Central Electoral Board (JCE) president Roberto Rosario says that the reported funding for campaigns of gay or lesbian candidates is against the law. Rosario cited Article 47 of Electoral Law 275-97, which establishes that direct or indirect contributions from foreign governments are illegal.
He made the comment in response to an article published in El Caribe as part of the newspaper's coverage of the Fourth Gay and Lesbian Summit of the Americas (NGLCC-LGBT) held 2-3 March 2016 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Santo Domingo.
El Caribe reported that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided US$1 million to strengthen the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender cause in the Dominican Republic, including activities by political candidates who support the LGBT movement.
As reported in El Caribe, during the Summit, USAID representative Alexandra Panehal said that as well as supporting the new chamber of commerce the USAID was funding LGBT candidates who are running for office in the 2016 general election.
As quoted in El Nacional, Panehal said: "You know that we are in an election campaign and there are some, as you all know, citizens, including members of the LGBT community, and also the strengthening of Dominican organizations that represent the interests of the LGBT community in the Dominican Republic." El Caribe reporters interpreted this as support for gay politicians in the Dominican Republic, making it their headline story on Thursday, 3 March 2016 ("US will finance candidates that support gays").
Rosario said that he would submit a preventive measure next week to prevent the USAID from providing any sort of funding to gay politicians. He said the decision falls within the JCE's policy to guarantee equal opportunities for candidates. He said that as measures have been taken to prevent public funds from being used, they are even less likely to permit foreign governments to fund candidates. He said that US funding would put the candidate at an unfair advantage.