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PRELIMINARY REPORT - OAS Mission to the Dominican Republic acknowledges the effort made by the Central Electoral Board to organize elections and implement its recommendations

  March 16, 2020

Full report is available here

The Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS/EOM), led by the former President of the Republic of Chile, Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, compliments the people of the Dominican Republic on their perseverance and democratic commitment, which were demonstrated in the special municipal elections held yesterday, Sunday, March 15, 2020, in the Dominican Republic.

The Mission, which was present in the country since February 7, recognizes the special lengths that the electoral authorities and officials went to in order to hold these elections within a very short period of time, while at the same time complying with almost all the recommendations made by the OAS. It also commends the close involvement of the political parties in the decisions that made these elections possible. The EOM likewise reiterates its appreciation for the care taken by the country's leading politicians to call for peace, dialogue, and the exercise of the right to vote in an environment of heightened political and social tension. Civil society organizations also played a key role: a measure of the dynamism inherent in Dominican democracy.

The municipal elections were held in a very complex context due to the unprecedented suspension of the February 16, 2020 municipal elections, as a result of widespread flaws in automated voting equipment. Given those special circumstances and at the behest of the authorities, the Mission remained in the Dominican Republic, without interruption, from its arrival in early February. The OAS/EOM strove, through its technical team of specialists in electoral organization and technology, to make specific recommendations designed to contribute to the holding of appropriately conducted special elections.

It is to be noted, too, that, at the request of the Central Electoral Board (JCE), an OAS technical team is currently auditing the computerized system used in the elections that were suspended in order to determine what caused the flaws. That audit's work and findings are independent of the work of this Mission.

Upon its arrival in the country, the OAS/EOM engaged in an in-depth analysis of such topics as electoral organization, electoral technology, political financing, electoral justice, and women's participation in politics. With a view to garnering a variety of perspectives and learning about the concerns of the several players in this process, the Mission met with political, administrative, and judicial authorities, as well as with presidential candidates, candidates to local government office, political party representatives, representatives of nongovernmental and civil society organizations, academics, experts, and others. For the special elections of March 15, the Mission comprised 36 observers and specialists of 16 nationalities.


Full report is available here

Reference: S-012/20