Local September 14, 2016 | 7:37 am

Dominican Republic Competition Defense chief’s dismissal ‘troubling’

Dominican Republic.- Santo Domingo.- One of the country’sleading business associations on Tuesday called the dismissal of National CompetitionDefense Commission (Pro Competition) director Michelle Cohen troubling, when theappointment of its Executive Director is still pending.

Herrera and Santo Domingo Province Industries Association (AEIH)president Antonio Taveras said the dismissal is "symptomatic" as it occursbefore Congress names Pro Competition’s executive director, a position vacantsince 2011- and after the organization published several studies which found “abuseof dominant positons” in the run and beer markets.

"It’s symptomatic that the removal of the currentpresident occurs before appointing what is lacking in the Commission, which isits executive director, and it’s also symptomatic that she has been replacedafter several reports of some sectors," said the head of the AEIH, quotedby acento.com.do.

Taveras said the AEIH is consulting with its lawyers toinvestigate "on what basis" Cohen was dismissed, and if the decisioncompies with the agency’s statutory law.

"What we want is that Pro Competition operatesindependently of groups and economic interests," Taveras said, andstressed the organization’s importance for consumers and the growth potential ofsmall and medium businesses.

"We’re investigating in Congress over what the replacementwas based on, because the law is specific, she had to remain for five years inthe post and must have failed to comply with several of the paragraphs prescribedby law to be dismissed," the business leader said.

Taveras noted that the entity created in 2008, under the GeneralCompetition Defense Law, is the only agency empowered to investigate anyofficial complaint "hasn’t been able to function" because "economicinterests" have torpedoed the appointment of its Executive Director.

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