Local December 15, 2015 | 8:25 am

Shooting deaths roil Dominican Republic´s ruling party

Santo Domingo.- Theshooting deaths of two rank-and-file of Dominican Republic´s ruling PLD partyhas drawn wide rebuke from diverse sectors across the country, with statements that“the PLD is just like any other party,” where violence often trumps democracy.

Amid pressure from hopefulsfor municipal posts who decry impositions and irregularities, the PLD´s NationalElectoral Commission (CNE) on Monday hastily announced the first mayoral pollingresults from 27 of 84 cities and towns.

Among the personalitieswho slammed the PLD´s voting violence figures Episcopal Conference presidentNicanor Peña, who on Monday said “democracy cannot be imposed by gunfire.”

But the rebuke alsocame from within the PLD, when Environment minister Bautista Rojas, a member ofits powerful Political Committee, on Tuesday said the organization cannot sitidly by and must take action in the wake of the murders, the first suchviolence ever occurred in that party.

“The PLD cannot convictmurderers but it must be active to deal with this situation that harms theorganization which is a patrimony and a legacy of Juan Bosch to the DominicanRepublic,” Rojas said in reference to the late former president Juan Bosch.

Speaking in ColorvisionChannel 9, the official also denied forming part of any of the two factions emergingwithin the PLD, which have pitted former president Leonel Fernandez againstpresident Danilo Medina.

Factions

Several Fernandez supportersemerged as winners in mayoral posts over Medina rivals, according to official resultsfrom local PLD committees, including that of Chamber of Deputies president AbelMartinez.

The lawmaker easily wonwith 63.20 percent of the vote for the nomination for mayor of Santiago, torival and Medina supporter Ramon Rodriguez´s (Monchy) 36.80 percent.

Angst at ruling partyheadquarters

Tension also reigned aroundPLD headquarters in the capital, as supporters of the two rival candidates formayor of Santo Domingo Norte complained of voting fraud, as both candidates werebarred from entering to the press conference where the first bulletin wasreleased.

Suspect surrenders

Santiago Vargas Silverio (Elvis), 45, suspect in the shooting death of a member of the PLD in Santiago, surrenders to police on Monday.

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