Local August 16, 2012 | 7:19 am

Medina takes office amidst great expectations

SantoDomingo.- Danilo Medina is being sworn in as President of the Republic todayamidst great public expectations created by his campaign promises. Medina, aneconomics graduate, is a former deputy and presidency minister as well as amember of his PLD party’s political committee.

Thepresident-elect was born on 10th November 1951 in Arroyo Cano, a poor community inthe south west of the country.

Hiscampaign promises for the next four years include maintaining macro-economicstability, reducing poverty, increasing purchasing power and boostingproduction.

He alsopledged to prioritize women’s issues, fight femicides and include women in hiscabinet.

Hepromised the middle classes that he would not let them lose their gains ortheir dreams.

In thearea of education, he declared he would increase the budget to 4% of the GDP.

Medinapromised to restructure the national educational system towards a single schoolday shift, dignified salaries for teachers and a decentralized Ministry ofEducation.

In thearea of health, he said he would work towards universal coverage with qualityservices at a reasonable cost. He statedthat the social security system would prioritize the poorest sectors.

When itcomes to citizen safety, Medina said he would work towards eliminating violenceand promoting high levels of security. He committed to “a fierce fight” againstall types of crimes, with an emphasis on organized crime and drug trafficking.

Medinaspoke of combating social crime, which he said was the result of poverty andmarginalization.

He saidthat the best weapons for tackling these problems were education, employmentand increased opportunities for the people. He also said he was committed towork and to he workers, and promised dignified salaries and job security.

Thepresident-elect guaranteed he would adopt a set of measures for preventingadministrative corruption. He has signed a pact with the civic movement CitizenParticipation, in which he agreed to fulfil their 30 recommendations fortransparency and fighting against corruption.

Hedeclared in his proclamation speech: “I will arrive at the National Palace withmy heart for the poor, but with a whip for the dishonest”.

Medina istaking over power in country that although stable, has a deficit estimated atclose to RD$100 billion, and age-old, unsolved problems including poverty, electricity,education, violence and crime. One of his first tasks may be to sign anInternational Monetary Fund agreement involving fiscal reform and otherunpopular measures. He will also have to take into account the internationalfinancial crisis.

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