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Daily News - 16 December 1998

The CDE and private power producer come to an understanding
The state electricity utility, the Corporación Dominicana de Electricidad and Smith-Enron, the private consortium that built and operates a major power plant in Puerto Plata, have signed a memorandum covering points under dispute. The Fernández administration disputes the unfair and privileged conditions awarded to the company by the Balaguer administration under which the power plant was installed.
Smith-Enron Cogeneration Limited Partnership released a communiqué yesterday indicating that they have agreed among themselves over issues that had been debated at the arbitrage court of the International Chamber of Commerce.
The agreement depends on the CDE making payments and its receiving the approval of international financial institutions.
The CDE and Smith-Enron have signed a "Memorandum de Entendimiento" that allows for the revision of the Contract of Purchase and Sale of Energy with the company.
According to Smith-Enron, the CDE has agreed to make payments of "all the sums not under discussion and owed today" so that the company can cover its own debts.
"We understand that this agreement, achieved prior to the process for the capitalization of the CDE sends a positive sign to all companies that participate in the process and to investors in general," says Smith-Enron. The company believes that the capitalization process should contribute in the long range to resolve the power needs of the country.
Kevin Manning has head negotiations for Smith-Enron seeking to reach an agreement with the government that would be satisfactory to both parts.

PRD votes to stay in Congress but not pass PLD bills
The Political Committee of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano, the leading opposition party, chose to desist from recommending its senators to abandon Congressional sessions but reiterated the party's "presidium" or ruling body's decision to not approve any bills presented by the Fernández administration. The PRD wants the ruling party, the Partido de la Liberación Dominicana (PLD) to not support PRSC efforts at winning the secretary general post of the Dominican Municipal League, the organization that rules city halls in the DR. The PRD also seeks a return to normal of monthly payments made to the Junta Central Electoral, the body that organizes presidential, congressional and municipal elections. The PLD and the PRSC have disputed the judges elected unilaterally by the PRD majority in the Senate on grounds that some of the elected judges, including the president of the court, are renown PRD activists.

Puello re-elected at helm of COD
Dr. José Joaquín Puello was re-elected president of the Dominican Olympic Committee (COD). He defeated Milton Pinedo, president of the Federation of Sports Medicine with a vote 19-7 in his favor. Puello's major accomplishment as president of the Dominican Olympic Committee has been to win the site of the Pan American Games for 2003. He believes, the winning of the site will force the government to focus on sports development and provide the funds to do so. Sports facilities in the DR suffer from the lack of maintenance, with the investment of millions of pesos having gone to waste for lack of upkeep funding from either the private sector, the communities or the central government.
"We have a great challenge before us," said Puello who invited those that were not elected to be part of the Panamerican Commission to prepare the Pan Am Games.
This will be Puello's fifth term at the helm of the COD, since 1982. Other COD board members are Bienvenido Solano, president of the Dominican Boxing Federation as first vice president; Alexis Garcia, president of the Volleyball Federation as second vice president; Luis Mejía Oviedo, president of the Softball Federation as secretary general; Antonio Acosta of the Dominican Wrestling Federation as co-secretary and Jaime Casanova, president of the Judo Federation as treasurer. Other members are Hector Duval, president of the Sailing Federation, Leonardo Monsanto, president of the Tae Kwon Do Federation and Angel Acosta, president of the Karate Federation.

Spanish poll shows Balaguer is strong candidate
Sigma Dos poll commissioned by the Listín Diario shows that former President Joaquín Balaguer is the strongest candidate of the Partido Reformista Social Cristiano. An earlier Gallup poll commissioned by Hoy newspaper had showed that former Vice President Jacinto Peynado was by far a more preferred candidate.
The Spanish Sigma Dos polling organization, nevertheless, found that 73.8% of the Reformistas surveyed would vote for the nonagenarian statesman if he were to run again in the year 2000 elections. Peynado received a distant favor of 15.3%, former Vice President Carlos Morales Troncoso 1.7%. Because of physical limitations, it is very unlikely that the politician will run for President in year 2000.

Project to fix environment around city port
Minister of Tourism Felix Jiménez is advocating that the central government take charge of the maintenance of the areas adjacent to the Port of Santo Domingo. In 1998 several cruise ships docked there, but they are threatening to remove the city of Santo Domingo from their tours if a clean up is not carried out. The government has built a lovely terminal and the area is adjacent to the Colonial City of Santo Domingo, but garbage dumps and unsightly businesses in the view of the cruise ship passengers rival the natural and historical beauty of the area.

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