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Daily News - 14 May 1998

Peña's good-bye
Dr. José Francisco Peña Gómez's burial ceremony was as he would have wanted - the largest political march ever held in this country in the past 30 years. His funeral procession, a nine-hour caravan through city streets, attracted thousands of his followers who waved PRD flags and bid good-bye to the charismatic politician. Peña is one of a trio of politicians who championed the Dominican political scene following the death of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo in 1961, the other two being nonagenarians Dr. Joaquín Balaguer and Professor Juan Bosch.
Peña Gómez had been fighting against his pancreatic cancer for several years, and despite knowing he could die any day, he chose to be his party's candidate for mayor of Santo Domingo, when the different factions within couldn't agree on who would be the candidate. Peña died barely a week before the elections.
His funeral procession through Santo Domingo streets ran from the Olympic Stadium to John F. Kennedy Ave., then south down Máximo Gómez Ave. to César Nicolás Penson Ave., Dr. Báez St., Ave. Bolívar, then Ave. Abraham Lincoln, to the municipality at Calle Ventura Simó, and then north by way of Ave. Jiménez Moya, Ave. Sarasota, Ave. Núñez de Cáceres to Autopista Duarte and finally reaching the cemetery at 4 pm. Thousands of Dominicans didn't work that day to pay homage to the man they admired.
Historians say that his burial was the most attended since that of Dictator Trujillo in 1961.
President Leonel Fernandez decreed that Dr. Peña Gómez, in recognition of his leadership and contributions to democracy, be given honors of chief of state, despite the fact the politician failed to reach the presidency in three attempts. Felipe Gonzalez, the long-time president of Spain who came for the ceremony, said at the Olympic Stadium that Peña had won the presidency in the hearts of Dominicans.
At the burial ceremony, Hugo Tolentino Dipp, former president of the Chamber of Deputies and member of the PRD national committee, highlighted the tenacity and personal superation of Peña Gomez. A gifted child, he was abandoned by his parents who fled to Haiti when Trujillo ordered the slaying of all Haitians in the frontier zone in the 30s, to become recognized worldwide as one of the most outstanding Latin American politicians of all times.
Party secretary general Hatuey de Camps said that Peña died fighting for the unity of the PRD. When the procession stopped at the headquarters of the party, all present promised to respect the rules of the organization so that there would be no more division within the party.
Shortly after the panegyrics were read at the cemetery, there was thunder, lightning and a heavy rainfall, a dramatic good-bye to the outstanding Dominican.

Last day of the campaign
The 1998 municipal and congressional elections campaign ends tonight at 12 midnight. The electoral law calls for a day of respite when Dominicans can quietly meditate and make their final decision regarding whom they will cast their vote for. Thus, May 14 is the final day of campaigning.
Dr. Joaquín Balaguer will be present when his Partido Reformista Social Cristiano closes its campaigning in the central part of the nation - Bonao, La Vega and Santiago. In Santiago, José Enrique Sued is a very strong PRSC candidate who is seeking re-election as mayor.
The PRD already had its strongest closing day with the funeral procession in honor of Peña Gómez. Along the streets where the procession pasts, PRD voters lined up with white PRD flags.
The PLD will close its campaign with activities in Santo Domingo. A march has been organized for the northern part of the city, starting at Calle Ravelo in support of candidate to mayor Roberto Salcedo and candidate to senator Franklin Almeyda. The PLD has announced similar activities will be held in Santiago, Salcedo and San Francisco de Macorís. President Leonel Fernandez, who prior to the death of Peña Gómez, would have been present at the Santiago activity, declined attending the campaign closing.
Over four million Dominicans are able to vote in the elections, the first time in 30 years that municipal and congressional elections are held separately to the presidential elections.

Esquea is new president of PRD
Former congressman and lawyer Enmanuel Esquea Guerrero is the new president of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano as he revealed when he spoke at the ceremony honoring Peña Gómez at party headquarters. He said that Peña Gómez had delegated the presidency to him prior to his death. Esquea promised to work for the unity of the party and not aspire for a position in the presidential election year 2000.

Latest Gallup poll on the elections
Rafael Acevedo, of the Gallup poll organization, on television criticized Rumbo newsweekly magazine for publishing alongside the Gallup poll other political survey results that were not carried out by Gallup yet appeared to be.
The most recent Gallup poll commissioned (4-8 May) by Rumbo magazine, revealed that the most likely-to-win candidates in the congressional and municipal elections of 16 May, for a select number of provinces and the National District, were as follows:

Santo Domingo (National District):

Senator: Milagros Ortiz Bosch with 51%, versus Franklin Almeyda 30%, and Alexis Joaquín Castillo 9%.

Mayor: The late Jose Francisco Peña Gómez of the PRD with 47%, versus Roberto Salcedo of the PLD with 35% and Rafael Corporán with 9%.


Senator: José González Espinosa (PRD) with 39%, Luis Toral Córdoba (PRSC) with 30%, Eddy Fernando Mateo (PLD) with 27%.

Mayor: Luis Virgilio Reyes (PRD) with 57%, versus Carlos García (PLD) with 22% and Niño Coiscou (PRSC) with 16%.


Senator: Andres Bautista García (PRD) with 42%, Carlos A. Amarante (PLD) 33%, Carlos David Marte (PRSC) 20%.

Mayor: Ruben Lulo Gitte (PRD) with 48%, Miguel Angel Guarocuya Cabral (PLD) with 32%, and Minerva Peralta (PRSC) with 14%.

La Romana:

Senator: Enrique Martínez (PLD) with 42%, Frank Martínez (PRSC) with 37%, and Ramón Antonio Pepén (PRD) with 16%.

Mayor: Tomás Beltré (PLD) with 52%, Enrique Seijas (PRSC) with 26%, and Andrés Sánchez (PRD) with 17%.

Peravia (Baní):


Wilton Guerrero (PLD) with 32%, Vicente Arsenio Castillo (PRD) with 30%, Roberto Santana (PRSC) with 29%.


Oscar Iván Peña (PLD) with 36%, Enrique de Js. Bello (PRD) with 28%, and Luis Peña (PRSC) with 26%.



Fernando Alvarez Bogaert (PRD) with 52%, Manuel de Jesus Guichardo (PLD), 25%, José Tabaré Rodríguez (PRSC), 16%.


Norman Augusto Ferreira (PRD) with 47%, Domingo Colón (PLD), 28%, and Matías Monción (PRSC) with 18%.

Puerto Plata:


Ginnette Bournigal (PRD) 46%, Raymundo Felix (PLD) 26%, Rafael Silverio (PRSC) 21% .

Mayor: Ramón Ortiz (PRD) 42%, Rafael Santana (PLD) 28%, Carlos Troche (PRSC) 24%.

María Trinidad Sánchez:


Jesús Ant. Vásquez (PRD) 51%, Carlos Suárez (PLD) 29%, Samuel Almonte (PRSC) 11%.


Angel Espinal (PRD) 49%, Antonio Peña (PLD) 25%, Elvis Espaillat (PRSC) 17%.

San Pedro de Macorís:


José Hazim (PRSC) 55%, Mercedes Rodríguez (PLD) 22%, Dr. D'León (PRD) 17%.

Mayor: Sergio Cedeño (PRSC) 40%, Jesus Trinidad (PLD) 33%, Chico Dimas (PRD) 19%.



Bautista Rojas Gómez (PLD) 44%, Juan Bautista Rojas Tabar (PRSC) 28%, Elido Aníbal Perez (PRD) 25%.


Ramón Cornielle Figueroa (PLD) 42%, Tomás Enrique Liriano (PRD) 29%, Emilio M. Hernández (PRSC) 23%.

San Cristóbal:


Antonio Rosario Pimentel (PRD) 44%, Melanio Paredes (PLD) 29%, José Osvaldo Leger (PRSC) 19%.

Mayor: Aníbal Santana (PRD) 44%, Tommy Galán (PLD) 31%, Luis Domínguez (PRSC) 15%.

Baseball is king in the DR
A Hamilton & Staff poll carried out recently showed that baseball is the preferred sport of Dominicans. 51% of Dominicans polled said they prefer baseball to basketball 15% and volleyball 8%, soccer and tennis 4%. The survey was commissioned from 23 to 29 April by Hoy newspaper.

30th anniversary of hit song "Por Amor"
Rafael Solano, the Dominican orchestra director and composer, who will go down in musical history for "Por Amor," announced he is preparing a concert to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the love song. The event will be held 28 November at the National Theater. "Por Amor," which is performed at most Dominican weddings, has been recorded by world renown performers. While there are many instrumental versions by renown orchestras of "Por Amor," the song is best known for its renditions by Marco Antonio Muñiz, Vikki Carr, Armando Manzanero, and tenor Plácido Domingo. The song was first interpreted by Dominican singer Niní Caffaro, who won a Dominican song festival with "Por Amor." Vikki Carr and Marco Antonio Muñiz have confirmed their participation in the 30th anniversary of the song, as reported in Hoy newspaper.

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