For the last few months I’ve had intentions of writing about the new Constitution but time would not permit. I have a working list of specific reports which I intend to write and I order them in terms of urgency and relevance.
Something that readers may not have heard about is the language in the new Dominican Constitution (June, 2015) which allows the President of the Dominican Republic to run for a consecutive term.
The previous Constitution of the Dominican Republic stipulated that the President must sit out at least one term (four years) before he or she can run again for office.
English-speaking readers may not have heard about the new provision regarding the consecutive reelection option for the President because there aren’t many online English-language sources for this information.
The only English-language reference that I could locate was a brief report by an online news outlet called Dominican Today. They bill their site as, The first and only english language online news publication in the Dominican Republic.
As I noted once in the past here at WOBIK (In memory of Yesenia Rodriguez (age 29): electrocuted in Santo Domingo. Chikungunya in the Dominican Republic and Ebola in Obama’s Africa.) I typically avoid news from the Dominican Today. On occasions when I do look at something that they’ve published I keep in my mind that their writers are really and truly not Dominicans.
Most, or all, of their writers are Dominicans living in the United States or Dominicans who were raised in the United States and now living in (or visiting) the Dominican Republic. Their viewpoints, perspectives and outlooks tend to be dissimilar to those of the Dominican people.
Writers at Dominican Today seem to view social and cultural issues with tunnel vision. In other words, they view data without context (which may make cultural and social data worthless).
Moreover, it seems that their writers (even if they are in RD) look at events in the Dominican Republic through an American lens. At any rate, their writers did publish a story on June 12, 2015 which was titled, Dominicans have a new Constitution as payoff accusations linger. Their story consists of 150 words and can be described as, at best, a watery stew.
Readers are welcome to review that above cited story and I will thicken the soup with other relevant information provided directly below.
One of the differences between the Constitution of the Dominican Republic and the Constitution of the United States is that the Dominican Constitution (hereinafter referred to as the “RD Constitution“) does not contain Amendments. Or at least not in the same way that the Americans think of constitutional amendments.
Each time that the RD Constitution is amended or altered it becomes a completely new constitution. It appears that there have now been thirty-nine (39) RD Constitutions.
The current President of the Dominican Republic is Danilo Medina and he assumed office on August 16, 2012. A presidential term in the Dominican Republic consists of four (4) years.
The next general election to elect a president in the Dominican Republic will take place next year on May 15, 2016.
The most recent RD Constitution was proclaimed on June 13, 2015 (a Saturday). Some political opponents (as well as many ordinary Dominican citizens) indicate that President Danilo Medina and his party (Dominican Liberation Party) bought the votes (or bribed legislators) in the National Assembly in order to amend the language in the Constitution regarding presidential reelection.
In the 2015 Constitution a Dominican President may opt to run for a second, consecutive, term but after term he or she will then be barred for life from the office of President and Vice President.
In the 2010 Constitution a Dominican President was not permitted a second, consecutive, term and would need to sit out at least one presidential term (4 years) before he or she could run for a second term.
Directly below I have included (and provided links to) the specific language (in blue highlight), and English translations, regarding presidential terms and reelection used in the four most recent RD Constitutions – 2015, 2010, 2002 and 1994:
Artículo 124.- Elección presidencial. El Poder Ejecutivo lo ejerce el Presidente o
la Presidenta de la República, quien será elegido o elegida cada cuatro años por voto
directo. El Presidente o la Presidenta de la República podrá optar por un segundo período constitucional consecutivo y no podrá postularse jamás al mismo cargo ni a la
Vicepresidencia de la República.
English translation (rough) of 2015 – RD Consitution:
Article 124. Presidential Election. Executive power is exercised by the President or
the President of the Republic, who is elected or elected every four years by direct vote. The President or the President of the Republic may opt for a second consecutive constitutional term and can never again run for the same office or the Vice Presidency.
Artículo 124.- Elección presidencial. El Poder Ejecutivo se ejerce por el o la Presidente de la República, quien será elegido cada cuatro años por voto directo y no podrá ser electo para el período constitucional siguiente.
English translation (rough) of 2010 – RD Constitution:
Article 124. Presidential Election. The executive power is exercised by the President or the Republic, who is elected every four years by direct vote and may not be elected for the next constitutional term.
ART. 49.- El Poder Ejecutivo se ejerce por el Presidente de la República, quien será elegido cada cuatro años por voto directo. El Presidente de la República podrá optar por un segundo y único período constitucional consecutivo, no pudiendo postularse jamás al mismo cargo, ni a la Vicepresidencia de la República.
English translation (rough) of 2002 – RD Constitution:
Article 49. The executive power is exercised by the President of the Republic, who is elected every four years by direct vote. The President of the Republic may seek a second, and only, consecutive term and thereafter will be constitutional unable to ever again run for the same office, or the Vice Presidency of the Republic.
ART. 49.- El Poder Ejecutivo se ejerce por el Presidente de la República, quien será elegido cada cuatro años por voto directo, no pudiendo ser electo para el período constitucional siguiente.
English translation (rough) of 1994 – RD Constitution:
Article 49. The executive power by the President of the Republic, who is elected every four years by direct vote can not be elected for the next constitutional period.
Can you imagine the US Congress (or executive order by the US President) repealing the 22nd Amendment (i.e., two term only Presidents) in the US Constitution:
No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.
This isn’t the first that we’ve written about the 22nd Amendment here at WOBIK. Readers may also want to review our report from May 27, 2013:
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