Bloodshed mars Dominican elections

Voters in the Dominican Republic chose senators, delegates and mayors.

Santo Domingo: Election day violence claimed the life of an opposition supporter and left three others wounded as voters in the Dominican Republic chose senators, delegates and mayors.

By the time polls closed at 6:00 pm (local time) there had been several reports of violent incidents across this mountainous Caribbean country of 10 million people, just east of Haiti on Hispaniola island.

A militant from the opposition Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) was killed by gunfire on Sunday in a fight between government supporters and opponents, local media reported.

Three other people were wounded in the incident, which occurred in San Cristobal west of the capital, Santo Domingo.

There were also other violent clashes between supporters of opposing political parties, according to the Central Electoral Board, whose president Julio Cesar Castanos made a public appeal for "peace, tranquillity and calm" during the voting.

President Leonel Fernandez, who was favoured to keep his party`s majority in Congress, decried the violence, which he said nevertheless would not affect the outcome.

"We greatly regret the acts of violence," he said.

"The information that I have is that the (election) process was carried out in a normal way. We saw just isolated acts of violence," the Dominican leader said shortly before polls closed.


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