Media Center



  May 16, 2004

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – Based on its evaluations and observations of today’s voting process, the Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) believes that the elections have made it possible for the will of the great majority of Dominican citizens to be expressed freely, peacefully and in a manner that respects the secrecy of the vote. These elections have demonstrated the skillful administration and organization of the National Electoral Council.

During election day, the mission received a series of complaints related to different steps in the electoral process, which were promptly brought to the attention of the appropriate authorities. OAS observers currently are following the procedures related to the validation, tabulation and transmission of results at the Municipal Electoral Councils, and they will continue their observation until the official publication of results by the National Electoral Council.

The mission recognizes the commitment of the Council’s Follow-up Committee to support and oversee the electoral authority’s efforts to guarantee and protect citizens’ voting rights. Its role in this post-electoral phase is particularly important, and the mission is confident it will carry it out with the efficiency and decision it has always demonstrated.

The mission also expresses condolences for the events today in Barahona province, which apparently resulted from a personal dispute but undoubtedly had a political impact. The mission takes this opportunity to express its hope that such episodes are not repeated and that conflicting ideas and/or proposals are resolved through dialogue, tolerance and the peaceful resolution of differences.

Throughout the process, these elections demonstrated the civic commitment of the members of the electoral colleges and political party delegates. The mission also wishes to note the efforts undertaken by Participación Ciudadana to observe the electoral process. This initiative has contributed to the credibility of the elections and has brought to light many of the challenges Dominican electoral authorities face as they look toward the future.

The OAS mission calls on all candidates and political party leaders, as well as their leaders and sympathizers, to accept – with respect, tolerance and humility – the results of the people’s decision expressed today at the polls, which will be made public by the National Electoral Council.

Reference: MOE-DR-1