Officially: República Dominicana.
English: Dominican Republic.
Seat of government: Santo Domingo.
Status: Democratic.
Structure: The president is elected directly. The legislature (Congreso) comprises the Cámara de Diputados, elected in multi-member geographical constituencies by party-list proportional representation, and the Senado, elected in the provinces with one member each.
Chief governing party: Partido Revolucionario Moderno.
Head of government: Luis Abinader, president (since 2020).
Chief opposition party: Partido de la Liberación Dominicana.
Recent history: Dictator Rafael Trujillo Molina (1930-61) was responsible for tens of thousands of deaths. The dominant figure of the following decades was Joaquín Balaguer Ricardo (1966-78, 1986-96), a member of Trujillo’s régime and officially the president at the time of Trujillo’s assassination. He held the presidency twice more and ran in nearly every election. He was essentially forced from office after the fraudulent 1994 election; his successor, Leonel Fernández (1996-2000, 2004-12) of the PLD, was elected in 1996, beginning the present period of full democracy. In 2000 the law prohibited consecutive terms, and the opposition again won — Hipólito Mejía (2000-4) of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano. When the law was changed back to allow consecutive terms, Fernández defeated the PRD in 2004 (over Mejía) and 2008 (over Miguel Vargas Maldonado). In 2010, the PLD won a renewed majority in the Congreso; this Congreso had an extended, six-year term to bring the presidential and congressional cycles back into alignment. Danilo Medina (2012-20) of the PLD defeated Mejía in 2012. During their dominance, both the PLD and PRD were technically distinct from their electoral alliances with minor parties, but practically identical. The party of Balaguer, the Partido Reformista Social Cristiano, was recently a significant party and ally of the PRD, but is approaching irrelevance. In 2014, nearly half of PRD deputies left the party to form the PRM. Medina soundly defeated Abinader in 2016, but Abinader won a majority in 2020 over Gonzalo Castillo of PLD and Fernández, and the PRM became one of the two major parties, alongside the PLD.
FH: 2-2, free. Econ: 6.20 (73), flawed democracy.
Updated: 2021 June 18.