Political activism in the Dominican Republic spilled over this weekend in the matches Modern Revolutionary (PRM), of the Dominican Liberation (PLD) and the People’s Force (FP), whose leaders took to the streets leading activities.
Laws 33-18 of Parties, Groups and Political Movementsand 15-19 Organic of Electoral Regimeare the regulations in charge of regulating the pre-campaign and political campaign for the 2024 elections.
Together with these regulations, there are resolutions number 28/2021 and 2-2022 issued by the Plenary Session of the Central Electoral Board (JCE) that regulate the pre-campaign.
But what political activities are allowed during the current pre-campaign phase?
In October 2021, the JCE issued resolution 28/2021 which provided that, during the period prior to the pre-campaign, “aspiring candidates could hold meetings inside the premises of their matchesin closed places and restricted areas, where free transit is not hindered or activities normally carried out by citizens are not interrupted.
Because some matches filed claims about the mandate established by the resolution of that body, the JCE was forced to establish new rules, modifying some of the numerals of resolution 28/2021, on the regulation of the period prior to the start of the pre-campaign for the internal elections of candidates for 2023.
Resolution 2-2022 that modifies 28-21 on regulation of the pre-campaign of the year 2023, in numeral 3 of article 6 of the resolution, states: “Do not broadcast harangues or make direct allusions to the population through the media. communication and social networks through paid advertising.
Similarly, in said resolution it refers to the production and use of propaganda that is allusive to the applicants, in a group of people, who wear t-shirts, hats, flags and promotional headbands.
These can only be used exclusively inside the premises of the political groups when an internal activity is carried out.
While Law 33-18 establishes, in its article 44, prohibited propaganda during the pre-campaign period, which includes the painting of the streets, sidewalks, curbs, power line poles, trees, with the colors, emblems or symbols of the candidate or the party, group or political movement that supports it.
Also, posters, billboards, street crossings, decals, stickers, badges, murals, loudspeakers (disco light) and any other means of partisan advertising that is not placed in accordance with the provisions of this law or that is not placed in the premises of the matchesgroups or political movements, among other points.
These prohibitions cover eight numerals of the aforementioned law, but due to an amparo action filed before the Constitutional Court, numeral seven was annulled on the grounds that limited the right to freedom of expression.
This article pointed out the prohibition of: “Political promotion through advertising messages placed and broadcast by the different radio and television media”.
The penalties for the start of the pre-campaigns and electoral campaigns at the wrong time are established in article 78 of Law 33-18 and in its eighth article it states the following: “Sanctions. The matchespolitical groups and movements or any other natural or legal person, public or private, without prejudice to the other laws that are applicable to them, that incur in the violations indicated in this law, will be subject to various sanctions.
These sanctions will be based on fines of 50, 100 and up to 200 minimum wages in force in the public sector to those matches political groups and movements.
“Applicants who start their campaign before the official campaign or pre-campaign time will be sanctioned with the inadmissibility of the candidacy. The Central Electoral Board will be responsible for enforcing this provision”, is what is indicated in number eight.
While the Organic Law 15-19 of the Electoral Regime establishes in its article 280, in the numerals four and 16 the amounts and the faults to the matchesmovements and political groups on the pre-election campaign.
Article four states the following: “The candidates who organize demonstrations, rallies or public meetings before the formal start of the electoral campaign proclaimed by the Central Electoral Board and after its closure.”
While article 16 indicates: “The matches and political groups that, in violation of this law, hold demonstrations, rallies, or political meetings before the formal start of the electoral campaign proclaimed by the Central Electoral Board and after its closing.”
The administrative sanctions to those who incur in these actions range between one and 200 minimum wages.
The JCE established last year that the formal start of the pre-election campaign It will be at the beginning of July of the year 2023 and until that date the presidential candidates of the matches politicians may not be officially declared as pre-candidates
So far, the electoral body has not changed the start date of the pre-campaign, for which some party organizations are preparing for the selection of their presidential candidate.
They ask the JCE to ban a political campaign at the wrong time
In this sense, the president of the Dominican Humanist Party, Ramón Emilio Goris, asked this Monday the JCE prohibit candidates for popularly elected positions and those matches campaign prematurely.
Goris, who is also a deputy of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen), expressed concern due to the recent political campaigning activities carried out by the main political organizations and candidates for elective positions with a view to the 2024 elections.
He argued that those political activities carried out by pre-candidates for the Presidency of the Republic, as well as senates, councils and mayors of different demarcations, “constitute a blatant violation of current electoral laws.” which, as he pointed out, cannot allow the JCE.
He clarified that the JCE is the highest administrative and organizational authority for electoral processes in the country and therefore “It must guarantee that they are carried out within the framework of strict compliance and high adherence to the laws.”