The new law on elections is disappointing

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - In Brief 12 Feb 2019 by Pavel Isa

Last night, the Chamber of Representatives approved the bill on the electoral regime. The bill was passed by the Senate last week. The aim of the law is to create a new and modern electoral regime to complement the party law passed last year, which with shortcomings, was a step forward because it created a legal regime for the parties. The expectation was a law on elections that would adequately regulate campaign financing by imposing limits on contributions, would strengthen democracy by allowing voters to vote simultaneously for nominees to the Senate and the Chamber of Representatives from different parties, would regulate access of parties to the media, including digital media and the campaign through social networks, would contribute to empower women's electoral participation, and would strengthen the independence of the electoral board. However, the approved law falls short on most of these aspects. A hasty assessment suggests that this law will have very few concrete implications for the 2020 electoral campaign and that, essentially, for parties and candidates it will be business as usual. We will provide a more detailed analysis of the law in our upcoming report.

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