Local January 27, 2016 | 4:40 pm

Government corruption, laisse-faire spread to the UN

Santo Domingo.-Dominican Republic´s failure to pay its financial share during at least thelast two years has led to losing its right to vote in the UN Assembly, themajor opposition PRM party revealed Wednesday.

The revelation comes inthe heels of the scandal linked to deputy U.N. ambassador from the DominicanRepublic Francis Lorenzo, a U.S. citizen who faces charges of conspiracy and oftaking bribes.

The organization said thenotice from the UN comes while president Danilo Medina is in Quito, Ecuador forthe Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC),where Dominican Republic assumes the reginal bloc´s revolving presidency startingtoday.

In a press conference PRMinternational affairs director Roberto Alvarez said the country figures on alist of 15 UN Member States that have lost the right to vote in the UN for failureto pay their financial quota.

"According to theletter from Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of January 18 2016, addressed to thePresident of the General Assembly of that organization, the minimum paymentnecessary to reduce Dominican Republic arrears on account of the delay, so itis that amount by below the total amount owed corresponding "to the precedingtwo full years (2014 and 2015), the sum of US$2,104,515."

According to the PRMleader, the missive reveals that Medina´s administration has failed to pay thecountry´s quota during the last two years. “It´s not the first time thisembarrassing situation occurs under Medina´s government, which also lost theright to vote in March 2013 due to delays in our contribution.”

Judge doubts UNimmunity

Last week ABC Newsreported that U.S. District Judge Vernon Broderick was to rule on the fate ofFrancis Lorenzo, a U.S. citizen who was charged with being part of conspiracy and of taking bribes along with a former president of the U.N.

The Judge doubted thatLorenzo could be protected from prosecution of any crime because he was adeputy U.N. ambassador from the Dominican Republic, a post Lorenzo cannot fillwhile holding U.S. citizenship.

Dominican Republic´sForeign Affairs Ministry on Wednesday denied having lost the right to vote atthe UN General Assembly for alleged non-payment of its quota of the regionalbody as denounced by the PRM party.

Ministry spokesmanMiguel Medina said the country maintains its right to vote with a recent payment, “since it can be confirmed in the(UN) Department of Quotas.“

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