President Abinader re-elected in Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo, May 20 (IANS/DPA) Incumbent Luis Abinader has been re-elected in the first round of the presidential election in the Dominican Republic.

The candidate of the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) received over 57% of the vote, the electoral office announced on Monday after almost all the votes had been counted.

Former president Leonel Fernández, who governed in 1996-2000 and again in 2004-08, received around 29% of the vote, while the former mayor of the second largest city Santiago, Abel Martínez, received around 10%. Both have conceded defeat.

All three candidates can be assigned to the centre-left camp.

“We have already travelled part of the way. Now it is time to deepen the changes and reforms in order to consistently continue on the path of development,” Abinader said after his election victory, according to a report in the Listin Diario newspaper.

The election campaign in the Caribbean state was dominated by the crisis in neighbouring Haiti, with which the Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola.

Powerful gangs have brought the state there to the brink of collapse. Abinader recently said that the crisis in Haiti poses a direct threat to the stability and security of the Dominican Republic. His government is currently building a wall along the approximately 400 kilometre-long border.

The Dominican Republic is the most popular tourist destination in the Caribbean. The beach paradise has recovered from the slump in tourism caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and last year recorded more than 10 million visitors for the first time. The economy has been one of the fastest growing in Latin America on average for decades.

–IANS/DPA

int/as/dan

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