Local June 5, 2013 | 8:42 am

“Statelessness” row erodes Dominican Republic’s sovereignty, official warns

Santo Domingo.- Immigration Agency director Ricardo Taveras on Wednesday warned that the recent scandal in the Central Electoral Board (JCE) is eroding the country’s sovereignty, its institutions and its credibility abroad.

He refuted affirmations by JCE judge Jose Angel Aquino, who said the Immigration Agency has in its possession the files of around 22,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent, now “stateless” for not being able to obtain their IDs, an alleged violation of the Constitution. “Immigration hasn’t received anything, the 22,000 supposed stateless people don’t exist.”

“I don’t understand this, the problem cannot be treated with kid gloves, the country has to choose between chaos in the electoral body, or establish who is right and who isn’t. There has to be penalization,” the official said.

“What’s at play here with this little issue of the Haitians is the identity of the Dominican Republic. This shouldn’t be about political parties, it has to be a national position,” the official said.

He said a key agency as the Electoral Board cannot be allowed to succumb to bickering.

“A national judge cannot go to an international court to testify against the Dominican Republic,” Taveras said, in reference to Aquino’s testimony before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in the case of “stateless” Dominican-Haitians.

Interviewed on Hoy Mismo Colorvision, Taveras said the issue is about nationality, on which the Supreme Court has already set jurisprudence.

He said a “special solution” can be applied to the current dispute, “because it’s a human dilemma.” He said since 1929 the Constitution restricts Jus Solis (nationality by birthplace), “but there’s a media push to revert it.”

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