Local February 12, 2015 | 8:05 am

Official’s ouster reveals rift in the uling party

Santo Domingo.- Veteran politico Humberto Salazar on Wednesday blamed Presidency chief of staff Gustavo Montalvo and president Danilo Medina spokesman Roberto Rodriguez for the smear campaign in social networks against former president Leonel Fernandez.

Salazar, who was fired Tuesday as head of the Health Sector Reform Committee (CERSS) just one day after accusing Administrative Minister Jose Ramon Peralta, of funding the smear campaign.

He said he’s happy with the solidarity received from some opinion makers but regrets d that "a relationship of many years with president Danilo Medina and his family was jeopardized by an unnecessary outburst; simply for not reading the information."

Ruling party tension

Pundits Freddy Angel Castro and Cesar Perez say Salazar’s firing ant other recent incidents reveal the start of a confrontation in the ruling PLD party, pitting supporters of Medina and Fernandez for the 2016 presidential candidacy.

Castro said by firing Salazar, Medina made it clear that he’ll protect his group and his political project, and won’t tolerate any dissent among government officials.

He said the PLD is in dire straits, “Danilo Medina and Leonel Fernandez will have to make tough decisions."

For Perez, the ruling party’s internal situation spurs it to choose its candidate as soon as possible. "The nervousness in the PLD over its candidate is growing, and that circumstance should be defined now.”

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