Dominican Republic is a country located in the region of North America. The Dominican Republic has been ruled by the Liberal Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) since 2004 and in 2016 President Danilo Medina of the PLD was re-elected by a wide margin. His popularity figures have been high since he took office in 2012, thanks to continued good growth and investments in such things as education.
During Medina, growth in the country has continued to be at a high level. Between 2014 and 2018, the economy grew by an average of just over 6.5 percent, not least thanks to tourism.
- Countryaah: Country facts and history of Dominican Republic, including state flag, location map, demographics, GDP data, currency code, and business statistics.
In 2015, after a long power struggle within the party, the PLD had decided to support a constitutional change that would allow direct re-election of a president, and it was adopted during the summer. In doing so, the party was able to reappoint the very popular Medina to its candidate in the presidential election, where a total of eight people were running. For the first time in the country’s history, it was not only men who applied for the top job: two women were among the candidates.
PLD’s former main opponent, PRD, had split during the current term of office (see Political system) and the newly formed Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) was now the largest opposition party. PRM presidential candidate Luis Abinader, also an economist, blamed Medina for widespread corruption and high crime in the country.
At the same time, up to 90 percent of Dominicans, towards the end of Medina’s first term, thought he was doing a good job, which meant he was the most popular leader in Latin America.
Abroad, Medina has received even more criticism, due to a contentious decision from 2013 which meant that around 250,000 people of Haitian origin became stateless (see Population and Languages and Foreign Policy and Defense). In the summer of 2015, the authorities began to execute deportations of Haitians. A year later, around 106,000 people had been forced to cross the border into Haiti, a country many of them had never lived in. Many were forced out quickly, without possessions, and ended up in camps with poor conditions. An additional 130,000 people who remained in the Dominican Republic were estimated to risk deportation. However, the two countries have shown interest in solving the problems and in mid-2016 a bilateral commission was set up, which aimed, among other things, to resolve issues related to border trade, transport and migration.
In the May 2016 presidential election, Medina already won 62 percent of the votes in the first round, compared to 35 percent for Abinader. The PLD and its allies also won big in the congressional elections. Medina swore in for a new presidential term in mid-August 2016.
However, Medina’s popularity began to be ripped to the brim in 2017 due to corruption allegations following suspicions that he and his regime have received bribes from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht in connection with the disputed construction of the two coal plants in Punta Catalina (see Natural Resources, Energy and environment). Among other things, non-profit organizations such as Marcha verde (Green March) organized a series of demonstrations during the year. Medina was also forced to back charges that Odebrecht contributed financially to his 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns.
Ahead of the 2020 elections, a campaign was run to change the constitution again, so that Medina could stand for a third term. But it sparked widespread protests and in the summer of 2019, Medina announced that the change plans had been shelved. He is thus out of the game before the election, which was postponed from May to July due to the corona pandemic.
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FACTS – POLITICS
Republic of Dominicana / Dominican Republic
republic, unitary state
Head of State and Government
President Danilo Medina (2012–)
Most important parties with mandates in the last election
Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) 106/26, Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) 42/2, Christian Socialist Reformist Party (PRSC) 18/1, Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) 16/1, others 8/1 (2016) 1
Main parties with mandates in the second most recent elections
Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) 105/31, Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) 75/0, Christian Socialist Reformist Party (PRCS) 3/1 (2010) 2
70% in the 2016 presidential and congressional elections
presidential and congressional elections 2020
1st mandate in the Chamber of Deputies / Senate
2. Mandate in the Chamber of Deputies / Senate; In 2012, the number of members in the Chamber of Deputies increased with seven representing Dominicans abroad: PRD received 4 more seats and PLD 3