The Dominican Republic holds its general election Sunday, and voters will be selecting a president and vice president along with members of Congress and local officials including mayors. More than 4,000 officials will be elected during Sunday’s vote. Here’s a look at the top candidates, issues and everything you need to know.
President Danilo Medina of the Partido de la Liberación Dominicana (PLD) is facing seven challengers, including main opponent Luis Abinader of the Modern Revolutionary Party. Other candidates include Hatuey De Camps, Guillermo Moreno Garcia, Minou Tavarez, Soraya Aquino, Pelegrin Castillo and Elias Wessin. Medina chose not to participate in the country’s presidential debate in April, local media reported.
The Dominican Republic changed its Constitution last year to allow for consecutive presidential terms, enabling Medina to run for a second term. Medina is likely to win re-election with the PLD also maintaining its control in Congress, according to several polls. Medina will need to win more than 51 percent of the vote to avoid a second round runoff. If a runoff is needed, it would take place in June.
The Dominican Republic’s economy saw its gross domestic product grow by 7 percent in 2015, giving Medina a strong position heading into the election. Medina concentrated on increasing foreign investment and tourism in the Dominican Republic during his presidency. The economy is projected to have slightly slower growth in 2016.
Both Medina and Abinader have spoken out against illegal immigration on the island nation that shares a border with Haiti. Under Medina’s presidency, the Dominican Republic has deported thousands of people born to Haitian parents who did not have proper documentation.
Abinader has argued he would go even further saying, “not a single undocumented immigrant” would be allowed to stay in the Dominican Republic under his presidency. Polls show voters are also concerned about crime rates and unemployment heading into the election.
— AS/COA Online (@ASCOA) May 12, 2016
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