The contradictory ruling of the TC confirms contempt of the TSE for null votes that truncated Polanco’s victory in 2020

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By Miguel Cruz Tejada

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NEW YORK._ In a contradictory ruling issued by the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic (TCRD) on an appeal by the lawyers of Dr. Yomare Polanco, candidate for deputy for the PLD in the 2020 Dominican elections abroad, that The high court guaranteed that the contempt of ruling 793-20 of the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE), which ordered the recount of thousands of votes, truncated the triumph of his candidacy.

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The TC, in ruling # TC 013-23, whose decision was disagreed by the magistrate, second in degree, Dr. Rafael Díaz Filpo, first substitute for the president, expresses in subsection 9, article 9, 9 that “given the situations specific to the case explained above that this appeal is inadmissible means that there has been no violation of the fundamental rights of Mr. Yomare Polanco Sánchez and the Dominican Liberation Party.”

The court maintains that it does not have jurisdiction to reverse or modify the dire decision of the Central Electoral Board (JCE), declaring Polanco’s appeal “inadmissible”, but recognizes that his rights and those of the voters were violated. The judges add that “obviously, although the following assessments exceed the scope of this appeal with regard to the considerations on its admissibility, based on the principles of constitutionality, official nature and effectiveness that govern constitutional procedures, this court wants to specify that a correct execution of judgment no. TSE793-2020, issued by the Superior Electoral Tribunal, on July 30, 2020, necessarily required the recount of all the votes ordered by said ruling, so that it is in contempt by the Directorate of Dominican Voting Abroad of the Central Electoral Board as indicated in the resolution of August 10, 2020 in which it decides, among others, that only 75 polling stations equivalent to 711 invalid votes would be recounted and excluding a total of 87 polling stations equivalent to about 5,667 null votes”.

The ruling indicates that the invalid votes cast in the constituency corresponding to OCLEE-Washington DC, only the equivalent of 11.4% percent were counted. A complete count of all the invalid votes cast in the constituency could have represented a change in the results of the deputy elections.

“In other words, of the totality of the 5,667 votes declared invalid in the constituency corresponding to OCLEE-Washington DC, only the equivalent of 11.4% percent was recounted,” explains the TC.

Despite acknowledging that the contempt of the TSE prevented Polanco’s victory, the Constitutional Court declared the appeal of the lawyers of the then PLD candidate “inadmissible”, in a contradictory edict that specialists in jurisprudence describe as a legal monstrosity to the detriment of the postulate and the thousands of voters that the court itself considered affected.

The TC also stripped Polanco of his rights, alleging that he resigned from the PLD and turned to the non-political community organization “Project We Demand Respect for the Diaspora” (PRO-ERD) to assume the position of international coordinator. The president of the PRO-ERD, the journalist Esteban Cabrera, accused the court of politicizing the sentence by typifying the entity between political parties, groups and movements when it is the opposite and announced judicial actions against the TC.

He asked the TC to correct and modify the adjective, clarifying that the organization founded by him and which he chairs has never had any connection with parties or other political organizations, but rather its mission is humanitarian and the fight against actions by institutions such as the TC itself that violate the constitutional rights of citizens.

Invoking articles 7 and 8 of Law 33-18 of Political Parties, Groups and Movements, the Constitutional Court alleges that “no citizen may join more than one political party, group or movement, the previous affiliation is immediately renounced”, which is not the case of Polanco.

DÍAZ FILPO’S REACTION

Díaz Filpo described the sentence as a procedural vacuum and ordered the TCE to leave it. “The above statements justify our position that contrary to what was decided in the majority of votes to declare the appeal inadmissible due to lack of object, the present appeal must be admitted, the merits of the same must be known to determine the origin or not of the same. claims of the appellant party”, wrote magistrate Filpo in his dissent.

PHOTO CAPTION
In the upper image, Dr. Yomare Polanco and the TC judges.

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