Santo Domingo Legislature; “I am corrupt, but you are more!” #bribery #corruption #dominicanrepublic #latino #government #caribbean #misick
Weekend headlines in the Dominican Republic into the last two months of the presidential campaign have focused on pinpointing corruption in the PLD with PLD government officials threatening to submit former President Hipolito Mejia for corruption. Economy, Planning and Development Minister Temistocles Montas accused Mejia of increasing his personal fortune by 40% during his 2000-2004 administration.
The PRD revealed cases of former head of the Supervisory Works of the Presidency, Felix Bautista who has admitted his companies are major contractors of public reconstruction works in Haiti, following the earthquake.
But among the most notable was a recent comment by the director of the department that manages government property, Bienes Nacionales, Elias Wessin Chavez, president of the PQD, defending political patronage at his department. Hoy recently reported that the department employs 33 deputy administrators, three of whom make 145,000 a month and another 33 make around RD$60,000 a month, at the taxpayers expense. Wessin described it as “state redistribution of wealth.”
Diario Libre editor Ines Aizpun highlights how Dominican politicians focus on corruption in government.
She wrote that the discussion among politicians boiled down to that of two children saying if I am so, you are more. “The problem with the PLD is that it has been in government for eight years and any attempt to refer to the past backfires,” she writes, stressing that they have more than enough time to have acted correctly and change a situation. She laments that “we are condemned to underdevelopment given the corruption of former PRD and PRSC officials and those of the current PLD“.
She writes it is irritating that “we do not see any sincere intention to fight this crime in the volleys of accusations of corruption among the parties.”