By: José Francisco Peña Guaba
Although for more than 20 years I have maintained a political and friendly relationship with Dr. Leonel Fernández, whom I support, I make an assessment of the electoral situation regardless of my political adherents, in order to analyze in reality the reality of today and, with this, to expose as impartially as possible what several friends ask me: what will happen in the elections?, if there will be them or who could win it?
So I decided to sit down to capture my analysis of the current situation. I will start by saying that our country is special. Although it is true that the electoral results are usually predictable, in many cases, the parties and their leaders have accustomed us to commit such a mass of errors that in the end they take their toll and viable projects, they become campaigns overnight. with inexplicable defeats. Since we cannot look to the future without evaluating the past, let’s see:
The lawyer Jacobo Majluta lost in 1986 for not incorporating Dr. Peña Gómez on the ballot; in 90, Professor Bosch the same thing happened, in 94 in the PRD we lacked the votes of Jacobo and in 96 we did not foresee the alliance of the PRSC with the PLD, much less these being supported by Dr. Balaguer to reach the power. More recently, Hipólito Mejía rejected seeking an agreement in 2012 with Miguel Vargas, which would have led him to electoral victory.
These bad decisions led to forced defeats, because that is what it is all about, the clumsiness of senseless radicalisms suddenly change the course of history. The worst thing is that everyone, at the time, was warned. But I lack the ability to understand it, either due to the absence of pragmatism or due to significant ideological contradictions. Whether for one reason or another, campaigns that must have been winners, tactical errors made them succumb.
Today a tripolarized scenario is presented as in 1996, where no single force has the votes to achieve more than 50%, and everyone knows it, because surveys and evaluations are one thing and effective voting is another. Especially at this juncture, where the July elections will be held in the midst of difficult situations due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
The first thing to understand to try to predict results is that in these elections, voting will be substantially reduced for several reasons:
First, the diaspora will not vote for the difficult situation prevailing, especially in the United States, Spain and Italy, countries where the pandemic is causing havoc. In these three places, more than 80% of those registered abroad reside, and everything seems to indicate that it will be almost impossible to obtain the authorization of their governments to hold elections in their territories, at least in person.
Second, an important part of the vote of the upper and middle class will not be expressed for fear of contagion, especially its older adults who will want to protect.
Third, there are a large number of voters who vote outside the demarcation where they live and will not want to go to vote because of the risk of being infected.
As can be seen, at most 50% of the voter registry will vote, that is, there will be a reduction of almost 25% in attendance at the same (compared to the usual participation).
It will be necessary to see to which alliance a high abstention suits him. In my opinion, this will partially benefit the PLD, despite the fact that it is the one with the highest rejection rate, for being at the head of the Government. But you cannot assess scenarios without looking at the pros and cons of the three alliance blocks that present the presidential candidates Luis Abinader, Leonel Fernández and Gonzalo Castillo.
First, the PLD and its 9 allied parties have the advantage of being in the government, managing public monies at their discretion; they have almost total control of the media and to their credit more than 500 thousand public employees. As of today, 1,500,000 direct beneficiaries of the solidarity programs and stay at home receiving 5,000 pesos a month and 7,000 pesos for those over 60 years of age and which we believe will increase much more because of what the Vice President expressed, this outside the thousands of covers of food that is distributed daily in the neighborhoods by the social plan of the Presidency, the truth is that something that is prohibited in the campaign by Electoral Law 15/19, however, is justified by the coronavirus pandemic, which will undoubtedly give them electoral returns to the ruling party. But, although they have that real advantage, they do not have all of them. The division produced by the departure of Leonel, the satiety of 20 years of government management and an improvised presidential candidacy would not guarantee an electoral victory in the second round.
The PLD to win would need the votes in that second electoral round of the FP and its allies, something difficult to achieve if Leonel Fernández is not the classified candidate. Their bases hurt by the stealing of their Leader from the victory in the primaries of October 6, they will prefer to vote for the opposition candidate. The Palace did not measure the level to which they had unnecessarily brought the conflict and today, without a doubt, 80% of the leadership structure that supports Dr. Fernández’s aspirations would opt for a pact with the opposition to keep the same in the palace as the removed from the PLD. Unfortunately, these retaliation actions would lead him, if so, to act against his own base of support, because of the shortsightedness of the leaders of both parties.
The PLD, if it does not change its strategy and seeks an honorable agreement with Leonel, not only goes irretrievably towards defeat but its possible disappearance as a political project, because a new opposition government will be forced and pressured to hold its senior leadership to account. , which will unleash the greatest and greatest persecution in history against a political force, something never seen in our nation. The furrier has accounts to settle with sectors that upon seeing him defeated will fatten until they turn him into ashes.
Second, the PRM and its allies. It would seem that for many years, journalism with new acronyms has been smiled by fate. They walked with leaps and bounds towards an electoral victory without major obstacles from the hand of Luis Abinader, who dedicated himself to assembling a machinery that responded to the expectations of an opposition with strong backing from the middle class and popular sectors weary of the governments of the PLD, but chance or providence created a situation that has changed the electoral landscape. Because of the “Covid pandemic19” today, his victory is no longer 100% certain and electoral victory no longer depends solely on his tactics. The government has been strengthened and with it the PLD vote, with the use of state resources directly aimed at delivering allocations to voters through the assistance programs that will partially benefit them, due to the electoral abstention that will take place in the July elections and the impossibility of winning in the first round due to Leonel’s candidacy, which has prevented them from monopolizing the opposition vote.
Although they enjoy a good position, the PRM is only brought to power by a real alliance with the FP and its allies, in an action to form a coalition to build a shared government. For this they will first have to put their feet on the ground, admit their weaknesses and control the excess of optimism and gluttony of their top leadership, which denies any interest in sharing the government as in the past in the old PRD, because they believe they already won !!
But there is something to understand. Would Leonel agree to an alliance that leaves him without an immediate future? Because if Abinader is elected President he will go to re-election and for the more quota of power that Leonel has in that possible coalition government, most of the PLD bases will leave the public payroll. It would be necessary to see in this context who they would blame for their departure, if it was Danilo Medica and the palatial dome or if Leonel himself. Undoubtedly, this could be an important stumbling block to ensure the formation of an opposition coalition.
Third. The People’s Force and its allies definitely have in their hands the keys to victory. It is undeniable that, despite the growth of the PRM and the clientelistic control of most of the PLD bases for having the leadership of the government apparatus, Leonel maintains significant popular support. His 3 presidential efforts make him the holder of an electoral band that understand him as the most prepared to govern the nation again, his charisma, his ability and experience make Leonel without a doubt the best finished product to direct national destinations, especially with the difficult consequences that this pandemic will leave us.
Leonel currently has a significant share of support, affection and admiration from the grassroots leaders; Most of his militancy knows that it is with him that they can retain power, but the government structure has so far forced him to support Gonzalo Castillo as his candidate. No poll will be able to define for sure how many gamers will vote for Leonel. What we do know is that at least 50% already spoke in favor of him in the primaries on October 6 with all the official machinery against him.
It is not known what could happen in terms of support for Leonel in July, when the current authorities of the palace will only be a month away from leaving. It is possible that the government line was not fully complied with by the militancy and Leonel could classify it as part of an intelligent action by the bases, to go to the second round with whoever has the best chance of winning them. However, with or without that possibility, the FP will have to act carefully in its alliance policy so as not to go in contradiction with its base of support, but, of course, without neglecting to admit that it is joining the official option of today it would only produce a significant displacement of his votes for the opposition candidate, which would be Luis Abinader.
The truth is that in this strategy game whoever with greater integrity and vision assumes their decisions will be the winner of the next elections. If the PRM offers an option to Leonel that gives him present and future guarantees, he could be reluctant to join the opposition proposal in the second round, but if Danilo and the palace dome acts with intelligence and allows Leonel the option of being the candidate to classifying in a second-round agreement, this would allow them to maintain a significant share of power and thus avoid an electoral defeat of which not even they (the PLD) imagine their dire consequences.
Finally, the one with the greatest capacity to form a second-round coalition will win, leaving aside personal bad habits and acting sensibly to achieve institutional objectives, giving way to rational and non-passionate decisions. Many times it is these that lead us to the abyss and self-destruction.
— El Día to eldia.com.do