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Dominicans vote in election postponed over virus

Dominican Republic voters, 5 July 2020Picture copyright

Picture caption

Social distancing and different hygiene measures are in place for the vote

Individuals within the Dominican Republic have voted for a brand new president, in a ballot overshadowed by the coronavirus disaster.

The election, which was postponed from Might due to the nation’s outbreak, may finish the Dominican Liberation Social gathering’s 16 years in energy.

Opinion polls recommend Luis Abinader of the opposition Fashionable Revolutionary Social gathering (PRM) is more likely to win – after recovering from Covid-19.

Dominicans will even be selecting members of each homes of parliament.

Incumbent President Danilo Medina is ineligible to face for re-election, having served two consecutive phrases since 2012.

If no candidate wins greater than 50% of the votes in Sunday’s first spherical, a run-off might be held.

Who’re the highest candidates for president?

Opinion polls have persistently put Luis Abinader forward of all different candidates.

 Dominican opposition presidential candidate for the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) Luis Abinader


Luis AbinaderSupply: BBC Monitoring

Mr Abinader, whose household is of Lebanese descent, is a US-educated economist.

He’s govt president of Grupo Abicor, a agency owned by his household which operates main tourism tasks within the Dominican Republic.

He ran for president in 2016 and made it into the second spherical, however misplaced to Mr Medina, who beat him by virtually 27 share factors.

Mr Abinader and his spouse introduced on 11 June that that they had examined optimistic for coronavirus and he needed to briefly cease campaigning whereas he recovered.

The Dominican Republic is without doubt one of the worst-affected international locations within the Caribbean, with greater than 35,000 confirmed circumstances and greater than 775 deaths, in response to Johns Hopkins College.

Mr Abinader surged forward within the opinion polls after a break up within the governing get together.

President Medina, who has been in energy since 2012, has given his backing to get together candidate Gonzalo Castillo, a former minister of public works.

 Gonzalo Castillo speaks during a press conference in 2017


Gonzalo CastilloSupply: BBC Monitoring

Mr Castillo is a rich businessman who has based quite a lot of firms through the years, together with aviation agency Helidosa and air ambulance service Aeroambulancia.

However some Dominican Liberation Social gathering supporters could swap allegiance to former president Leonel Fernández.

Mr Fernández, who was president from 1996 to 2000 and once more from 2004 to 2012, determined to run for the Individuals’s Drive get together, which he has been main since he left the Dominican Liberation Social gathering.

Leonel Fernandez speaking at a news conference


Leonel FernándezSupply: BBC Monitoring

He studied legislation within the Dominican Republic however spent a lot of his youth in New York. He has labored as a lawyer, college professor and writer.

Opinion polls have him in third place behind Mr Abinader and Mr Castillo.

Nevertheless pollsters acknowledged that, with the elections being held below unprecedented circumstances amid the persevering with pandemic, it was arduous to foretell how voters would react on the day.

All candidates needed to severely curtail their campaigning as a result of virus, however the president of the central electoral board assured voters that polling stations had obtained hygiene kits and that the nation was “prepared” for the elections.

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