Local December 19, 2013 | 9:40 am

A grim year for Dominican Republic’s opposition party

Santo Domingo.- 2013 was a very bad year for DominicanRepublic’s major opposition party (PRD) as several setbacks tarnished its 74-yearpolitical history, critically eroded its image among constituents and whose reunificationnow seems just a dream.

Its debacle is revealed by the most recent Gallup poll whichshows the PRD with only a 21.1% support in September.

PRD president Miguel Vargas has managed to hold on to thepost despite numerous, often violent onslaughts from the faction headed by formerpresident Hipolito Mejia, whose unprecedented expulsion this year rocked thecountry’s political foundations.

The chasm widened on January 14 when senior leaders AndrésBautista, Orlando Jorge and Geanilda Vásquez were also expelled, unleashing violencejust 13 days later, when a meeting of the senior committee at PRD headquarters endedup in a hail of bullets, leaving eight people hurt and its offices in shambles.

The rift between Vargas and Mejia widened despite attemptsat reconciliation by prominent PRD supporters Jose Miguel Soto Jimenez and JoséJoaquín Puello, and stoked by the former president’s reiterated affirmation that“Vargas goes on his own or we’ll kick him out.”

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