According to media sources, hundreds marched in Santiago on Sunday, February 23, against the suspension of municipal elections by the Central Electoral Board (JCE). Participants gathered at 09:00 (local time) at the intersection of Avenida 27 de Febrero and Núñez de Cáceres before marching to the Junta Central Electoral.
Further protests are likely to take place across the country on Monday, February 24, notably in Santiago and Santo Domingo. Social media sources have indicated that a nationwide protest is possible on Thursday, February 27, which is Dominican Independence Day. Several thousand protesters may participate.
Protests are likely to continue across the country until the JCE addresses protesters' demands. A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions should be expected in the vicinity of all gatherings.
Municipal elections were held on February 16, in which several polling centers operating electronic ballots reported glitches. Following these reports, several protests were reported in cities across the country as a response to the glitches, seen as election rigging carried out by the leading party, the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD). The electronic system was used in just 18 of the 158 municipalities - areas with high population density. The Central Electoral Union (JCE) subsequently suspended the elections and called for a new vote on March 15.
While the protests have been largely peaceful, significant transportation disruptions have been reported in the aforementioned cities.
Individuals in the 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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