Local October 5, 2011 | 11:23 am

Minority political groups had better unite for election, radical priests warn

Santo Domingo.- A group of the country’s most radical priests, known for their work in barrios and the countryside, Wednesday urged the minority parties and independent, democratic and progressive political movements to join behind a unified ticket and a common program for next year’s presidential election.

The religious leaders said the Dominican people currently suffer through “a terrible economic and political situation expressed in unemployment, low wages, crisis in the basic services of education, health, potable water and electricity; generalized government corruption, heightened violence and delinquency, inequality in the distribution of wealth and public investments, systematic violation of human rights, especially of the Haitian immigrants, and many other problems.”

Priests spokesmen Regino Martinez, Leo Adames, Rogelio Cruz, Ramon Alejo and Carlos Piantini said the churches cannot be indifferent to that reality, and stated their concern for the current electoral conjuncture.

“That alternative option doesn’t exist and to construct it it’s essential to surpass the dispersion and division of the healthier political organizations, committed with the interests and aspirations of the people, such as Country Alliance, Mother country for All, Dominicans for Change, Expanded front, Revolutionary Alternative, Alliance for Democracy and the Revolution Force, among others,” the prelates said in a press conference.

They said those organizations must place the nation’s interests first and be committed with an “electoral convergence” to put forth a single candidacy and a common program for the coming elections. “They would only have to leave their protagonism, the sectarianism and the old resentments behind.”

“We’re convinced that if the progressive and democratic parties and political movements disregard the call to unite, and participate divided in the elections, they’re going to reap more frustrations in the nation and its own rank and file,” warned the priests, members of the Sacerdotal Group Don Hélder Camara.

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