Home  Message Archive  2015  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001  2000  1999  1998  Premium News Service

Daily News - 22 June 1999

Half million PRD militants vote
With 82% of the vote in, Hipólito Mejía was declared winner of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano primary. The spokesman of the organizing commission of the convention, PRD president Enmanuel Esquea Guerrero rejected the threat of impugnment made by second place winner Rafael Suberví Bonilla. Suberví alleges a major fraud was made that affected his vote count. Bulletin 6 showed Mejía had an ample lead of 388,790 votes of 534,059 votes cast. Suberví Bonilla received 13.99% of the votes, or 73,195 votes. The organizing commission declared Hipólito Mejia the winner of the primary and the party’s presidential candidate in the 16 May 2000 election.
Senator for Santo Domingo, Milagros Ortiz Bosch obtained 30,717 votes, or 5.87%; party secretary general Hatuey Decamps received 23,664 votes or 4.52%; and Senator for Santiago José Rafael Abinader, 6,527 votes for 1.24%. Of 5,473 voting centers, 4,511 or 82.42% were tallied in time for bulletin 6. PRD stats showed that some 1,260,684 party militants were registered to vote. Abstention was 57.64%.

No. 2 would be vice presidential candidate
Vice President Jaime David Fernández, who seeks the presidential nomination for the ruling Partido de la Liberación Dominicana (PLD), proposed that the runner-up of the PLD primary accept the vice presidential position. Vice President Fernández feels that whoever comes in second in the Sunday 20 June primary of the PLD should accept the vice presidential candidacy, in order to strengthen the party’s position in the 16 May 2000 presidential election. His closest contender, Secretary of the Presidency Danilo Medina has yet to comment on the suggestion. Vice President Fernández and Secretary of the Presidency Medina are running a tight race for the PLD nomination. In the PLD primary, only 14,000 party delegates are authorized to vote, representing the estimated 300,000-400,000 PLD voters.

Costa Rica passes free trade agreement
The President of Costa Rica, Miguel Angel Rodríguez will sign the free trade agreement agreed upon with the DR into law on Tuesday in San José, Costa Rica. The agreement was recently passed by the Costa Rican congress. The Dominican congress has yet to pass the free trade agreement. Costa Rica expects to increase exports from US$28 to US$100 million, according to forecasts made by their trade ministry. A leading Costa Rican supermarket chain, Palí, is already operating successfully in the DR.

Interest rates and the value of the US$ to decline in DR
Months of the implementing of a conservative monetary policy to discourage an increase in imports, that would bring an abrupt decline in the value of the peso, are showing in the stable peso-dollar relation, but also in the decline or stagnation of sales of goods and services made by Dominican consumers. It now seems time for the Central Bank to do a reverse act. Monetary policy led interest rates to stay high, in order to discourage imports, but now it is imminent that the country will receive major injections of US dollars, and the Central Bank needs to act to avoid a reverse run on the dollar. An abrupt increase in the number of dollars the peso can buy would affect the tourism and free zone industries, the leading generators of hard currency.
In preparation, the Central Bank is not selling bonds to the banks that have an estimated RD$3,000 million (about US$187 million) in excess liquidity. This is forcing interest rates down from a prime rate of 26% about a month ago, to the present 19-21% today. This rate is expected to further decline to 18% soon. At that rate, it is expected that companies will be able to massively start borrowing again. Banks are taking in savings at 14-15% rates.
The Central Bank is also very aware of the US$111 million World Bank emergency assistance loan that Congress finally passed. Of these moneys US$40 million are expected to enter this month. The moneys will be used to build housing, roads, schools and bridges in areas severely harmed by Hurricane Georges last September 1998. This US$111 million loan is just one of a total US$400 million in assistance that will be injected into the economy.
Coinciding with this influx of hard currency is the start of the privatization efforts on behalf of major foreign companies that have won bids to capitalize state enterprises. These companies, such as those dealing with the nation’s leading airports and the Dominican Electricity Corporation, will be injecting millions into the economy as they implement their work plans.
It is expected that the decline in the cost of the dollar and in the cost of bank funds will stimulate the economy.

DR to lease state sugar lands
The Dominican government chose to lease the lands and sugar mill facilities of the State Sugar Council (CEA) instead of finding capital investors. In order to do so, the state needs to make severance payments to 25,000 workers at a cost of RD$2,000 million to the state. The CEA also has pending on books RD$400 million owed in overtime and other employment payments. The Consejo de Reforma de la Empresa Pública (CREP) has scheduled to lease the lands and sugar mills to the highest bidders. The CEA tender will take place on 29 July. As per the schedule, the government needs to resolve payment terms with the employees by 30 August. As of that date, it should not have anyone on payrole. It is estimated that the companies that will lease the lands for 30 year terms will not rehire 60% of the employees.
With the leasing of the sugar mills and the lands, the state hopes to put a stop to the mega subsidies it has to grant every year in order to keep these operations going. It is estimated that the CEA will lose this year RD$1,300 to RD$1,500 million, almost US$100 million. Corruption and bad management has characterized the State Sugar Council throughout recent years. Today, the state’s 10 sugar mills are estimated to produce less than 80,000 tons of sugar, compared to the production of one private sugar mill, the Central Romana that is estimated to produce 250,000 to 300,000 tons of sugar this year, regardless of being hard hit by Hurricane Georges.

Latin American anesthesiologists to meet in Santo Domingo
Anesthesiologists from Latin America will meet in November in Santo Domingo to hold their 25th Latin American Convention. The convention will coincide with the 6th National Anesthesiology Convention. Both events will be held 3-6 November 1999 at the Dominican Fiesta Hotel.

More top Latin rock in Santo Domingo
Continuing with the spirit of the successful Festival Presidente de Musica Latina and Jarabe de Palo Spanish rock group earlier this June, more leading Hispanic music stars are coming. Leading Spanish rock performer, Pedro Guerra is scheduled for Thursday 24 June at the Teatro Agua y Luz. Ricardo Arjona is scheduled for 1 and 2 July in the National Theater.
Tri-O will perform during the Miss Dominican Republic pageant, scheduled for July.
Pedro Guerra’s presentation is on occasion of the 4th anniversary of Viva FM, the radio station founded by Juan Luis Guerra, the leading Dominican contemporary merengue music performer. Tribu del Sol, the Billboard award-winning group, will be the Dominican counterpart. When Juan Luis Guerra retired from world tours, he founded Viva FM and Mango TV. Mango TV is a Hispanic music version of MTV.

DR volleyball team hopes for bronze in Pan Am Games
The Dominican Republic will be fighting for the bronze medal in the Winnipeg Pan Am Games. The Dominican team won the first place in the US Open held in California last month. Cosiris Rodríguez was voted the Most Valuable Player of the series. Four Dominican players made the event’s all star team.

Home  Message Archive  2015  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001  2000  1999  1998  Premium News Service

The contents of this webpage are copyright © 1996-2015.  DR1. All Rights Reserved.