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Daily News - 22 May 1998

Last bulletin of the elections
The Partido Revolucionario Dominicana and its allies' congressional candidates obtained 1,075,027 votes in the 16 May election, for a 51.35% of the valid votes cast. The Partido de la Liberación Dominicana was favored with 653,966 votes, 31.24% of the total. The Partido Reformista Social Cristiano obtained 352,240 votes, or 16.83%. The results are contained in the final bulletin on the count of the votes issued on 20 May.
In the Chamber of Deputies, the PRD 83 of the 149 posts in Congress, 56%. The PLD obtained 49 and the PRSC 17, for the remaining 44%. In the Senate, the PRD won 24 seats, the PLD 4 and the PRSC 2.
At the municipal level, the PRD accumulated 1,055,702 votes, or 50.58%, the PLD 649,288, or 31.11% and the Reformistas 361,041 for 17.30%. The PRD obtained the majority in 94 municipalities, the PLD in 13 and the PRSC in 8, for a total of 115.
The PRD won in the National District (Santo Domingo), San Cristóbal, Baní, Monte Plata, Azua, San Juan de la Maguana, Barahona, Neiba, Hato Mayor, Santiago, Puerto Plata, Mao, Montecristi, Dajabón and Monseñor Nouel. Also in La Vega, Cotuí, Moca, San Francisco de Macorís, Samaná, Villa Altagracia, Pedernales, Nagua, Río San Juan, Yamasá, Jarabacoa, Constanza and Bajos de Haina.
The PLD won in El Seibo, La Romana, Restauración, Villa Tapia, Salcedo, Tenares, Hondo Valle, Jimaní, Vicente Noble, Bohechío, El Llano, Partido and Juan de Herrera.
The PRD won in San Pedro de Macoris, Los Llanos, Higuey, Ramón Santana, San Rafael de Yuma, Laguna Salada, El Valle and Consuelo.
The municipal and congressional elections were held separately from the presidential elections, a first time in the past 30 years.
President of Senate should be impartial
Re-elected senator for Monte Plata, Ramon Alburquerque of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano told the press that whom assumes the leadership of the party should not aspire to the presidency. Alburquerque would like to be chosen president of the Senate. He said that he does not seek the presidency. In apparent reference to re-elected senator for Santo Domingo, Milagros Ortíz Bosch, he said party members should not use the position of president of the Senate to promote their presidential aspirations. Ortíz Bosch is the highest rated politician within the PRD. Nevertheless, she has evaded the issue of whether she would run for president in year 2000. She was voted in for a period of 4 years starting 16 August 1998 through 16 August year 2004. In the past, the presidency of the Senate has been an effective platform for those who have aspired to the Presidency or Vice Presidency of the nation.

Decamps says Balaguer is sorry he prosecuted Jorge Blanco
Secretary General of the PRD, Hatuey Decamps, during press talks at Hoy newspaper, said that former President Joaquín Balaguer supposedly confessed to him having been mistaken for prosecuting former President Salvador Jorge Blanco for corruption in office. Former President Balaguer has not yet denied the supposed confession. Jorge Blanco seeks to be acquitted by the Court of Appeals, that will hear his case. The Supreme Court of Justice judges are also said to be in favor of his being acquitted. If he is acquitted he will be able to run again for office. Dr. Jorge Blanco was sentenced to a RD$20 million fine and imprisonment.
Hatuey de Camps was known as "el hombre del maletín", the man of the briefcase when he was secretary of the Presidency during the Salvador Jorge Blanco presidency from 1982-1986. Hatuey de Camps is the present secretary general of the party.

Argentinean government notifies former diplomats
Luis Palma de la Calzada and Martin Palma Meccia, husband and son of the former Argentinean ambassador in the Dominican Republic, were formally notified by the Ministry of Justice of Argentina to return to the Dominican Republic to stand trial. They are requested to attend the hearing on the case of 12-year old José Rafael Llenas Aybar on 28 May. The two are involved in the case of the assassination of the minor that occurred in May 1996. The boy disappeared on 2 May, and appeared the next day in a brook near the farm where the Argentinean ambassadors raised pit bull dogs. The boy had been stabbed 34 times. 18-year old Mario José Redondo and Juan Manuel Rodríguez Moliné confessed to their participation in the crime, and also involved the Argentineans. The hearing will take place at the Sixth Penal Chamber of the National District.

Family members deny assassinated general consumed marijuana
Lawyers and family of Retired General Luis Santiago Pérez, brutally clobbered to death by a gang Partido de la Liberación Dominicana militants, denied that the later was under the effects of marijuana as his autopsy has shown. They say that Dr. Sergio Sarita Valdez, chief of the government forensic department, and deputy Minister of Health, revelation is part of a plan to discredit the late Air Force pilot, to reduce the responsibility of those incriminated. Family lawyer Marino Mendoza commented that Dr. Valdez is a member of the influential PLD central committee.
Dr. Sergio Sarita Valdez said 27.7 nanigrams of marijuana per liter were found in the general's blood. Remains of marijuana will show up for several weeks after consumption.
Family members say the defense lawyers and the PLD want the case to go on and on so that those that are guilty not suffer punishment. They complained that first he was physically killed and now the party wants to morally kill him.
His wife of 20 years, Rafaela Pérez said that the pilot didn't even smoke cigarettes.

A freeze on city funds
Secretary General of the Dominican Municipal League, Julio Maríñez froze the flow of government funds to the municipalities from 17 May to 16 August. He said the measure follows provisions in Law 584 that seek to safeguard the resources for the next city administrations that begin on 16 August.

Legislating for their own personal gain
Dominican congressmen, or at least the majority of those that are part of the 1994-1998 congress, are known for their turtle pace when studying and passing bills that would benefit the nation. But when it comes to passing bills to monetarily favor themselves, their industriousness is impressive. With only 22 of 120 deputies remaining, the local press pointed out how the deputies are now concentrating on what is being called "a festival of pensions," whereby they are passing pensions that would provide them with life benefits of RD$50,000 a month. Minimum salary in the Dominican Republic is RD$2,800.

New stats publication is out
The Oficina Nacional de Estadísticas (ONE), the government statistics department says they have just released their annual "Dominican Republic in Figures" (República Dominicana en Cifras) bulletin. The bulletin is full of facts and figures. For example, did you know there are 1,629,616 dwellings in the Dominican Republic. Most of these are in the National District (512,701). The second largest city of the nation, Santiago, has 161,654 dwellings.

New Council to watch over health in tourism areas
The government and the National Association of Hotels and Restaurants, with the cooperation of the World Health Organization and the Panamerican Health Organization have created a new Health and Tourism Council (Consatur) to watch over and improve health conditions in tourist areas.
The Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Public Health, the Santo Domingo Water Corporation (CAASD), the National Potable Water and Sewage Institute (INAPA), the World Health Organization and the Panamerican Health Organization and the National Association of Hotels and Restaurants make up the new organization. Consatur will be presided by Minister of Public Health Altagracia Guzmán Marcelino. It will implement the National Health & Tourism Plan and create preventive health programs in tourist areas. Consatur will supervise, monitor and evaluate health prevention programs carried out by hotels, restaurants, entertainment centers and other companies catering to tourists. The organization will also seek to promote adequate handling of food and prevent sicknesses, especially sexually transmittable diseases such as AIDS.
Present for the announcement of the new Council, Minister of Tourism Félix Jiménez said that the government will invest over RD$1,000 before the end of this government to expand or build aqueducts and sewage treatment plants in Cabarete, Sosua, Puerto Plata, Samaná, Bayahibe, Guayacanes, Boca Chica, Jarabacoa and Barahona.

Motion to rename Las Americas International Airport
The deputies approved in a second reading a bill for a project that would rename the Las Americas International Airport, the late Dr. José Francisco Peña Gómez International Airport. The bill was presented by César Cedeño, PRD-National District and by the president of the chamber, Rafael Peguero Méndez, PRD-Independencia. The legislators say that Dr. Peña Gómez promoted international solidarity, was one of the most frequent users of the airport, and thus the principal port of entry of the nation should bear his name. Present administrator of the airport, Guillermo Sued commented that there are many international consequences and difficulties in changing the name of an airport.

Cinema Centro closed down
The Comisión Nacional de Espectáculos Públicos y Radiofonía, the organization in charge of show business in this country, ordered that the Cinema Centro and the Nacional movie theater houses be closed. The Cinema Centro and the Nacional were in practically a state of abandon. The authorities said the theaters were being used by social undesirables for purposes other than movie viewing.

Michael Camilo to co-direct at JFK Center music festival
Dominican pianist and composer, Michael Camilo will co-direct along with Leonard Slatkin the National Symphony Orchestra of New York City's Latin American and Caribbean Festival. The festival will take place at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts from 9 to 14 June. Tito Puente, Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D'Rivera, Danilo Pérez, Orlando "Puntilla" Ríos and Gonzalo Rubalcaba will be among the performers at the Concert Hall of the center. The festival will highlight the influence of Latin American and Caribbean music in music today, and among U.S. music composers.

Cuban trainers to arrive on Sunday
The first group of Cuban sports coaches are slated to arrive Sunday. The Dominican Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Sports last year signed a sports cooperation agreement with Cuban sports authorities. The first nine trainers are experts in track and field, baseball, judo, volleyball, table tennis, tennis, karate, gymnasium and swimming. They are part of a group of 69 coaches that will come gradually through August of this year. The coaches will help prepare the Dominican team that will compete in the Maracaibo, Venezuela Central American and Caribbean Sports Games this summer.

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