The Dominican Republic has postponed presidential elections until July in a bid to free up resources for containing the outbreak of coronavirus.
The country’s Central Electoral Council has said in a statement that it had been forced to call off the elections due to the ongoing health crisis. The poll was initially scheduled for May 17.
The Dominican Republic is one of the first countries in the region to report COVID-19 cases. The pandemic has claimed nearly 200 people so far, with more than 3000 patients getting treatment for their illness.
That’s, in fact, a huge number because the Caribbean country is home to less than 11 million people. Reports say around 150 people have recovered from the disease so far.
The news comes weeks after the country conducted municipal elections after a month of delay due to errors in the automated voting system.
President Danilo Medina, who represents the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), is not eligible to run this time, as he is serving his second term. According to a pre-poll survey conducted by Gallup, opposition candidate Luis Abinader is set to win the Dominican presidential elections.
Bolivia, another Latin American nation struggling to contain the pandemic, has also put off presidential elections for an indefinite period.