SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) – A former president who lost his bid to be re-elected in the Dominican Republic issued a scathing denunciation Tuesday of the country’s electoral process but made no mention of any plans to challenge the outcome.
Hipolito Mejia told cheering supporters that the results of Sunday’s election did not reflect the will of the people. “They are the product of manipulation and an abuse of power,” he said in a brief speech.
Mejia did not concede, but he didn’t say he would seek a recount. Nor did he call for supporters of the Democratic Revolutionary Party to protest the outcome, though police and soldiers were on stand-by in the Caribbean country just in case.
The governing party’s winning candidate, Danilo Medina, a 60-year-old career politician and government official, received 51 percent of the vote, enough to avoid a runoff. Mejia, who served as president in 2000-04, had 47 percent, according to the country’s Electoral Commission.
An observer team from the Organization of American States confirmed reports that people were paid to withhold their votes but said these were isolated incidents that did not taint the overall results.
The opposition’s vice presidential candidate had said his party would produce a report detailing incidents of fraud and the improper use of government resources by the governing party for the campaign but the report has not yet been released.
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