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Final Statement of the Electoral Observation Mission of the OAS in the Dominican Republic

  May 21, 2012

The Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (EOM/OAS) in the Dominican Republic, headed by former President of Uruguay Tabaré Vazquez, highlights the massive participation of citizens in the election process. Beyond a few isolated incidents between supporters that did not affect the normal functioning of the elections, the Dominican people demonstrated their democratic maturity by expressing their preferences through the vote and by calmly awaiting the reports of the Central Electoral Board.

Taking into account the counting of 99% of votes cast, the Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, congratulates the Dominican people, President-Elect Danilo Medina, and Vice President-Elect Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, and all the participants in the electoral process.

The Mission, made up of 71 observers from 15 Member States and six OAS observer countries, congratulates the Electoral Board for the organization of the process, which was carried out in accordance with the established timetable. In this sense, the EOM/OAS observed the timely distribution and delivery of the materials, the high level of training of all the electoral officials and the efficient use of technology to ease the communication of results.

The EOM/OAS also emphasizes the early constitution of the electoral colleges. In the majority, they were pleased with their leading members, a high percentage of which were women, showing their dedication and interest in the country’s political processes. In addition, for the first time, three women were candidates for the vice presidency, which constitutes an important advance in female participation in the electoral process.

The high presence of delegates during the electoral process showed the commitment of the citizenry to the political parties. The responsibility with which they carried out their duties allowed disputes to be dealt with in accordance with the electoral law.

In terms of the legal framework that regulates the electoral process in such important areas as the use of public resources, financing, and equitable access for candidates to the media, the Observation Mission identified some areas that require the Central Electoral Board to take concrete decisions and measures to overcome the lack of regulation. Likewise, the Mission is concerned by some complaints related to the recognition of the right to vote of Dominican citizens of Haitian descent.

During the day of the election, the observers confirmed the purchase of identity cards and votes by supporters of the various forces in the election. Likewise, the use of electoral propaganda in voting centers was observed.


In order to contribute to the strengthening of the democratic and electoral processes in the Dominican Republic, the EOM/OAS delivers the following recommendations:

· Establish hard limits on the length of political-electoral campaigns and generate effective means to control and limit spending and financing during campaigns.

· Create conditions to guarantee equitable access for all electoral actors to the media.

· Promote female participation in both the decision-making of the parties and the presentation of candidacies for the highest elected positions.

· Take the pertinent measures to protect the right of participation of all the people born in the territory of the Dominican Republic.

· Strengthen institutional mechanisms so that political actors can transmit their concerns with the electoral process rapidly to electoral authorities so that they can take the proper actions.

· Develop measures to ease the accessibility for people with limited mobility.

· Adopt rules that encourage the responsible use of polls by political actors.

· That the Central Electoral Board follows up on and takes effective measures concerning complaints of violence, buying of identification cards, and buying of votes. Likewise, that it strictly applies the provisions concerning the carrying of arms during election day.

The Electoral Mission will present a detailed report on the results of the electoral observation to the Permanent Council of the OAS, from its arrival in the country to the completion of its duties in the Dominican Republic.

Finally, the EOM/OAS trusts in the commitment made by all political forces to approve, before the end of the year, the electoral law, in order to take a substantial step forward in the democratic consolidation of the country.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-184/12