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
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
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
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.
The 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
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
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.