A businessman and a US-educated economist, Luis Rodolfo Abinader, has won the presidential race in the Dominican Republic, dethroning president Gonzalo Castillo who has been on the seat for the past 15 years.
Abinader won around 53 percent of Sunday’s vote with most of the votes counted.
The election was postponed a couple of months ago after the number of coronavirus cases soared suddenly in the country. Even the president-elect spent months in isolation after having tested positive for the virus.
Some analysts say Abinader may have been benefited from the poor handling of the outbreak by the Castillo’s administration. The country’s Health Ministry on Saturday reported the highest daily count of 1,241 cases. As of last week, the island had suffered around 800 deaths from the disease.
The pandemic has dealt a devastating blow to the Island’s lucrative tourism industry, throwing thousands of people out of jobs. Abinader’s family is known for its extensive tourism empire on the island.
However, some analysts say he will find it hard to put the tourism industry back on the path of growth because he is an inexperienced leader and has never held a public office. Abinader finished second in the 2016 presidential election.