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Daily News - 10 May 1999

JCE impasse resolved with choice of new judges
The three leading political parties approved the two new judges for the expansion of the Junta Central Electoral in the 11th session of the political dialogue held on Friday, 7 May. The lawyers are José Manuel Hernández and his substitute Jorge Suncar Morales, proposed by the Partido de la Liberación Dominicana. The PRSC chose Cesar Castaños Gúzman and Belarminio Morillo as substitute. With the choice of these judges, the institutional crisis around the JCE is expected to be resolved. The PRSC and the PLD had objected that the PRD-majority Senate had unilaterally chosen the members of the JCE, the institution that governs the organization of the presidential, congressional and municipal elections in the DR. This broke with the successful formula of appointing non-partisan judges that led to the successful presidential election of 1996. On Thursday, President Leonel Fernández made law the bill that expands the composition of the JCE. While not the best solution, it was a solution accepted by the three leading political parties.

Hipólito: Hold the convention now
Hipólito Mejía is of opinion that the convention to choose the PRD candidate to the presidential election of 2000 should be held now. The convention is set for 16 May 1999, but presidential candidate hopefuls Rafael Suberví and Hatuey Decamps oppose its celebration with the present voters list that they say is full of irregularities. Most polls show Mejía is by far the leading contender for the presidential candidacy of the party. Over the weekend, Mejía said he would accept a postponing of the convention, but for no more than three weeks. Mejía is focusing so far his campaign on that he will govern for the entire country, and not just for the urban population of Santo Domingo. The party enters the anniversary of the death of leader, Francisco José Ureña Gómez who was known to come up with conciliatory formulas out of his hat that avoided internal confrontations and lead the party to a sweep of the congressional and municipal election in 1998. The PRD celebrating many events to commemorate the anniversary. Former President of Venezuela, Carlos Andrés Pérez, a close friend of Peña Gómez, called out for party unity during a mass held at the Cristo Redentor Cemetery.

Three kilometer overpass for Santo Domingo
The Ministry of Public Works is building an overpass along 27 de Febrero Avenue starting some 200 meters off at Leopoldo Navarro Avenue and connecting to Duarte Bridge over Ozama River. The overpass will be three kilometers long and will have exit ramps for interconnecting to city streets along the way. The exits will be at Calle Francisco Henríquez y Carvajal (south side) and Ciriaco Ramírez (north side); Calle Dr. Delgado, Calle Tunti Cáceres, and Calle Paris.

DR admitted to regional cooperation bank
The DR was admitted as a full-rights member to the Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica. The Dominican Republic was endorsed by the governments of Taiwan, Argentina and Colombia. Reportedly, the entry to the bank will make it easier for the Dominican government and local business to access the US$120 million in funds deposited in Mexico as per the San José Accord. The DR will be able to participate in other financial schemes available to Central American member nations.

New bus route for Santo Domingo
The Metropolitan Transport Authority (AMET) has begun operating its newest corridor, the 32 kilometer southern route that will transverse the city from Haina, on the west of the city, to the V Centenario Horse Race Track on the east of the city. This is the longest bus route operated by the city transport authority. It will primarily transit along the Av. Independencia, but will also transit along Av. Bolívar, Av. México, Av. Pedro Henríquez Ureña. It will cross the Ozama River using along the Ramón Matías Mella Bridge.

DR men and women qualify for Pan Am basketball tournament
The Dominican Republic's women and men teams qualified in Centro Basket 1999, held in Havana, Cuba, to participate in the Winnipeg, Canada Pan Am Games that start 23 July. The DR defeated Panama 86-74 in the finals after having lost the silver medal to Puerto Rico by one point, the previous day. Franklin Western was the key offensive player with 33 points and five rebounds. Ricardo Greer followed scoring 16 points. Coach Boyón Domínguez said that the team did a tremendous job especially when considering it was not able to train as a unit. In the Pan Am Games, Central America and the Caribbean will be represented by Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican women's basketball team won the silver medal, falling only to Cuba 117-61 in the final game. Mexico won the bronze in the women's division.
The DR men's team won bronze in 1997, silver in 1995 and gold in 1977. The women's team had won bronze in 1997 and 1995, silver in 1989, bronze in 1985, silver in 1988, bronze in 1975.

"Carmen" at the National Theater
"Carmen," the Georges Bizet opera, will be staged at the National Theater 23, 25, 27 June. Carlos Piantini is in charge of the production that will bring together the best of local talent and foreign guest performers. Angela Horn will be Carmen; Armando Mora, don José; Christina Fontanelli, Micaela; Moisés Franco, Escamillo; Eduardo Villanueva, captain Zúñiga. The National Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by Maestro Piantini. The choirs Polifonía and Infantil be directed by José Delmonte. Carlos Veitía is in charge of the choreography of the Ballet Concierto Dominicano. Tickets are for sale at the National Theater.

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