Saturday, April 1, 2023

Reflections on Accountability

The third accountability speech of President Luis Abinader was memorable and sets the direction of the Government for the coming months, so it is important to comment on some aspects. As we had highlighted in our last installment -of expectations about this speech- it was a true rendering of accounts and focused on the Government’s executions during the last two and a half years.

The mandatory message will be remembered, first of all, for its length: with a duration of 2 hours and 38 minutes, it was one of the longest accountability speeches in the history and recent memory of our country. Just as the president had promised in the price days, he was full of figures and figures on the economy, the Government’s executions, comparisons with previous periods; in short, an extensive catalog of numbers that can be analyzed by specialists in the field.

The economy was one of the main topics discussed in the speech, highlighting impressive figures that show that our country has been able to resist international attacks and a complex panorama very successfully. He recognized that it is due to a joint effort by the public and private sectors, something that is very positive, since the private sector is the growth engine of any country.

Similarly, the President mentioned, albeit somewhat briefly, a second wave of institutional reforms that would be taking place in the coming months. Important legislation such as the water law, reforms to public purchases and contracts, the proposal of the Ministry of Justice, among others, must be evaluated and agreed upon in society, and will be crucial in the face of the evolution of this period.

Despite all of the above, it was also a speech that did not have much proactive focus, beyond some mentions of reforms. Likewise, the comparative figures that were cited by the President seemed to have been chosen very selectively, in such a way that they could serve as an exercise in scoring political points, but they are not very accurate sources of comparison of public policies.

In this sense, and especially with the emotional and combative end of the speech, it became clear that the president understands that his government work remains unfinished, and that he virtually assures that he will choose to run for re-election in 2024. Faced with this reality, it will be our civic duty to strengthen our commitment to pay attention and criticize the Government’s actions in the pre-election period to avoid the excesses that have occurred in the past.

President Abinader’s accountability message, on balance, was effective and well structured. Undoubtedly, despite all the challenges that the country has faced, there are many signs of a positive evolution of the well-being of the nation.

However, we must remain vigilant and demand attention to important issues such as education, the three causes, the effects of inflation on the household economy, citizen insecurity, among other issues, which still concern the population.


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