The atypical electoral campaign of the Dominican presidential and legislative elections next Sunday came to an end this Thursday with marches and television presentations by the three main candidates to succeed the country’s president, Danilo Medina.
The traditional Dominican pre-electoral period, characterized by concentrations and caravans for several months, this time was reduced to its minimum expression due to the coronavirus pandemic, which even forced the date of the elections to be moved, originally scheduled for May 17 .
Elections in the Caribbean country will be the first presidential elections in America after the pandemic broke out, and will be held with an increase in new infections after the government began, in late May, a process of reopening the economy.
The campaign ended on Thursday with a single mass event, led by former President Leonel Fernández, while the two main candidates, according to polls, the opposition Luis Abinader and the ruling party Gonzalo Castillo, chose to say goodbye to each other on television programs.
THE OPPOSITOR AND FAVORITE
Economist and businessman Luis Abinader, a candidate for the opposition Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), is the favorite to win in the first or second round, according to the most credible surveys released in the last leg of the campaign.
The politician said this Wednesday, before hundreds of his followers in a park in Santo Domingo, to be sure that he will be a winner in Sunday’s elections and that he will do so with at least 60% of the votes.
Abinader closes his campaign with a recorded video whose broadcast was scheduled for Thursday night through a television, radio and internet network.
The opposition candidate has promised a “change” in the entire productive and social apparatus of the country, under the banner of fighting the alleged corruption and impunity of which he accuses the Medina government, in power since 2012.
THE OFFICIAL APPLICANT
Medina, precisely, joined in the last week to the campaign of the candidate of the ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), Gonzalo Castillo.
Castillo has developed his strategy based on providing direct assistance to sectors with less purchasing power, supplying inputs against COVID-19 to public and private institutions and entities, and bringing Dominicans stranded in different countries of the world due to the closure of borders.
This Thursday, and after the observer mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) met, the former Minister of Public Works described as “irresponsible” the possibility of any candidate declaring himself the winner before the Central Electoral Board does. .
Popularly known as ‘el Penco’, a nickname endorsed by Medina with the intention of praising him, for having that word have a positive meaning in the south of the Dominican Republic, the PLD candidate has on his shoulders the responsibility of guaranteeing the continuity in power of that organization , which has been running the State since 2004.
Like Abinader, Castillo will use a television, radio and social network to try to convince him that it is the best option for Dominicans.
THE PRESIDENT FERNÁNDEZ
The three-time president Leonel Fernández left the PLD during the primaries of last October, when he alleged an alleged fraud that robbed him of a “certain victory”, and he will participate in the elections as the candidate of the People’s Force (FP), a formation that created after his departure from the ruling party.
The former ruler, who never lost a vote, this time seems to be on the ropes, as the polls place him in third place, with a percentage far from that of Abinader and Castillo.
“I feel that there are unfinished tasks, we must return to work on the institutional strengthening of the social and democratic State of Law. We have had a setback in that sense that I did not expect,” said Fernández about his intentions to return to power in an interview granted to Efe this Wednesday.
The former head of state flatly rejects this time his location in the polls and affirms that the “real poll” will be that of the coming Sunday at the polls, to which a little more than 7.5 million Dominicans have been summoned, in addition to half million living abroad.
Fernández led this Thursday a massive caravan that crossed several streets of the capital until ending at the boardwalk in Santo Domingo.
The experienced politician has questioned the intellectual capacity of Gonzalo Castillo to govern the country, in addition to predicting that his candidacy will be in a “safe” second round, which would be held on July 26 between the two most voted candidates.