Countries like Spain and Canada do not guarantee face-to-face voting for Dominicans residing in these countries in the elections that the Caribbean country will hold on July 5, due to the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus, official sources reported on Tuesday.
The Central Electoral Board (JCE) released a letter in which the deputy director general of the Spanish Chancellery, Pilar Terrén, reports that “once the consultation” with the Ministry of the Interior has been carried out, “the viability of carrying out the face-to-face vote “since it will depend” on the movement restrictions that could eventually be in force on that date “.
“The situation may vary between the different provinces and, therefore, the voting centers could be affected in different ways, for this reason the situation will have to be re-evaluated a few days before,” he points out, although he specifies that the Spanish postal system “is working with normality in case it could be possible to arbitrate the vote by mail “.
The Dominican Foreign Minister, Miguel Vargas, reported that Canada has also expressed in writing “the unwillingness to allow a face-to-face electoral process.”
In the same way, the United States, the country in which a greater number of Dominicans reside, has proposed that the vote can be made virtually or by mail, according to statements by Vargas collected by the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD), a formation that he chairs The chancellor.
Meanwhile, the civic movement Citizen Participation (PC) demanded this Tuesday from the Central Electoral Board (JCE) greater efforts to guarantee the vote of Dominicans abroad in the elections on July 5.
The right to vote for Dominicans abroad “must be guaranteed not only because it is a constitutional right, but also because it represents 7.9% of the electoral roll, equating itself in quantity to ten Dominican provinces,” he said.
“The vote abroad can be decisive in the electoral results to decide whether or not there is a second round,” said PC, the Dominican chapter of Transparency International.
The JCE gave the political parties a period of 24 hours yesterday to present their arguments on the Dominicans’ vote abroad in writing.
The president of the electoral body, Julio César Castaños Guzmán, affirmed that so far “there have been no forceful responses” from the receiving countries on the decision to vote abroad.
At the same time, he clarified that “all the offices for the vote of the Dominican from abroad are elected and that their swearing-in is not indispensable, because what is indispensable is the resolution of the Plenary that already appointed them.”
According to the JCE census, 595,879 Dominicans residing abroad are called to vote, of whom 406,536 live in the United States; 81,506 in Spain and 14,630 in Italy, nations where the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has caused greater havoc at the level of victims and infections.
Dominicans abroad elect seven deputies from overseas, in addition to being able to vote at the presidential level.