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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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