Saladin recalled that in the next electoral event some 6.5 million citizens will choose the highest executive authorities of president and vice president and, for the first time in Dominican democratic history, eight deputies representing the Dominican communities abroad will also be elected.
“This is another example of the consolidation of representative democracy in the Dominican Republic in its 168 years of independence,” he said.
At the signing ceremony, held at the organization’s headquarters in Washington, DC, the Dominican diplomat said the presence of the OAS in the electoral process has been of great benefit to democracy in his country.
“The OAS has traditionally accompanied our election officials in the voting processes. We were among the first countries where it conducted election observation; this participation has clearly served to strengthen our democratic processes,” he added.
For his part, Insulza thanked the government of the Dominican Republic for the new invitation it has extended to the OAS to observe the elections.
“This is the fifteenth mission taking place in that country, in the framework of the 50 years of OAS electoral observation in the hemisphere,” he remarked.
The head of the hemispheric organization said that the mission will be headed by the former president of Uruguay, Tabaré Vázquez, who will make a preliminary visit in late April. He further stressed that the May elections will be the country’s first following the enactment of the new constitution of January 2010 that established a new electoral system.
The secretary general also said that during the past two years, the OAS has been able actively to collaborate with the Dominican Central Electoral Board through two technical cooperation projects: the first was the development of a draft law that was introduced in Congress in late 2011, and the second was the recently completed audit of the electoral registry and its computer center.