Dominican Republic reelection row claims its first political victim
Santo Domingo.- The push by senior government officials for president Danilo Medina to seek reelection claimed its first victim Tuesday, with the firing of Health Reform executive coordinator Humberto Salazar, just hours after he publicly challenged Administrative minister Jose Ramon Peralta to clarify the alleged rumor that he was behind the campaign to smear former president Leonel Fernandez.
Salazar, a senior leader of the pro-government PRSC party, said Peralta should clarify whether he was funding the smear campaign which allegedly links drug kingpin Quirino Paulino with Fernandez’s 2004 presidential bid.
Executive Order 8-15 announced by the Presidency yesterday afternoon doesn’t specify whether Salazar -a staunch Fernandez supporter- will be designated in another post.
The firing also stokes the ruling PLD party’s political maelstrom, with mounting tension pitting supporters of Medina and Fernandez, and fuels the row on whether to embark on a Constitutional amendment to pave the way for the President’s reelection.
Fernandez’s supporters wager on an agreement with Medina to solve the impasse, while preparing dramatic effects to counter the reelection thrust.