Local February 16, 2015 | 7:33 am

Dominican Republic ex president: Organized crime heads smear campaign

Santo Domingo.- Ending weeks of silence despite allegations of collusion by convicted drug trafficker Quirino Paulino, former president Leonel Fernandez yesterday responded to accusations of reneging on RD$200 million loan to fund his presidential bid in 2004.

"It gives me cause for great pride and satisfaction that transnational drug trafficking, using the alleged identity of a recognized drug trafficking convict, set forth a smear campaign against me,” said the also president of the Dominican Republic’s ruling party (PLD) to statements he had accepted Paulino’s “dirty money.”

“These attacks underscore the firmness with which my Government confronted these sectors of organized transnational crime, whom we extradited in compliance with the law,” Fernandez said.

“Having proceeded in that manner, we carry out the duty entrusted to us and thereby guarantee the protection of Dominican society, the security of our families and the preservation of the country,” the former president said.

“This campaign against me comes days after the country’s reputed surveys, even if they were to be manipulated, placed me as a favorite against any opposition candidate to come out a winner in the next presidential election, despite not having made a decision on that regard,” the former president said.

Presidential visit

The former president on Saturday night tweeted: "I received in my home a pleasant visit from my friend, president Danilo Medina and several members of the PLD."

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