The division of the PLD was the cause of its electoral defeat in 2020, according to studies presented by Amarante

The division of the PLD was the cause of its electoral defeat in 2020, according to studies presented by Amarante
The division of the PLD was the cause of its electoral defeat in 2020, according to studies presented by Amarante

On October 6, 2019, the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) held open primaries to define its candidates for the two electoral tournaments that would take place in 2020.

Although there would be multiple important candidacies, the main contest would be for the presidential nomination between former President Leonel Fernández and the former Minister of Public Works and Communications, Gonzalo Castillo, who had the support of then President Danilo Medina.

That tournament was won by Castillo, who obtained 48.72% (after obtaining 911,923 votes) and narrowly defeated Fernández, who obtained 47.29% (after obtaining 885,233 votes in his favor).

After the defeat, Fernández alleged that the pro-Daniel faction of the PLD committed fraud against him by installing an “algorithm” in the software of the automated voting system (used in those primaries).

The former president would maintain this discourse until the end of November, when he would seal his departure from that political organization to form the Fuerza del Pueblo party; along with Fernández, several leaders left, with elective positions and members of the political committee, thus placing the PLD before the greatest division in its party history.

According to studies presented in an opinion article by the PLD leader and former official of those governments, Carlos Amarante Baret, Dominican society thinks that it was precisely the main reason why the purple party lost the following two elections.

In the municipal elections of March 15, 2020, the PLD lost the majority of the mayoralties it held at that time and in the presidential and congressional elections of July 5, it would lose the largest number of seats in both legislative chambers, while Castillo would only reach 30.33%, meaning the exit of that party from power for the first time in 16 years.

Another reason given by society during the survey was the imposition of several candidates in those elections; while others think that the links of several of its leaders in corruption cases was a factor in the electoral defeats of that year. At the same time, the study also indicates that the suspension of the municipal elections of February 16, 2020, due to a failure when loading the electronic ballots in the automated voting system that later led to the outbreak of protests in the Plaza de la Bandera, was part of the reasons for that defeat.

In his column, Amarante Baret also points out that the survey was conducted with minority leaders and the results indicated that most of them believe that the defeat was due to the abandonment of the bases during the process.

Regarding the reasons for the “bad reputation” that the PLD has in society, they answered that the main reason has been the disconnection of its main leaders with the citizens. When the same question was asked internally within the party, they stated that this situation was reached due to the “division of the party and the power struggle”; that the “national and provincial leaders had no empathy with the voters and disconnected from the base of the party” since the “people perceived a government full of corruption.”

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