Senators boost Dominican president’s reelection bid
Santo Domingo.- The effort to amend the Constitution and allow president Danilo Medina’s bid for a second consecutive term got a boost Tuesday when 21 senators voted for convening the National Assembly to restore a president’s reelection.
The ruling party (PLD) senators in former president Leonel Fernandez’s faction were upbeat at the start of the debate but quickly faded once the votes were tallied, revealing that out the 17 lawmakers which had staunchly "opposed" to a constitution reform, just 10 voted to hold on to their initial position.
Felix Bautista, Amarilis Santana, Prim Pujals, Felix Vasquez, Manuel Guichardo, Sonia Mateo, Jose Rafael Vargas, Aristides Victoria Yeb, José María Sosa and Dionis Sanchez voted against any reform, while Edis Mateo, Julio Cesar Valentin and Carlos Castillo voted for the legislation.
Mateo and Valentin, two key Fernandez supporters, explained why they voted for the initiative.
Valentin (Santiago) said when the PLD top echelon -Political Committee- met on April 19 and lost the debate he had no alternative but to go with the majority, while Mateo opted to "leave the issue behind for the benefit of the party."