Opposition candidate concedes loss in Dominican Republic | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Opposition candidate concedes loss in Dominican Republic

Luis Abinader, center, presidential candidate of the opposition Modern Revolutionary Party, speaks to the press after voting at the presidential, congressional and municipal elections in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Sunday, May 15, 2016. Dominicans faced a dizzying array of choices Sunday in one of the most complex ballots in recent history, with eight candidates for president, all 222 members of Congress up for re-election and thousands of people vying for local offices around the country. Second from left behind Abinader is candidate for Mayor Alberto Atallah.(AP Photo/Tatiana Fernandez)
May 17, 2016 - 12:38 PM

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic - The leading opposition candidate for president of the Dominican Republic grudgingly conceded his loss Tuesday, accusing the winner and his ruling party of taking advantage of the power of the state to ensure their victory.

Luis Abinader listed a litany of alleged abuses as he spoke to supporters following his loss to President Danilo Medina in Sunday's election.

Abinader said Medina had the advantage of state resources, including the ability to grant or take away public-sector jobs. He pointedly noted that ruling party appointees dominate the court that oversees the election and control the Congress, which altered the Constitution so the incumbent could run for a second consecutive term.

The businessman, who ran for vice-president in 2012 but has never held elective office, also accused the ruling Party of Dominican Liberation of using tricks such as paying people not to vote to reduce the opposition. Given all that, Abinader said he did better than expected, winning about 35 per cent of the vote.

"You should be aware that there were many Dominicans who did not vote for you," he said in a remark aimed at the president.

Medina received 62 per cent of the vote, enough to avoid a runoff. His party also appeared to have retained the control of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies that it has had for a decade.

An Organization of American States observer team blamed new fingerprint scanning machines for widespread delays and criticized the election finance system for now limiting private contributions and favouring established parties over upstarts. The team also said people were seen buying voter identification cards outside polling stations.

The OAS, however, didn't question the outcome of the election.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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