By Senabri Silvestre
SANTO DOMINGO, Dom. Rep. (AA) – Nine days after elections, the electoral commission here has not declared the winners of congressional and municipal races, leading to allegations of fraud and social unrest.
The Central Electoral Board has tallied 98 percent of the polls from the May 15 vote in which President Danilo Medina was reelected with 62 percent of the vote.
His closest opponent, Luis Abinader received 35 percent.
But a total count is missing in eight of 32 provinces in legislative races and 10 of 158 municipalities, in which 190 deputies, 32 senators, 158 mayors with alternates, among others need to be chosen.
The vote count has not been completed due to deficiencies with electronic equipment and the manual counting of votes which has been demanded by the opposition.
“The opposition parties will not give in or accept the election results until it is manually counted at all three levels [presidential, legislative and municipality],” Abinader said in a statement Monday.
He said most heads of regional electoral boards recognize that manual counting is a lawful obligation but they are not in compliance.
Five opposition Senate´s candidates made similar charges in a press conference Monday.
The applicants withdrew their delegates from the review of ballots of 674 polling stations where records had not reached the board of those districts or were irregularly filled.
They allege that bags containing open ballots arrived at stations that their delegates were not allowed to examine.
“We will reserve the right to take legal actions against the perpetrators of this fraud,” they said.
The demand for a recount led to a gun battle Monday between supporters of a mayoral candidate from Santo Domingo Norte -- where last Friday an office containing ballots were burned.
In that incident, protesters burned tires, blocked traffic and threw tear gas, leading to a confrontation between protesters and police.
No injuries were reported in either occurrences but at least six victims have been killed in similar demonstrations across the country.
Late Monday, authorities announced the winners in 21 of 32 provinces.