The Dominican Republic's government has announced that general elections will take place in the country on Sunday, July 5. The poll, previously scheduled to take place on May 17 was postponed as a precaution to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The country will be the first in the Caribbean to hold elections since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Political rallies and demonstrations are expected in the weeks leading up to the election. Protests are also likely at polling stations on the day of the election.
The municipal elections in February were marred by technical difficulties, and irregularities in the electronic vote-counting process led to allegations of election rigging by the leading party, the Dominican Liberation Party. The technical difficulties caused widespread demonstrations, causing the Central Electoral Union (JCE) to suspend the initial election and hold a rerun on March 15. While the second-round of voting was relatively peaceful, there exists a heightened political tension in the country. Any allegations of misconduct in the coming election will most likely lead to massive nationwide demonstrations.
Individuals in the Dominican Republic more generally are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all large public gatherings as a precaution, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, and refrain from discussing political topics in public or on social media.
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