Latin American Weekly Report

09/07/2020 - Abinader destroys PLD’s Dominican dominance

The Dominican Republic is poised to enter a new political era. No current incumbent party, holding credible elections, has held power for longer than the Partido de la Liberación Dominicana (PLD) in the region. The PLD’s 16-year stranglehold on power (and 20 of the last 24 years) will end on 16 August, however, as the opposition Partido Revolucionario Moderno (PRM) under Luis Abinader, will assume the presidency for the first time after an emphatic first-round victory on 5 July. A combination of the health and economic ravages of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, rejection of corruption and impunity, and a fragmented PLD contributed to Abinader’s triumph. He picks up the reins of power at a tough time. The Dominican economy has been one of the star performers of the last decade in regional league tables but a coronavirus-induced slump in 2020 will be difficult to reverse, not least because reviving international tourism, the mainstay of the economy, will take time.

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