The Commissions in the Dominican Republic (Welles) to the Secretary of State
[Received April 6—4:50 a.m.]
42. I held yesterday a meeting of the Commission of Dominican Representatives.
I find that there has been an entirely unnecessary delay of approximately three months in the promulgation of the election [law] by the Provisional President with a consequent retarding of the program of evacuation a corresponding period. The law was completed before my departure from Santo Domingo last October, requiring at that time only minor changes. The delay in its promulgation was due to the lack of initiative of the members of the Commission who only transmitted the final version to the President the 5th of March.
With the desire of expediting the electoral process so far as possible and of cutting short the period of electioneering, which if unduly prolonged may be productive of disorders, I agreed with the members of the Commission upon the following program which is as short in extent as the election law permits.
- The electoral boards will be constituted before April 21st.
- As soon thereon [thereafter?] as the arrangements for registration have been completed, the Central Electoral Board will announce the commencement of the registration period. This period is of 90 days.
- Upon the 45th day of the registration period, if registering has been progressing in a satisfactory manner, the President will convoke the general elections which take place 90 days after the decree of convocation is issued.
Working under this program I estimate that the general elections will be held at the earliest about October 1st next. It is evident that if the electoral law had been promulgated as I anticipated, at the latest two months after my departure last autumn, the general elections would have been held in May or June.
Since no effort has been made to obtain any part of the physical material required for registration or the elections such as ballots, registration certificates, etc., I have advised the Provisional Government to make immediate arrangements to obtain the material and steps have now been taken in this sense.