’t have those resources, the first thing is that I doubt that there will be an efficient electoral setup, it’s not that there isn’t, there could be, but with a lot of deficiency and risk.”stated the delegate of the PRSC.
He argued that the Dominican people deserve elections to be held with the greatest efficiency and stressed that with this little budget given to the JCE there is a scenario that may result “very terrible”, and it is that in the event that the values are not recognized in the budget to the electoral body, “We are going to have the drawback that later the will of the Executive Power will be the one who assigns the values to the JCE for the assembly of the elections.”
“That is not healthy, that the JCE has to resort to the Presidency of the Republic to assign it the values for the assembly of the elections, be careful”, Perdomo pointed out.
Danilo Diazdelegate of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) before the JCEindicated that they share the concern that is made from the plenary session of that body since it is known that the “2024 elections are paid in 2023”.
He indicated that the 2023 primaries and the congressional and presidential elections should be set up, for which reason these items should have been considered for the 2023 budget, which the Government did not do.