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Daily News - 07 June 1999

Contending politicians reach agreement for unity in PRD
Hipólito Mejia and Hatuey de Camps reached an agreement that establishes that if one of the two wins the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano primary on 20 June, the winner will support the other for the presidency of the party. The "Acuerdo por la Unidad para la Victoria" was endorsed by Milagros Ortiz Bosch, who earlier had signed an agreement with Hipólito Mejía which established that of the two, whoever came in second place in the primary would accept the vice presidential nomination. Negotiations where the losers are guaranteed their share of the power are traditional within the PRD.
All polls indicate that Hipólito Mejía will win the presidential nomination during the upcoming primary. Negotiations with the other presidential candidacy hopefuls have taken place in order to strengthen the Mejía candidacy through party unity. The president of the PRD, Dr. Enmanuel Esquea Guerrero opposed the pact saying it lacked validity. He said that the presidency of the PRD is not private property of any of the presidential candidacy hopefuls. He reaffirmed that negotiations of this type are not contemplated in the bylaws of the party. Interestingly, Esquea Guerrero is a product of a similar situation. He was handpicked for the post by former party leader, the late José Francisco Peña Gómez.

Vice President calls for voting for best man
Vice President Jaime David Fernández Mirabal, who seeks the presidential candidacy nomination for the ruling Partido de la Liberación Dominicana, urged that PLD voters chose the presidential candidate based on their conditions and not responding to political favors granted or promised. The Vice President in a recent Hamilton survey published in Hoy newspaper showed 64% support of party members in his quest for the presidential nomination of the Partido de la Liberación Dominicana. According to the study, he leads Danilo Medina, who rated 29%, and Minister of Tourism Felix Jiménez, who attracted 5% of PLD voters. In comparison to the previous Hamilton survey, Fernández Mirabal gained 24 points. The survey showed Medina dropped 14 points in the preference of PLD voters. The survey was carried out nationwide 21-26 May.

PLD and PRSC chose new judges for JCE
The Partido de la Liberación Dominicana replaced its original choice for judge of the Junta Central Electoral, the body in charge of organizing the presidential election, and proposed Dr. Roberto Leonel Rodriguez Estrella. A first choice, had been rejected because of alleged problems pending with the judiciary. The PRSC presented Dr. Adalberto Maldonado, who replaces an earlier choice for judge who also had been objected by the Senate, this time on grounds of not having 12 years of professional exercise. The number of judges in the JCE is being expanded to seven, as part of an agreement among the three leading political parties. Known as the National Dialogue, the talks among the three leading political parties will continue this Wednesday, 9 June at 6 pm at the National Palace. The parties will present their candidates to the JCE posts of Director of the Election, Director of Informatics, Director of Electoral Registry, and Director of Voting Cards.

Datocentro warns that card issuance pace is too slow
Executives of Datocentro, the private company that has the contract to issue voting and identification cards for the Junta Central Electoral, told Hoy newspaper that if the JCE were to maintain the present average of 10,000 voting cards issued per day it will be 800,000 persons short come the day of the scheduled closing of the issuing of the voting cards. Some 2.8 million Dominicans are still missing to get their cedulas, and there are only 200 days to go for the scheduled closing date.

Government-produced sugar costs 7 times world market price
The Dominican government produced sugar is one of the most expensive in the world. Press reports indicate, that the cost per pound of sugar by CEA sugar mills is RD$7.50. The figure comes from the total cost to the state of keeping CEA going, of RD$2,000 million, and the estimated final production of 114,000 tons. The world market price for a similar commodity is RD$0.99. Lack of maintenance, corruption and years of bad management have brought the State Sugar Council (CEA) mills to a state beyond bankruptcy. They are up for capitalization as part of a state program to rid itself of deficitary companies. So far, the CEA has only produced 40,000 tons of a forecast 163,000. Only five of 10 sugar mills have been producing. CEA has an assigned quota of 85,795 tons on the US preferential market.

They assaulted the wrong man
Two of four Colombians were arrested when they tried to assault a man who was depositing RD$60,000 in the Banco Popular of Plaza Naco bank. About a month ago, one of them had been sent to justice for a similar attempt on 9 May to stalk RD$205,000 off another bank depositor. The Police identified the Colombian assailants as Johanny Carvajal Ome and Indhira Gonzalez. They were caught when they attempted to assault Major Sargeant Toadio Antonio de la Cruz. The sargeant noticed in time he had been victimized and caught the two in the Plaza Naco parking lot. The assailants that worked in a group of four would operate by one person entertaining the victim, then the woman would drop some money that the victim would help pick up, while another would run away with the money. Rosario Guerrero, spokesman for the National Police, referred the press to the District Attorney's office for information on why the Colombian was running lose after having been accused of a similar robbery on 9 May.

Senate passes important loan bill
The National Senate passed a loan for US$105 million signed with the state and the InterAmerican Development Bank. One of the most important signed by the government, the loan will be used to finance the construction of 10,000 prefabricated homes in areas hard hit by Hurricane Georges.

Former Haitian police chief deported
Coles Rameau, accused of a killing of 11 Haitian youths last week, was arrested in the DR by intelligence services and deported to Haiti, according to reports in the local press, confirmed by the Haitian police. The former chief of the Haitian Police was arrested by Dominican intelligence agents prior to boarding a commercial flight to New York. He had clandestinely entered the DR fleeing from persecution in Haiti after OAS and United Nations officers pressured the Haitian government for his arrest and processing by Haitian justice. The shooting in Haiti occurred on 28 May in Carrefour Feuille, a Port au Prince barrio.

Dominican imports almost double in five years
The Listín Diaro reports that consumer and capital goods imports grew 75% in the five year period 1993-1998, going from US$2,795.3 million to US$4,191.3 million.

Dictator Trujillo's chauffeur dies; he never told the true story
Zacarias de la Cruz, who was Rafael Leónidas Trujillo's chauffeur for 18 years up until the time of his assassination in 1961, died over the weekend of a heart attack. He was 93 years old. He was with Trujillo at the time of the later's death. Trujillo was shot to death on the Malecón on his way to his Hacienda Fundación home in San Cristóbal. The driver survived the assault because one of the bullets he received, of seven, knocked him unconscious. He later recovered to request to be taken to the military hospital by taxi. A former Captain of the Army, he had Trujillo's trust and took with him all the secrets he knew of Trujillo's private life. He refused interviews or writing his memoirs.

Pedro Martínez is strike out master
Pedro Martínez gave up only three hits and walked two in his eighth 10-plus strikeout game this season and 43rd of his career. If he keeps pitching like this, Pedro Martinez will join Gaylord Perry as the only pitchers to win Cy Young awards in each league. On Saturday, 5 June, Martinez matched Tom Glavine, a native of Boston, and struck out a career-high 16 to defeat the Atlanta Braves 5-1. Martinez has a record of 11-1. In the game he struck out every Atlanta batter at least once and had at least one strikeout in every inning. This was his ninth win in as many starts.

Sammy leads in home runs in National League
In Chicago, Sammy Sosa hit his 19th home run of the season and second in less than 24 hours. He now leads the National League in home runs.
In the Thursday, 3 June game against the San Diego Padres, Sosa produced his home run in the first inning of the game. His homer produced three runs and lead the Cubs to a thrilling 9-8 victory. Sosa has batted for home runs in back-to-back games five times this season.
Team mate Henry Rodriguez also had a great day, batting for home run in the game the Cubs won 7-2 over the Padres. Rodriguez has batted four home runs over the last eight games. ``We're trying to do our best not to think home runs and not think about records,'' Rodriguez told the press. ``We just want to think about helping this team win and that's the main goal. I've got a job to do and I'm trying to do it good everyday. Home runs are going to come for Sammy and for me.''
Sosa, who hit a major league record 20 home runs last June, has two this month and 15 home runs and 31 RBIs in his last 27 games.
Sosa is only one behind major league co-leaders Ken Griffey Jr. and Jose Canseco.
The Cubs have won six of their past seven games.
Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs leads in the home run tally of the National League. He is in first place with 19 home runs, followed by fellow Dominican Raúl Mondesí who plays with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Mark McGwire, last year's all time home run record holder, is in third place with 17 runs.

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