The municipal elections were suspended across Dominican Republic on Sunday, February 16, due to severe electronic glitches at polling stations in diverse areas of the nation. Four hours into the election the suspension was declared by the Central Electoral Union (JCE). The electronic system was used in just 18 of the 158 municipalities - areas with high population density. The JCE announced on Sunday that new municipal elections would be scheduled for Sunday, March 1, though that remains to be confirmed. It stated that electronic votes are expected to be used in the upcoming vote despite the glitches.
Several protests were reported across the country as a response to the glitches, seen as election rigging by the leading party, Dominican Liberation Party (PLD). The US Embassy in Santo Domingo issued a security alert advising those in the country to avoid poll centers, monitor local media, and to avoid protests.
Associated protests are likely to follow in the coming days to protest perceived fraud and corruption.
Individuals in Dominican Republic 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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