Speech roils Dominican Republic president’s reelection push
Santo Domingo.- Former president Leonel Fernandez on Monday put the brakes on president Danilo Medina’s reelection push, in what one veteran politico called throwing “a soap into the soup.”
He said he has always supported a constitutional reform through the procedure established in the Constitution itself.
In a televised speech last night Fernandez said he doesn’t intend to place hurdles against the legitimate aspirations of victory everyone shares, but railed against those who’ve criticized him vehemently.
“Many have sought to degrade me, challenge my prestige and make tatters of me,” Fernandez said in reference to the constant barrage of criticism against him mostly from his own party.
He said from conviction and experience he disagrees with amending the Constitution for the sole purpose of letting the presidential seek election, but would “bow reverently and humbly before what would be the will of the people as expressed in a referendum.”
The former president said despite that in his view it’s not the most suitable manner, a constitution should be changeable to pave the way for a second consecutive presidential term.
"In short, what I’m saying is that there’s no single model of completion of presidential terms, accepted equally by all. Therefore, the idea that the presidential reelection, by its very nature is bad, isn’t valid. Not so. If I had had that belief, I wouldn’t have been a candidate for a second consecutive reelection in 2008," he said.
He noted however that that has to be done following the Constitution’s procedure.
In that regard, the president of the ruling PLD party said he’s concerned that in the debate that has emerged for change “the law that calls for the Review National Assembly is a statutory law of our substantive Charter aims to be ignored, which therefore requires approval of two-thirds of those present, both in the Senate and in the Chamber of Deputies."