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Daily News - 09 December 1999

Political parties meet at JCE
Leading representatives of the Partido de la Liberación Dominicana, the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano and the Partido Reformista Social Cristiano met yesterday with the judges and technicians of the Junta Central Electoral, the body in charge of organizing the presidential election in the DR. Dr. Manuel Ramón Morel Cerda, president of the JCE, said that the parties agreed to support the JCE so that the election can be held successfully next year. The presidential election is scheduled for 16 May 2000.
He explained that the parties agreed to meet again before 31 December, as well as to lobby before the Executive Branch so that it restore the RD$152 million that was cut from the RD$552 million National Budget allotment requested by the JCE to organize the election.
The politicians, who included the presidential candidates for the PLD and the PRD, plus top-ranking party directors, met for four hours at the JCE.
Dr. Morel Cerda said that the politicians discussed the advances in the process through 5 December, the hiring of Price Waterhouse Coopers to complete the process of issuing the voting and identification cards, the Y2K project, the preparation of an error-free photographic voting list, and the implementation of the electoral informatics system. He also announced the hiring of Opitel to provide information by telephone to voters regarding the status of their ID/voting card.
At the end of the meeting, Monsignor Agripino Núñez Collado, who presides the national committee designated to follow up the organization of the election, said the meeting was positive for Dominican democracy. He said that once again politicians prove they can talk things out with respect and seek solutions to the nation's problems.

More findings to political survey
The most recent Listín Diario-Sigma Dos poll, held 27-30 November, during which 1,200 persons were interviewed throughout the DR, revealed the following:
A third of the Dominican population does not have their new voting or identification card. Of that, half has requested the document, but has not received it for multiple reasons. (About 35,000 voting cards seem to be stuck in the JCE system problems. The JCE needs to issue about 4 million cards, of which 1.5 million are still missing to be issued.)
85% of Dominicans of voting age say they have the intention of voting in the 2000 presidential election (70% say they will vote for sure, 15% say they will probably vote).
Of those that plan to vote and already have their "cedula", or ID/voting card, 69.7% are PLD followers; 69.0% PRD; 59.6% PRSC. 63.8% said they are undecided.
When asked which party has or has had the most leaders involved in corruption cases, the percentages were: PRD, 34.2%, PRSC 21.9%, and PLD, 16.9%.
52.5% believe that Dominican politicians are mostly corrupt.
The voters ranked as follows the topics that should be center of a debate between PRD and PLD presidential candidates are: fight against poverty (54.7%), political corruption (11.1%), relations with Haiti (6.6%), the economy (6.6%), reduction of the deficit (1.1%), performance of past governments (0.6%).

President Fernández in Miami lobbies for Haiti
The Listín Diario reports that President Leonel Fernández, in Miami to speak at the Miami Conference, met with the Adjunct Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Peter Romero and discussed the possibility of the US condoning Haiti's foreign debt so the moneys could be used to install a free zone in a frontier area to generate jobs for Haitians. Temístocles Montás, Technical Secretary said that the request was well received by US government officers who committed to give it due course and send a mission of technicians to do a feasibility study on the possibility of a frontier area free zone. President Fernández requested international community help for Haiti during his visit to Miami.

Manny Mota Celebrities Classic a success
Some 5,000 fans showed up for the First Manny Mota Celebrities Classic held at the Quisqueya Ball Park in Santo Domingo. Major League greats José Canseco, Andruw Jones, Todd Hundley, Raul Mondesi, Vladimir Guerrero, Neifi Perez, Henry Rodriguez, Quilvio Veras, Moises Alou, Jose Mesa, Robinson Perez Checo and others, many dressed in shorts, showed their talents at the fun afternoon. Mota said he will try to make the event an annual affair at the Quisqueya Ball Park or another stadium in the country.
The celebrities were also on hand to sign autographs for the fans, and take photos with the children.
Other Dominican public figures that showed up for the show, were Mayor Johnny Ventura; president of the Senate Ramón Alburquerque, Merengue bands leaders Fernando Villalona and Kinito Mendez, and TV investigative reporter Nuria Piera. Bienvenido Rojas, sports editor of El Siglo, was proud to out José Canseco.

Tickets on sale for Juan Luís Guerra concert
Tickets for the Juan Luis Guerra concert, a benefit for the children of the Hogar del Niño Padre Abreu in La Romana are going for RD$550 per person. They are on sale at the branches of Baninter bank. The concert by the legendary merengue musician and composer will take place on Saturday, 18 December at the 5,000-person Altos de Chavon amphitheater starting at 8:30 pm.

Christmas in the Colonial City
"Navidad 99" is the celebration of Christmas organized by the Ayuntamiento de Santo Domingo (city municipality), Secretaría de Turismo (ministry of tourism), Comisión de Monumentos (historic monuments commission), Oficina de Patrimonio Cultural (office of cultural heritage), and the Patronato de la Ciudad Colonial (board of the colonial city).
Activities start today, Wednesday, 1 December and continue all month long. Most of the events take place at the Parque Colón (Isabel la Católica corner Conde), the Patronato de la Ciudad Colonial (Isabel la Católica 103) or the Palacio Consistorial (Arz. Meriño corner Conde), Cathedral of Santo Domingo (Arz. Meriño corner Arz. Nouel), Capilla de los Remedios (Calle Las Damas corner Mercedes).
The schedule for the next week is as follows:

Thursday, 9 December.
6 pm. Christmas Sunsets. Concert of the Children's Choir of La Salle. Parque Colón.
8 pm Roberto del Castillo in Concert sponsored by the Municipality of Santo Domingo. Parque Colon.

Friday, 10 December 1999
6 pm. Christmas Sunsets. Hogar de los Niños Choir. Parque Colón.
8 pm. José Lacay in Concert. Parque Colón.

Saturday, 11 December
5:30 pm. Puppet Show, "La Navidad de Leo y el Raton," Teatro Capuchín. Parque Colón.
6:30 pm. Festival del Ponche Tradicional. Parque Colón.
8 pm Revista Musical del Grupo Sentimientos. Parque Colón.
9 pm. Christmas partying and caroling organized by the neighbors of the El Conde neighborhood board. Parque Colón to the Mercedes Church.

Sunday, 12 December
8 pm. Rhina Ramírez in Concierto. Parque Colón.
9 pm. Christmas partying and caroling, with groups leaving from the Parque Colón.

Monday, 13 December
6 pm. Christmas Sunsets. Christmas music concert by the Choir of the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo.
8 pm. Grupo Afro Tambú. Parque Colón.

Tuesday, 14 December
8 pm. Vinicio Franco in concert sponsored by the Municipality of Santo Domingo. Parque Colon.
9 pm. Christmas Festival. Soprano Ivonne Haza concert. Palacio Consistorial.

Wednesday, 15 December
6 pm. Christmas Sunsets. Christmas Music Concert by the choir of the Central Bank. Parque Colón.
8 pm. Performance of the Folklore Ballet of the Municipality of Santo Domingo. Parque Colón.
8 pm. Convento de los Dominicos. Christmas music concer by the National Choir.
9 pm. Concert for piano and violin. Olga Voigt and Zvedana de Tavar, Palacio Consistorial.

100 years of boleros
A selection of romantic songs from this century will be presented at the Teatro La Fiesta of the Hotel Jaragua, this Sunday, 12 December. Olga Guillot, Los Panchos, Roberto Yanés, Fausto Rey, Johnny Albino, Raúl Marrero, José Manuel Calderón, Vitín Avilés are traveling to the DR to join Dominican crooners. The Dominican performers will be Lope Balaguer, Anthony Ríos, Francis Santana, Niní Cáffaro and Luchy Vicioso. Maestro Jorge Taveras and Jesús Torres Tejeda will be conducting the musicians. Tickets to see the living legends of Latin American romantic music are for sale at the Teatro La Fiesta, 221-1435 and 412-4610.

Winter baseball weekend games and standing
Thursday, 9 December 1999
Santo Domingo: Estrellas vs. Licey
San Francisco de Macorís: Aguilas vs. Pollos

Team standing as of Wednesday, 8 December 1999:
Leones del Escogido 21-11 (.656)
Aguilas Cibaeñas 21-11 (.656)
Estrellas Orientales 16-17 (.485) ­5.5 games
Tigres del Licey 12-20 (.375), -9 games
Pollos del Cibao 11-21 (.343) ­10.5 games

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