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Daily News - 20 May 1998

Government party unlikely to get veto power
The Listin Diario says that it is unlikely that the Partido de la Liberación will achieve the veto power it wanted in Congress. So far, with less than 500 voting stations remaining to be tolled, the PLD had only 49 PLD senators in Congress. The party needed a minimum of 50 deputies. Bills vetoed by the President will not be able to be overridden by government party congressmen if the majority of the PRD deputies votes for their passing. The PLD will need the vote of at least one dissident PRD deputy or one PRSC deputy. This reduces the negotiating power of the government with the National Congress. The PLD quadrupled their participation in the Chamber of Deputies. The party is represented by 13 congressmen in the 1994-1998 Congress.

PRD president says PRD man will preside Chamber of Deputies
The president of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano, Enmanuel Esquea Guerrero, said that after a meeting of the Political Commission of the party, the internal restructuring will take place after the nine day Roman Catholic masses held on occasion of the decease of party leader finalize. Dr. Jose Francisco Peña Gómez's masses end on Friday, 22 May. The party members said that the presidency of the chamber was never committed to the PRSC, that all there was were talks of the possibility in the case of an alliance between the PRD and the PRSC. In a story in El Siglo newspaper, Hatuey de Camps, secretary general of the party, and Tony Raful separately say that while the talks were held, Dr. José Francisco Peña Gómez never reached a political agreement with the PRSC to the effect.

Devaluation of peso affects prices in supermarkets
Press reports indicate that following the defacto devaluation of the peso from RD$14 to RD$15, prices of imported goods in supermarkets have increased 10-12%. The Central Bank inflation for the first trimester of the year declined 0.25%, but given the surge in the value of the dollar, it is expected the second trimester of the year inflation will reflect this. The Central Bank has forecast a single-digit inflation for year's end.

Motivating Dominican students
President Leonel Fernández said during the ceremony to honor meritorious elementary and secondary students at the National Palace that when he ends his term in August 2000, all Dominican lyceums will offer computer instruction. He promised that computer labs will be installed in the high schools. During the event, the 10 year old daughter of President Fernández, Nicole Fernández, was honored with a medal. She told the press she would like to be President of the Republic.
President Fernández told the students he never thought he would be President, as his aspiration was to be an outstanding baseball player. The President's advice to the students was to make up their minds as to what they wanted to be and then get the education to become that. He also said that what in life knowledge is more important than the money one has. The President himself was a book worm. The President announced that reading and individual subject school Olympics will be held to recognize the merits of students in government and private schools.
One-hundred-twenty-eight meritorious students met at the National Palace where they were honored by the President for their high grades in school.
The President told the students, "Life will bring many problems, difficulties and obstacles, but tenacity, dedication and permanent effort will ensure your success."

The sidewalk goes
The Ministry of Public Works announced that the government will build a new two meter sidewalk around the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center. The expansion of the 27 de Febrero, the principal East-West avenue that crosses Santo Domingo linking the East with the West of the country, has engulfed the present sidewalk, as reported by the press. Several persons expressed their concern in the press that the government would not leave room for pedestrians. The sports complex will also loose its East sidewalk, as expansion works for the North-South Av. Máximo Gómez will engulf this part. As with the south side, a new side walk will be built two meters inwards. Claudia Franchesca de los Santos, Deputy Minister of Public Works explained that the fence around the sports center will be rebuilt leaving way for the new sidewalk on the south and east sides of the Olympic center.

Latin Music Festival in June
Cervecería Nacional Presidente announced that their Annual Presidente Beer Latin Music Festival will be held June 26, 27, 28 at the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Sports Center. The stadium has capacity for upwards of 30,000 people. The Latin music stars coming for the 1998 event are Ricky Martin, Alejandro Fernández, Juan Gabriel, Carlos Vives and Maria Conchita Alonso. Dominican merengue groups Fernando Villalona, Hermanos Rosario and the Toros Band will perform. Merengue band leader Milly Quezada has not confirmed her participation.

Basketball Championship to open 31 July
The National Superior Basketball Championship will take place 31 July, if contractors working on the reconstruction of the Sports Palace complete their work on schedule. The directors of the National District Basketball Association and the Dominican Basketball Federation are optimistic the tournament will be able to be played on the scheduled date.

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