World May 19, 2024 | 2:09 pm

Dominicans in Spain vote amidst division over Presidential candidates

Madrid.- Dominicans residing in Spain will vote this Sunday, divided between those who believe a new president is essential to reverse socioeconomic setbacks and those who appreciate the current president, Luis Abinader’s, management, according to testimonies collected by EFE.

Among the more than 109,000 registered voters in Spain are Gloria, a geroculturist, and her husband, Ander, who works in security. Both have Spanish nationality and acknowledge that they voted for Leonel Fernández, a three-time former president. They believe Abinader “has not governed well” and argue that the country needs substantial improvements in public services, health, education, and agriculture. They emphasize the high cost of living, growing insecurity, and corruption, claiming it is worse than ever. They also call for a judicial reform to ensure thorough investigations of crimes, which they allege is not happening under the current administration. In contrast, they credit Fernández with leading the Dominican Republic to progress during his terms.

However, Manuel, a 40-year-old service sector worker who is also Spanish, acknowledges there is corruption but argues it is not as bad as before. He appreciates that Abinader is “at least trying to do something” for the country and is not convinced by Fernández, as he has already governed. For Manuel, “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.”

Marcelo, a 48-year-old Dominican who has lived in Spain legally for two years and works in construction, believes all politicians are similar, but some achieve more than others. He did not disclose his chosen candidate but believes they will “do better” than Abinader, as the Dominican Republic needs change. He also highlighted the rising cost of living, noting that the 100 euros he used to send to his family now has to be 300. “The people are very distressed, and the poor do not see this president as something positive,” he concluded.

These voters went to an electoral center in the peripheral district of San Blas, in northeast Madrid, where about 2,000 people can vote at four tables, according to data provided by a facilitator from the Central Electoral Board.

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