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Dominican Republic Political System

Political system

The Dominican Republic is a democracy with strong presidential power and division of power according to the American model with an executive, a legislative and a judicial body. The constitution is basically from 1966, but with each change a new constitution is formally adopted. The judiciary is weak and corrupt.

The President is both Head of State and Government. She has the executive power, appoints the members of her government and is the supreme commander of the army and the police. The president is elected for four years in direct general elections, along with a vice president, and may be re-elected once. The rules for re-election have changed four times since 1994. A ban on the direct re-election of a president was introduced in 2010 but was removed again in 2015. To win, a candidate must get at least half of the votes, otherwise a second round of elections will be held between the two leading candidates.

  • Countryaah: Total population and chart of Dominican Republic for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.

Laws are enacted by the Congress, which consists of two chambers: the Senate with 32 members and the Chamber of Deputies with 190 members. In the Senate, each province and the metropolitan district, Distrito Nacional, have a representative. In the Chamber of Deputies, the places between the provinces are distributed according to population size. In addition, with the 2010 Constitution, ex-Dominicans got seven representatives in the House (they were first elected in the 2012 presidential election).

The members of both chambers are elected in direct elections every four years. In 2010, it was decided that presidential and congressional elections should be held simultaneously. Therefore, for the election year to come in phase, the congress elected the same year therefore, as a one-off phenomenon, was given a six-year mandate.

Political System of Dominican RepublicThe Constitution also provides scope for referendums, including in respect of constitutional amendments concerning fundamental rights.

The duty to vote applies to citizens over the age of 18, however, police and military may not vote or engage in party politics. At the parties' ballot boxes for Congress, at least one-third of the names must be women. In practice, however, most women are found outside of an elective location. Women made up just over a quarter of the members elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 2016.

The 31 provinces and the metropolitan district are governed by governors appointed by the president. The provinces, in turn, are divided into 158 municipalities, which are led by elected mayors and the municipal council.

Political parties

The political parties are not characterized by any strong ideology but are more or less populist.

The Dominican Liberation Party (Partido de la liberación dominicana, PLD) has dominated in recent years. The PLD has won all presidential and congressional elections since 2004 and has had its own majority in both chambers of Congress since 2006. The party that has a social liberal image was founded in 1973 by legendary politician and author Juan Bosch.

The same Bosch had founded the Dominican Revolutionary Party (Partido revolucionario dominicano, PRD) in 1939 , which was an important resistance under the dictator Trujillo (see Older history). The PRD, which can be described as social democratic, had the presidential power in 2000–2004. After internal contradictions and a bitter power struggle between former President Hipólito Mejía and party leader Miguel Vargas, the party split in 2014. A falang, in which Mejía was included, broke out and formed the Modern Revolutionary Party (Partido revolucionario moderno, PRM).

In the 2016 election, the newly formed PRM became the main opponent of the ruling PLD, which now entered into an election alliance with the remaining PRD.

The PRM, in turn, entered into a collaboration with the conservative S ocial Christian Reform Party (Partido reformista social cristiano, PRSC) created in 1986 through a merger of two parties. The driving force was Joaquín Balaguer, who was close to dictator Trujillo and had founded one of the two previous parties in 1963. Following Balaguer's death in 2002, support for PRSC has collapsed.

In addition, there are about 20 smaller parties.

The Catholic Church has great power in society and business lobby groups have great political influence. The unions have few members, but grassroots movements have grown in importance in recent years. The military, which used to be an important political force, is now under civilian control.


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