Opposition presidential candidate Antonio Guzman says his administration would not establish diplomatic relation with Cuba or the Soviet Union.
Guzman, who was well in the lead, when the military halted the ballot count after last week's elections, also said he would respect existing contracts with multinational companies operating here, primarily U.S. mining interest. But he said future agreements would have to include more Dominican participation.
Interview Sunday at his heavily guarded suburban home, the soft-spoken cattle rancher and former commodities exporter countered supporter of conservative President Joaquin Balaguer, who had branded him an "extreme leftist." He said his government would be a "representative democracy" that would "strenghten ties and friendship with the United States."
Vote tabulation proceeded yesterday after a weekend recess. Many officials in Guzman's Dominican Revolutionary Party believe the military, which openly favors Balaguer, will never allow the opposition to take over on inauguration day Aug. 16.
Yesterday's tabulation, including totals from about two-thirds of the districts, showed Guzman with 714,119 votes to 544,848 for Balaguer. The counting again was slowed by charges of electoral "irregularities" from both sides.
Balaguer's Reformist Party charged "spectacular fraud" in the make-up of voter registration lists. According to the government party, more than 150,000 Balaguer supporters in Santo Domingo alone were not permitted to vote because their names did not appear on the lists distributed to polling places by the National Electoral Commission.
Guzman's assertions that his party - which allies itself with such social democratic parties as those of Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, West Germany, and President Carlos Andres Perez in Venezuela - is more centrist than leftist were not helped by the publication here of a brief New York Times interview with the party's general secretary, Jose Francisco Pena Gomez.
Pena Gomez asserted in the interview, which led the largest pro-government newspaper yesterday, that his party would restore socialism, through the democratic process, in the Dominican Republic. The party was elected to power in 1962 under president Juan Bosch but quickly fell to a military coup.
Pena Gomez also contradicted Guzman by saying that the party would restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, although it would retain democratic institutions and would not imitate Cuba's communist political system.
The interview provided grist of the conservative military mill here, and provoked old fears that it is Pena Gomez, a 41-year-old firebrand, and not more temperate leaders like Guzman, who controls the party.
Considered a brilliant and charismatic speaker, Pen Gomez is a black who is generally considered to be Haitian background, a fact that is neither confirmed nor denied by the party. Relations between the Dominican Republic and its former colonial master, Haiti, have been strained for centuries.
Pena Gomez was those who called on Dominicans to revolt in 1965, using his regular radio program. The resulting civil war ended in U.S. intervention. Until last year, the Balaguer government had forbidden him to speak Publicly.
In a speech closing his campaign, Balaguer warned Dominicans to beware of "chrisma," implying that Pena Gomez, who was not mentioned by name, has some mysterious force over the masses.
That implication is one that even the Dominican Revolutionary Party refute.
In an attempt to diffuse Pena Gomez' remarks, which are considered a bad political mistake during this volatile period, Guzman issued a statement Sunday night saying that only he, as the next president, could make "declarations concerning the methods the next government will take."
Any other declaration, Guzman said, made by any other person, "should be regarded purely as Personal opinion."
Guzman, 67, has also said that Pena Gomez, would take no post in the government, and would leave the country for at least one year following the inauguration. Pena Gomez has confirmed this.
Guzman's declaration, published yesterday morning on the same page as Pen Gomez' interview, included a strong attempt to extended on olive branch to the military. He said his administration would respect the "institutionality" of the armed forces, and promised that no military personnel or other public employes would be victims of "unjustified dismissals."
The armed forces under Balaguer have enjoyed a wide range of benefits and have been accused of extensive corruption. Stories of military officers maintaining palatial homes and several imported cars have been common cocktail party chatter here.
Guzman said that Balaguer has been "complacent" with widespread military corruption and that the politically conservative military was much more concerned with a possible loss of "privileges" than the possibility that his would be a leftist government.
"This is a very small country and everyone knows I'm not a leftist," said Guzman, his party's candidate for vice president in 1966 and president in 1974.
Last year he won the nomination in a hotly contested party convention.
While the Dominican economy is generally considered sound, if currently in somewhat tight straits because of falling sugar prices and U.S. tariffs, Guzman said the national income would substantially increase "when the robbing is stopped.
Economic analysts here describe the Dominican Republic as "underextended" in foreign borrowing due to Balaguer's strong aversion to deficit financing. Guzman said he would ask for a "grace period" for payments on the country's $1.2 billion debt, which is divided between commercial bank and government loans, primarily from the United States.
His administration, Guzman said would "remain open for outside investment, but under different conditions."