Home News Dominican President Abina Del wins re-election in landslide

Dominican President Abina Del wins re-election in landslide

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Dominican Republic President Luis Abinader won re-election in a landslide thanks to sweeping restrictions on Haitian immigration and a strong economy.

Abinader, 56, who came to power four years ago vowing to fight corruption, won 57% of the vote on Sunday, easily avoiding a runoff with his nearest rival, three-term former President Lionel Fernandez. select. Mr Fernandez received 29% of the vote, with 100% of polling stations counted, according to the Dominican Republic’s national electoral authority.

Official results were announced on Tuesday evening, although Abinader’s main rival threw in the towel on Sunday night. Former tourism executive Abinadel leads the vote by a landslide as the opposition attempts to unseat one of Latin America’s most popular incumbents but ultimately fails.

Abinader thanked his rivals and those who voted for him in his victory speech.

“I accept the trust placed in me,” Mr. Abinader said. “I won’t let you down.”

Abinader’s immigration policies loomed large in the election, underscoring why a crackdown on immigrants is so popular. The Dominican Republic, which shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with Haiti, has stepped up efforts to expel tens of thousands of Haitians this year.

As armed gangs sow unrest in Haiti, Mr. Abinadel is also stepping up efforts to build a border wall between the two countries. Capitalizing on anti-Haitian sentiment is nothing new in this country, and the Haitian crisis has sown contagious fears that many voters applaud such initiatives.

“He has shown who has the most say on this issue,” Robert Luna, a Santo Domingo voter who works in marketing, said of Mr. Abinader’s immigration policies. “He’s fighting for the aspirations of the founding fathers.”

Mr. Abinadel’s first-round victory also showed that what sets the Dominican Republic, one of Latin America’s fastest-growing economies, apart from other countries in the region is that many of the leaders who came to power during the same period as Mr. Abinadel troubled by other countries in the region.go through dismal Agree Ratings.

Much of Mr. Abinader’s support also comes from his anti-corruption initiatives.he Win first term in 2020 has vowed to root out long-standing corruption in the political culture of the Dominican Republic, a country of 11.2 million people.

He appointed former Supreme Court justice Miriam Germán as justice minister. She was responsible for investigating senior officials in the previous administration, including the former attorney general and former treasury secretary.

The investigation has focused largely on opponents of Abinader, fueling criticism that his own government has survived. But other initiatives, such as the passage of the Asset Forfeiture Act of 2022, raise hope for lasting change. Forfeiture laws are viewed as an important and groundbreaking tool for disrupting and dismantling criminal enterprises and stripping them of their ill-gotten property.

Dominican political analyst Rosario Espinal said Abinadel could win re-election simply by focusing on the fight against corruption, as he did in 2020, “but not will get the victory he wants.”

Ms. Espinal said Mr. Abinader instead supported nativist immigration policies traditionally promoted by the Dominican far right. “He needed to find a new topic that would resonate,” she said. “He found that in migration.”

In doing so, Mr. Abinader draws on a long tradition. Rafael Trujillo, the xenophobic dictator who ruled the country from 1930 to 1961, institutionalized a campaign to portray Haitians as racially inferior. Ordered a massacre Thousands of Haitians and Dominicans are of Haitian ancestry.

Nearly every other country in the Americas offers birthright citizenship. But a 2010 constitutional amendment and a 2013 court ruling excluded Dominican-born children of undocumented immigrants from citizenship.

In practice, this means that there are approximately 130,000 descendants of Haitian immigrants living in the Dominican Republic. No citizenship despite being born thereaccording to rights groups.

as haiti Into chaos The following Assassinations in 2021 Under Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, Mr. Abinadel built on anti-immigration measures already enshrined in Dominican law.

He suspended visas for Haitians in 2023 and then closed the border with Haiti for nearly a month over a dispute over Haiti’s use of water from a river shared by the two countries to build a canal.

Dominican immigration officials go further, some charged robbery and launched a campaign to detain and deport Haitian women pregnant Or someone who just had a baby.

Pablo Mera, academic director of the Dominican University’s Pedro Francisco Bono Institute, called Abinadel’s policies toward Haiti a “public and international disgrace,” particularly the treatment of pregnant Haitians.

Ahead of election, overwhelming majority of Dominican voters say unrest in Haiti Influence How they will vote. Mr. Abinadel clearly benefits from such concerns, with nearly 90% of voters expressing support for him building a border wall.

Many Dominican expatriates are also allowed to vote in the election, with more than 600,000 eligible voters living in the United States and more than 100,000 in Spain.

Abinadel has defended his immigration policies, saying they are no different from measures taken by countries such as Jamaica, the Bahamas, the United States and Canada to limit the entry of Haitians fleeing the crisis.

“I must take all necessary measures to protect the safety of our people,” Mr Abinader said tell the bbc in a recent interview. “We’re just enforcing our laws.”

Mr. Abinader’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

In addition, Mr. Abinadel benefited from both divided opposition and broad consensus in the Dominican Republic in favor of investor-friendly policies that would stimulate economic growth. His handling of the coronavirus pandemic has also helped, distributing vaccines relatively quickly, allowing Dominican tourism to rebound while some other countries required visitors to quarantine.

Tourism is the mainstay of the economy, accounting for approximately 16% of GDP. world bank expect The Dominican Republic’s economy is expected to grow by 5.1% this year.

Mr. Abinader has been criticized for persistent inequality, even as the country’s economy has expanded at three times the Latin American average over the past two decades. In response, he has expanded a popular cash transfer program for the country’s poorest residents.

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