Local September 7, 2016 | 2:15 pm

OAS: Dominican Republic needs urgent step to guarantee election equality

Santo Domingo.- The Organization of American States (OAS) delegationsent to observe Dominican Republic’s general elections on May 15 on Wednesday disclosedhis report to its Permanent Council, which recommends "an urgent stepforward on a law guaranteeing equality in the distribution of direct publicfunding" and which sets limits on funds from private sector.

OAS mission leader Andrés Pastrana presented the reportthat also states that in the new law the procedures regarding vote count shouldbe well defined and technological innovations must be implemented gradually, toallow the Central Electoral Board, political parties and society as a whole toprepare for such significant changes.

In that regard, the OAS report proposes the creation ofseveral drills, with proper notice, to enable the electoral authority toidentify and correct errors.

On financing, the mission noted that "the model ofpublic financing of political parties and campaigns in the Dominican Republic doesn’tcreate conditions of equity in the race," which it attributes to theabsence of any regulation on private financing in the country.

It also said that the electoral law states that 80% ofpublic funding will be distributed equally among the parties winning more than5% of the valid votes cast in the last election and the remaining 20% ??fromother parties.

"In this regard, as done in previous observations bythe OAS in the country, the Observer Mission recommends urgent progress on alaw that guarantees equity in the distribution of direct public funding. Italso should set limits on funds from the private sector," the OAS reportsays.

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