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Daily News - 21 June 1999

Hipólito wins PRD primary
Hipólito Mejía won the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano (PRD) primary held yesterday, Sunday, 20 June 1999. When 98% of the votes had been counted, he had received 73.39% of the vote or 118,839 votes. Earlier polls had showed he would win.
Rafael Suberví Bonilla, a former Mayor of Santo Domingo and Minister of Tourism, today deputy for Barahona, placed a far away second with 14.78% of the vote or 23,933 votes. Milagros Ortiz Bosch was third, with 9,795 votes, or 6.04% of the total. Hatuey de Camps followed with 7,338 for 4.53%, and José Rafael Abinader received 2,004 votes, for 1.23% of the votes.
According to the PRD statistics, the abstention was 87%. PRD listings show 1,259,529 million Dominicans registered as PRD voters, of which only 165,328 cast their vote.
Rafael Suberví did not agree with the results, and denounced fraud had been committed against him. He believes 300,000 persons were impeded to vote for him.
Elsewise, the primary was uneventful. Thousands of PRD voters attended the 5,473 voting centers installed throughout the country. Of these 2,300 were located in Santo Domingo.
Hipólito Mejía is an agronomist engineer, born in Gurabo, Santiago, on 22 February 1941. He has been a member of the PRD since 1978, when he accepted to be Minister of Agriculture in the government of the late President Antonio Guzmán. In 1984 he was chosen president of the Bloque Institucional Social Demócrata, a party founded by the late Jose Francisco Peña Gómez due to differences within the leadership of the PRD. In the 1990 presidential election Peña Gomez chose him as his running mate. In 1994, Peña Gómez chose Fernando Alvarez Bogaert as his vice presidential candidate.
Hipólito Mejía has said his running mate in the 2000 election will be Milagros Ortiz Bosch. Ortiz Bosch was born 23 August 1936. She is a doctor of law with postgraduate studies in politics in Costa Rica. In 1963 she was assistant to her uncle, Professor Juan Bosch, when the later was elected President. Bosch was toppled seven months later. She is vice president of the PRD. She has been elected twice as senator of Santo Domingo. Santo Domingo is the most important electoral district in the country.

PLD primary set for Sunday
The focus of the political press coverage will now be on the Partido de la Liberación Dominicana, which will hold its primary to choose its presidential candidate on Sunday, 27 June. The PLD competition is primarily between Vice President Jaime David Fernández and Secretary of the Presidency Danilo Medina. Some 14,000 PLD members, representing the party’s estimated 300,000-400,000 members, will choose the party’s presidential candidate in the 2000 election. Minister of Tourism Felix Jiménez also seeks the presidential nomination, but polls show he has scant chances of winning the nomination.

Balaguer says he will run if his health so allows
Once the PLD chooses its candidate, then it will be the turn for the Partido Reformista Social Cristiano. The party’s founder and longtime leader, former President Joaquín Balaguer is expected to be the presidential candidate. Over the weekend, he told the press that he would run if his health permits. "I feel more or less well, but I still have some problems," he said. The PRSC has traditionally left for last the announcement whether Balaguer will run or not.

Police orders investigations of shootouts
Police headquarters do not discard that there has been abuse of power during shootouts of supposed criminals and the police. Police spokesman Nelson Rosario Guerrero said that the Police is investigating all shootouts to determine if the persons have been killed for legitimate reasons, or if there are personal vendettas, personal gains behind the shootouts. The National Commission of Human Rights has complained that in the first three months of the term of police chief Mayor General Pedro de Jesus Candelier a record 98 civilians have died in shootouts with the police. Major General Pedro de Jesus Candelier, was appointed for his reputation of a strongman, of a man who takes no nonsense and gets the job done. His instructions were to combat crime, as demanded by society in general that has seen a recent increase in violent crimes.
Police spokesman Nelson Rosario urged Dominicans to demand to see the identity card and badge of any policeman who seeks to penetrate their domicile or interrogate them. He recommended residents to call 685-3532 to confirm the man is truly a member of the police prior to opening the door. In recent weeks, persons who identify themselves as policemen have committed assaults.

Conch capture banned
President Leonel Fernandez issued Decree 269-99 banning the capture of conch and marine species known as "cotorrón" and "futay." These species are considered in danger of extinction due to indiscriminate methods of fishing by ignorant Dominicans. The ban on fishing of these species is in effect from 1 July through 31 October of every year. The government prohibited the sale of conch during that period.

Doctors vote to resume work stoppages
Doctors are angry that the special committee appointed by the Chamber of Deputies to work on the bill to fund a pay raise for them has indefinitely postponed a debate on the bill originally scheduled for next Tuesday. The Dominican Medical Association (AMD) decided to call work stoppages for Wednesday and Thursday of this week to pressure Congress to take rapid action on their salary demands.
The board of the AMD is demanding a 60% salary increase for members working in public hospitals. The measure will affect indigent Dominicans that visit public hospitals and those affiliated to the Dominican Social Security Institute.
It is traditional for the AMD to organize periodic strikes to demand salary increase. The medics’ salaries were increased at the start of the PLD government, but the government has said that it cannot afford any new increases unless new taxes are created.

Government negligence results in major environmental problem
Toxic wastes produced by the Rosario gold mine in Cotuí are contaminating rivers that flow into Hatillo Dam in the Northeast. The contamination is the result of years of government negligence. The reasons why the governmented aborted the privatization of the Rosario gold mine, which would have been crucial to putting an end to contamination problems, have not been made known. El Siglo newspaper reported that hundreds of fish planted by the Ministry of Agriculture as part of a fishery program have died due to the contamination.

Archaeological findings near Columbus Palace
The government department in charge of preserving historical buildings, the Oficina de Patrimonio Cultural announced important archaeological findings in the east patio of the Alcazar de Colón. Fragments of ceramics dating back to the pre-Hispanic days and coins dating back to several periods after the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors have been found. The Alcazar de Colón, the colonial palace from where the conquest of the Americas was planned, was restored in 1957. At the time, research was not carried out in the environs. Recent research showed that the original level of the patio was 75 centimeters lower than the restored level, which led to the discovery of the colonial time artifacts.

German pre-school opens in Santo Domingo
Colegio Alemán-Santo Domingo announced the opening of registrations for its pre-school German and Spanish classes. The pre-school offers classes for German-speaking children, or children of a German parent. The school accepts children aged two to six years olds in the bilingual pre-school program. Classes take place from 8 am to 12:30 noon at the Presa Río Bao, El Millón neighborhood locale in Santo Domingo. The school says that it is using German textbooks and class materials. For more information, call Tel. 809 530-5878 or fax 530-9939.
Bilingual education is also available in French, English and Italian in Santo Domingo.

Santo Domingo Film Festival
The First International Film Festival of Santo Domingo will take place 9 to 18 July. The festival is organized by the Presidential Culture Council, the Municipal Cultural Board, the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Foreign Relations with the collaboration of cultural sections of several Iberoamerican embassies in the Dominican Republic. Film critic Arturo Rodríguez Fernández, is the event’s coordinator. The festival films are divided into two groups. An Informative Section will present some of the best international films to educate the Dominican public. A Contest Section is open to films from abroad. "Ciguapa" awards will be given to the best film, best director, best actor, best actress, and public’s choice. This year, an award for the best Dominican screenplay will be instituted. It will be awarded in next year’s festival. Films from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Spain, France, Honduras, Peru and Puerto Rico will be shown.

Alice in Wonderland arrives by the Internet
Dominican playwrights Enrique Chao and Gabriel Paulino have done a rewrite of Lewis Carroll’s legendary "Alice in the Wonderland" tale for a presentation at the National Theater on two consecutive weekends starting 23 July. In the adaptation, Alice will arrive by the Internet. A Fidel Lopez production, the play will star Stephanie Fatule Báez in the role of Alice. The music score is by Frank Ceara.

Third Eco-Tourism Fair Opens in Hato Mayor
The nine-day Third Annual Eco-Tourism Fair is taking place in Sabana de la Mar, Hato Mayor, in the eastern portion of the Dominican Republic. Organizers expect this year’s event to attract about 400,000 people over the course of nine days, both Dominicans and foreign participants. Beyond discussions, presentations, exhibitions and educational events concerning the growing eco-tourism trade in the Caribbean, the fair offers attendants the possibility of taking excursions to Samaná, Los Haitises National Park, Tropical Plantation, Cayo Levantado, the waterfalls of Yanigua, Magua and Miches, and the caves of Fun Fun. The fair is organized by the DR’s Fundación Cienca y Arte (Science and Art Foundation) and cosponsored by Presidency of the Republic, the Canadian Embassy, several United Nations agencies and dozens of private groups.

Carmen, for opera lovers
Tickets are still available for the Sunday presentation of "Carmen," the Georges Bizet opera, that will be staged at the National Theater 23, 25, 27 June. The production is the most important artistic presentation of the National Theater so far this year. 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 will 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.

Tony Fernández is top Dominican hit batter
Tony Fernández, of the Toronto Blue Jays, yesterday became the Dominican baseball player to hold the record of most hits batted in the Major Leagues. The 37-year old batted his 2,178th hit to pass Julio César Franco, who hit 2,177 hits in his career. Tony Fernandez has a batting average of .411 this season, making him the leading batter in the American League. He has batted at least one hit in his past 10 games.
His next goal is to break Felipe Rojas Alou’s record of games played — 2,082. Fernández has played in 2,004 games in his 16 seasons in the Major Leagues. He began his career in the Major Leagues with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1983 and is one of the oldest players in the league.
Only 15 Latin American players have batted for more than 2,000 hits. Rod Carew of Panama holds the record of hits in a career by a Latin American, with 3,053 hits.
Pedro Martínez leads in victories in Major Leagues
Pedro Martínez of the Boston Red Sox became the first pitcher of the Major Leagues to achieve 13 victories this season. He has a record of 161 strikeouts and an effectiveness of 2.10. He won his 13th game yesterday against the Texas Ranchers, 5-2. He has only lost two games this season. In yesterday’s game, he struck out 10 players. Pedro Martínez is the leading candidate to win the Cy Young award this season.

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