Local April 8, 2017 | 1:49 pm

Odebrecht scandal ‘a time bomb’ for Dominican Republic Gov.

Movement leaders

Santo Domingo.- Pundits Rosario Espinal and Rafael Toribio agree that the Odebrecht scandal, and especially the figure of president Danilo Medina ‘s former campaign strategist Joao Santana, continue to harm the Government’s image, and pose a ‘time bomb.’

Espinal said the specific impact will depend on what Santana tells Brazilian prosecutors and how many and which of those directly involved in the Odebrecht scandal in the Dominican Republic are brought to justice. She said the ruling party (PLD) and the government are biding time to see what happens in Brazil.

The expert called the scandal “a time bomb” whose impact depends on how much “gunpowder” comes out of Brazil.

Espinal doesn’t believe that a great effort will be made in the country to clear up the matter of the bribes, unless the combined effect of what transpires in Brazil and the social pressure that can be brought to bear locally force the government is to do so.

She said the fact that many of those involved are in his party and are government officials make it hard for Medina to proceed on his own initiative to deal with the scandal.

Quoted by diariolibre.com, Espinal affirmed that in the Dominican Republic there’s no independent justice to act without the influence of politicians and conduct investigations and prosecutions, and that politicians don’t want justice because they are the great beneficiaries of corruption and impunity.

“The Odebrecht scandal and the fact that Joao Santana was an important campaign adviser to President Danilo Medina, affect the image of the government.”

On the defensive

Political scientist Rafael Toribio sees a government on the defensive because it’s more given to deny the information of involvement in bribes and to having taken money for its campaigns, than to assert, with evidence, that it isn’t involved.

He said the president is forced to act and should’ve done it before, so now he has to take more forceful measures for credibility. “There have to be indictments and not just investigation.”

March

the Green Movement meanwhile, continues its pace of protests against impunity, and after staging a rally in Santo Domingo and a massive march in Santiago, on Thursday announced a regional protest in San Francisco de Macorís (northeast) on Sunday, April 23.

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