Nearshore Americas

Dominican Republic’s President Claims Re-election Amid Complaints of Fraud

Incumbent President Danilo Medina has claimed victory in the Dominican Republic’s election amidst growing outcry over electoral fraud. Medina received 62% of the vote, avoiding a runoff.
Luis Abinader, president’s main challenger, has accused ruling party Dominican Liberation of abusing power to ensure victory. Medina’s party has even been accused of trading public-sector jobs for votes. The ruling party amended the constitution so the incumbent could run for a second consecutive term.
A Bloomberg report claimed that people “openly” sold votes for $20. At a rally for supporters, President Medina said the people had voted to “continue on the path that we started.”
Medina’s confidence stems from the country’s booming economy, which grew 7% last year. But the Caribbean country appears to be heavily dependent on U.S. dollars that foreigners spend visiting its luxury hotels and beaches.
According to government’s own data, 40% of the island’s 10 million residents are estimated to live in poverty and the unemployment rate is about 14%.
The DR currently enjoys a lower debt burden than its peers, high growth, low inflation, and favorable external accounts dynamics. Analysts say low oil prices and continued domestic demand growth will continue to fuel the Dominican economy.
“Re-elected president of the Dominican Republic (DR) will start the term with a lower fiscal deficit than other recent presidents,” stated Fitch Ratings in a statement, adding that Medina will have to contend with structural challenges in public finances, including a low tax burden and persistent losses in the electricity sector.
In other words, fiscal and electricity reforms may strengthen DR’s economy further.
Fitch expects this year’s deficit will be more moderate at 3.3% of GDP. This is in part thanks to lower oil prices, normalization of public investment after the 2012 election, and the commanding popularity of President Medina during his first term.

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Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

1 comment

  • We the people in Dominican Republic want new elections. As well we want the EE.UU. intervention because our country is on the way to became the second Cuba or Venezuela in the Caribe.