Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. – President Danilo Medina is probably at the most delicate crossroads of his political life, as time is speeding up against him to decide his future in national politics, in the midst of adverse scenarios in which leaving winner seems uphill.
At the moment, President Medina and the reelectionists are against the wall, because the sum of sectors against the modification of the Constitution to qualify him as a candidate in the elections of 2020 has made an internal struggle a matter of national interest.
Although to modify the Constitution to enable Medina is not to violate it, since the Magna Carta establishes the mechanisms, to do it now would be to ignore those sectors that oppose it, expose the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) to a more than traumatic division, and it would look as an upsurge, although some changes are introduced.
President Danilo Medina must be thinking about which exit is the least traumatic and in which he leaves better standing before the country and the world.
Modify the Constitution
President Medina could insist on the Constitutional amendment and impose himself as a candidate, and against all odds try to win the elections of May 2020, and over the course of the four-year period see how he fixes things with the sectors that have opposed him.
But insisting on re-election would be a rough road, because the audio of the spokesman of the Presidency, Roberto Rodríguez Marchena, reveals that the sector of Medina lacks an official account that can sell the re-election as the best alternative for the country.
The fact that the modification to the Magna Carta has ceased to be a confrontation between danilistas and leonelistas to become an issue of national interest, makes it more difficult to build a discourse in favor of reelection, this, regardless of the level of acceptance that may have the president, who before the current crisis was well above the 50% needed to win in the first round.
With the PLD divided or weakened by the confrontation, and with the majority of the sectors organized against it, the possibility of winning the presidential elections for the third time is on the horizon.
Do not touch the Constitution
In this regard, a first alternative would be to leave the Constitution as it is and desist from re-election. In this case, it has the advantage of the fact that a single word has not come out of his mouth indicating that he was in the process of being re-elected.
If the Constitution stays as it is President Danilo Medina would be left without the possibility of running for life for the Presidency and the Vice Presidency of the Republic.
If he desists from the modification of the Constitution he would lose a large share of his political capital, and it would be seen as an act of genuflection before the Empire’s mandate, as it would happen after the United States Secretary of State, Michael Richard “Mike” Pompeo, He will call Danilo Medina and they will talk about the 2020 elections.
However, it should be noted that, according to the note posted on the website of the Department of State, Pompeo does not reject the amendment of the Constitution to empower Medina, but rather expresses “the importance that all political actors in the Dominican Republic preserves democratic institutions and respects the rule of law and the Constitution, particularly in the run up to the 2020 elections in the Dominican Republic. ”
Support another candidate
Now, if Medina desists to modify the Constitution for his own benefit, or if he modifies it to enable himself and allows another to be the LDP candidate for 2020, he would have no choice but to support him, even if it is Leonel Fernández himself.
However, this option meets the obstacle that Rodriguez Marchena’s audio shows that the sector of Medina is afraid that Leonel will return to be President of the Republic, and looks determined to prevent it.
If he does not support him, Danilo Medina would be closing the doors for the PLD to continue in power and for the second time he would be the protagonist of the party’s defeat and his exit from power.
Any of the three exits look cumbersome for President Medina.
If by its mandate the Constitution is modified and it is imposed as candidate of the PLD and wins the elections, it would be a politically and costly traumatic triumph, and the country would begin a path of unpredictable consequences.
If he leaves the Constitution as it is, or modifies it and supports another candidate of his party, it can not be guaranteed that he will have certain guarantees for him and his own, since in the party a precedent has been set of questions of the validity of commitments. assumed between the parties, as is the case of the pact of 15 points that laid the foundations for the constitutional amendment that opened the doors to the re-election of Medina in 2016.
And if the opposition wins the 2020 elections, the future of the president and top leaders of the official party can also take unpredictable courses.
If you qualify for 2024 your candidacy is not safe
Another option that President Danilo Medina would have would be to modify the Constitution and be qualified for the elections of 2024, but his candidacy by then would be subject to imponderables that escape from his hands, among them the probable reelectionist pretensions of whoever succeeds him in the charge, either of the opposition or the PLD, because the current Constitution allows two consecutive terms to the current ruler.