Local January 7, 2013 | 12:09 pm

Puerto Rican drug lord allegation widens opposition party rift

Santo Domingo.- Ex president Hipolito Mejía on Monday challenged his colleague Miguel Vargas, president of Dominican Republic’s opposition PRD party, to clarify money laundering convict Sobeida Felix’s allegation that the latter received at least US$300,000 from her paramour, Puerto Rican kingpin Jose Figueroa Agosto.

Mejia said he doesn’t believe that candidates are unaware of the source of campaign contributions, referring to Vargas’ denial of links with Figueroa.

"I’ve never had dealings or ties with Mr. Figueroa Agosto, name which then hadn’t been identified by authorities in illegal activities," Vargas said in a statement yesterday.

Mejia’s statement upon arrival at the José Francisco Peña Gómez Institute will stoke the months-long showdown with Vargas for control of the PRD, in the wake of the opposition party’s defeat in last year’s presidential election, when Mejia was its candidate.

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