Elections and Events 1995-2002

1995

August

Country report. Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico 1995, 4: "The PRSC's election prospects suffered a blow in late August when three parties which had supported it in previous elections announced that they were joining the Acuerdo de Santo Domingo..., a coalition led by the opposition [PRD]. The three parties are the right-wing [PQD],..., the Partido Nacional de Veteranos y Civiles; and the Partido Democrático Institucional. All three were reported to be dissatisfied with their treatment as PRSC supporters" (pages 21-22).

September

Cassa 1997: Balaguer "engineered the rejection of the PRD proposal that a 40% plurality in the first round would be sufficient to avoid a runoff, and insisted on the second-round concept. Balaguer's efforts enjoyed the open support of the PLD, which saw the PRD as its greatest competitor. Jose Francisco Pena Gomez, leader and presidential candidate of the PRD, mistakenly let these maneuvers pass in the belief that his triumph at the polls would be great enough to go unchallenged" (page 21).

Country report. Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico 1995, 4: "In late September the Chamber of Deputies approved a number of amendments to the electoral law, including one which provides for a second-round run-off in a presidential election if no candidate wins over 50% of the vote in the first round" (page 21).

October

Country report. Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico 1995, 4: Describes the PRSC primary and its results (page 21).

Mitchell 1998: "To choose a presidential candidate for the elections scheduled for 1996, the PRSC held a national primary in October 1995 that decisively nominated Vice President Jacinto Peynado. However, most national leaders outside the PLD have tended to shy away from primaries, and the Dominican Republic does not have on its books a statute governing candidate choice and other procedures of political parties" (page 128).

1996

Country report. Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico 1996, 2: Describes issues and alliances leading up to the election (page 18).

March

Peña 1996: Jacobo Majluta dies on March 2, 1996 (page 344). "Días antes de su muerte, el licenciado Jacobo Majluta instruyó a su partido, mediante carta, para que 'borrando diferencias y colocando por encima el interés supremo de la Patria' proclamaran al doctor Peña Gómez y a su compañero de boleta candidatos a la presidencia y vicepresidencia de la República" (page 345).

May 2

Cassa 1997: Balaguer and the PRSC "used racist and nationalist tactics to raise anti-Haitian sentiments to its political advantage. Without attaching itself literally to the racist campaign, the PLD took advantage of the strategy. It claimed that 150,000 Haitian citizens had illegally been registered to vote, and announced that its poll watchers would object to any voters who looked like Haitians. This was a clear attempt to link the Haitian nation with the PRD" (page 23).

Sagás 1997: "Fernández denounced on 2 May 1996 that Haitian citizens posing as Dominicans accounted for as much as 25 per cent of the official voting roster and asked the [JCE] for an investigation" (page 104).

May 16: presidential election, first round

Atkins 1998: "The campaign and election of 1996" (pages 217-219). In the May 16 election, "Peña Gómez received the greatest number of votes with 46 percent, and Fernández won 39 percent. Peynado trailed with only 15 percent of the total. In keeping with the new election laws, a runoff election was required to be held within forty-five days between the two leading candidates" (page 218).

Cassa 1997: In the first round "the PRD finished first with 46% of the vote, followed by the PLD with 39% and the PRSC with 15%" (page 26).

Chester 2001: "After his meager showing in 1994, Bosch wisely stepped aside and allowed an obscure attorney, Leonel Fernández Reyna, to become the PLD standard-bearer in 1996. Peña Gómez received the PRD nomination for the third consecutive time, and was clearly the most popular candidate" (page 281).

Country report. Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico 1996, 1: "On May 16 the Dominican Republic's octogenarian president, Joaquín Balaguer, will be absent from the race for the presidency for the first time in 30 years. In his absence, splits in the governing [PRSC] have become evident" (page 23). Describes the factions and other issues in the election.

Country report. Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico 1996, 3: "(T)he PLD [wins] only 12 out of 120 deputies and one senator. The remainder of the seats are divided about evenly between the PRSC and the PRD" (page 26).

Country report. Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico 1996, 4: "Dominican Republic: seats held in Senate and Chamber of Deputies" (page 27).

Díaz 1996: "República Dominicana: resultado de las elecciones presidenciales ordinarias 16 de mayo de 1996" (page 30).

Espinal 1998: "Las elecciones de 1996: la primera vuelta" (pages 276-281).

Espinal 1999: Describes the election (page 490).

Grullón 1999: Discusses the election and gives the results (pages 199-216).

Guevara 1996: "Sistema electoral" (pages 9-13). Describes new electoral system under which the 1996 election is carried out. "Partidos políticos y candidatos" (pages 13-14). "Principales temas de campaña" (page 15). "Resultados electorales" (pages 17-18). "Breve análisis del resultado final" (page 19).

Hartlyn 1998: "These were the first elections since 1962 in which neither Juan Bosch nor Joaquìn Balaguer were presidential candidates, and the first since 1966 in which Balaguer had not been a candidate" (page 259). "The 1996 elections" (pages 259-268). "The front-runner in the polls going into the first round was Peña Gòmez of the PRD and the Acuerdo de Santo Domingo...The second candidate was Leonel Fernández of the PLD, who had been Bosch's vice presidential candidate in 1994...The third candidate was the fifty-five-year-old Jacinto Peynado of the PR(SC), the country's vice president. He named María Isabel Gassò, a politically unknown businesswoman from the Cibao region of the country, as his vice presidential candidate" (page 260).

Keesing's record of world events May 1996: "For the first time in three decades incumbent President Joaquín Balaguer, 89, was not on the ballot. He refused to give a wholehearted endorsement to Peynado, a candidate forced upon the ruling PRSC after a divisive 1995 primary battle, and declined to cast a vote in an apparent gesture of disdain for the decision to shorten his own presidential term to two years in view of the serious electoral fraud in the May 1994 presidential elections" (page 41088).

Latin American regional reports. Caribbean & Central America report June 20, 1996: "Election results (first round)" (page 2).

Peña 1996: "Acontecer político y elecciones de 1996" (pages 337-364).

Ramírez Morillo 1997: "Resultados electorales mayo 1996" (page 260). Gives results by province.

Sagás 1997: "(T)he ASD alliance…again carried Peña Gómez on its ticket, but by now it had expanded into a 10-party alliance, the largest in Dominican history" (page 104). "The first round (pages 104-105).

Sagás 2000: "Antihaitianismo in the 1996 election" (pages 111-112).

Sagás 2001: "As a result of a constitutional ban on consecutive re-election, Balaguer had been prevented from running in 1996. After the PRSC's candidate finished a distant third, Balaguer backed Fernández" (page 496).

Wiarda 1996: "On May 16, 1996, over 75 percent of eligible Dominicans turned out to vote in an expression of impressive civic consciousness. The process was, on the whole, peaceful, orderly and democratic...The results of the May 16 election, however, were not ultimately decisive. Under the electoral rules adopted subsequent to the 1994 election, a winning presidential candidate needs 50 percent of the vote plus one. None of the candidates had reached that benchmark" (page 1). Gives percent of vote for each candidate. "The candidates" (pages 6-9). "The parties" (pages 9-12). "Electoral rules" (pages 13-14). "The campaign" (page 14-16). "Outcome: May 16" (page 16). "May 16 final electoral results" (appendix 3).

May 21

Keesing's record of world events May 1996: "The Electoral Tribunal confirmed on May 21 that a run-off second round of the presidential elections would be held on June 30 after the first round held on May 16 had been inconclusive…The poll was widely viewed as free and fair; official figures were not yet available, but turnout was reported to be high especially as women voted separately from men for the first time" (page 41088).

June 2

Cassa 1997: "As a response to the tightness of the race, the PLD entered into an alliance with the PRSC called the National Patriotic Front (FPN). The front-which had been decided on before the first round by way of a secret accord between Fernandez and Balaguer-had as its sole objective the election of Leonel Fernandez" (page 26).

Country report. Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico 1996, 3: "At the beginning of June, the PLD and the governing [PRSC] had formed an electoral alliance under the name of Frente Nacional Patriótico, with the full backing of the then president, Joaquín Balaguer" (page 26).

Ferguson 1997: Discusses the alliance between Balaguer and Bosch to prevent the election of Peña Gómez.

Keesing's record of world events June 1996: "Balaguer's ruling right-wing [PRSC]…formed a 'National Patriotic Front' (FNP) with the PLD on June 2 to prevent a Peña Gómez victory. Aided by the state-owned RTD television reports, Balaguer repeated false charges that Peña Gómez was a black person of Haitian origin and as such was intent on uniting the Spanish-speaking Dominican Republic with its French-speaking neighbour" (page 41137).

June 11

Keesing's record of world events June 1996: "Following a protest from [U.S. president Jimmy] Carter,…Balaguer on June 11 replaced his newly appointed hardline Police Chief…who had ordered the arrest of an estimated 10,000 PRD supporters for failing to produce their joint electoral registration and identity cards" (page 41137).

June 30: second round (Fernández / PLD)

Atkins 1998: "The PRSC met formally soon after the first round election in order to prepare for the second round to decide on which of the two remaining candidates to support. The predictably easy and pragmatic decision was in favor of Fernández over longtime protagonist Peña Gómez; the former needed PRSC backing in order to win the presidency. This decision resulted in a symbiotic agreement signed and alliance formed between the two parties, called the National Patriotic Front. Peña Gómez protested to no avail...Again about 75 percent of the electorate turned out to vote in another fair and honest election...Fernández won over Peña Gómez by a narrow margin, an outcome clearly made possible by the PRSC. He received 51.25 percent of the vote to Peña Gómez's 48.75 percent" (pages 218-219).

Báez 1997: "República Dominicana: resultados electorales según partido y fuente, primera y segunda vuelta electoral, elecciones 1996" (page 155).

Chester 2001: "(A)fter failing to achieve a simple majority in the first round, Peña Gómez met with defeat in the second round, when Balaguer threw his support behind Leonel Fernández" (page 281).

Country report. Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico 1996, 3: Describes the results (page 26). "On accepting his defeat, Mr Peña Gómez condemned the personal nature of the campaign against him, and complained that state resources had been used on behalf of Mr Fernández...It was nevertheless the first time since 1982 that an election had been conducted efficiently, without accusations of fraud or a prolonged delay in announcing the result. It was also the first time that the PLD had won the presidency, and only the third time since 1966 that Mr Balaguer had not been elected...It is evident that Mr Fernández won because of the transfer of PRSC votes in the second round, and it is likely he will have to pay a political price for that support" (page 26).

Díaz 1996: "República Dominicana: resultado de las elecciones presidenciales 30 de junio de 1996" (page 31).

Espinal 1998: "Las elecciones de 1996: la segunda vuelta" (pages 281-283).

Espinal 1999: "For the second round, Balaguer and the PRSC officially endorsed the candidacy of Fernández in a 'Patriotic Pact' calling for the preservation of national sovereignty and Dominicanness, against the candidacy of Peña Gómez (and by so doing, articulating racial and anti-Haitian themes relevant to Peña Gómez's Haitian ancestry)" (page 490).

Grullón 1999: Describes the election and gives the results (pages 216-220).

Hartlyn 1998: "These elections resulted in the victory of PLD presidential candidate Leonel Fernández in the second round, following a remarkable short-term electoral coalition between Balaguer's party and Bosch's party supporting Fernández's candidacy...Finally, unlike recent past elections, the 1996 process was largely 'not' crisis ridden. Near-final results were known the morning after the election, and even more crucially, they were accepted by the loser, Peña Gòmez, who conceded his defeat only hours subsequently" (page 259). "Official results for the 1996 presidential elections" (page 265). Includes results for first and second rounds.

Keesing's record of world events June 1996: Gives the results of the run-off (page 41137).

Latin American regional reports. Caribbean & Central America report July 25, 1996: "Fernández' [PLD] has only one seat in the senate and 12 in the 120-seat lower chamber, which means that the new President will be forced to rely on the backing of Balaguer's [PRSC] to get his legislative programee through-at least until the next congressional elections in 1998" (page 6). "How Congress lines up" (page 6).

Ramírez Morillo 1997: "Elecciones presidenciales del 30 de junio de 1996" (page 263).

Sagás 1997: "The second round" (pages 105-106). The "1996 elections closed a 30-year electoral cycle in which Balaguer-in or out of power-was a key power player in the Dominican political system. With Balaguer now out of the political scene, new political spaces will open up in the Dominican Republic, even within his own party, the PRSC" (page 106).

Sagás 2001: "Fernández had been a virtual unknown until the election; his victory was made possible by the support of Joaquín Balaguer and his 'Partido Reformista Social Cristiano'…In the 1996 election, then, the majority runoff format, adopted to prevent very narrow victories (such as Balaguer's), had the unintended effect of preventing the country's most popular party, with a clear margin of seven percentage points, from winning. Instead, it ushered into power a minority party candidate" (page 496).

Wiarda 1996: "The new electoral rules required a runoff election (because none of the candidates received 50 percent of the vote), which was scheduled for June 30, 1996, 45 days after the May 16 election. In the runoff, only the top two vote-getters (Peña Gómez and Fernández) were eligible" (page 1). Gives results. "The runoff" (pages 17-18). "June 30 final electoral results" (appendix 4).

August

Wiarda 1996: Leonel Fernández is inaugurated on August 16, 1996 (page 1).

1997

Country report. Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico 1997, 1: Describes the political structure of the Dominican Republic in January 1997 (page 28).

December

Arias Núñez 2000: Describes the efforts of the Junta Central Electoral to put in place the process and procedures necessary for Dominicans living abroad to vote in the presidential election of 2004 as described in the electoral law of 1997.

Espinal 1999: "In 1998, for the first time, political parties received public funding established by an electoral law (Law 275-97) approved in December 1997. This law also instituted a 25 percent quota for female candidates, which contributed to improve women's representation in the Chamber of Deputies" (page 491).

Grullón 1999: The new electoral law is promulgated December 21, 1997 (page 240). "Entre las innovaciones que contiene la Ley Electoral están la contribución económica a los partidos políticos, las circunscripciones para elegir diputados y regidores, el voto de los dominicanos en el exterior, y el 25% de los cargos electivos para la mujer."

Ley electoral No. 275-97 del 21 de diciembre de 1997, GO 9970 1998: Reproduces the text of the new electoral law.

1998

May 10

EcoCentral: Central American economy & sustainable development 1998-5-21: "A three-time presidential candidate, Pena Gomez was, at the time of his death, the PRD candidate for mayor of Santo Domingo, a post he held for one term in the 1980s. Following his death, the party substituted musician Johnny Ventura as the mayoral candidate" (page 2).

Keesing's record of world events May 1998: "José Francisco Peña Gómez, the leader of the PRD and also vice president of the Socialist International, died of cancer on May 10. Peña Gómez had been the PRD's presidential candidate on three occasions, and came close to victory in 1996" (page 42266).

May 16: congressional and municipal election

Chester 2001: "On May 10, 1998, Peña Gómez died of cancer, but his party, the PRD, swept to victory in legislative elections held six days later""(page 281).

Chronicle of parliamentary elections and developments 32 1999: For the May 16, 1998 elections for the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate gives the electoral system, the background and outcome of the elections, and the results, including the distribution of seats according to sex (pages 79-84). "The 1998 congressional elections were combined with voting for 115 municipalities. Based on census results, the number of Chamber of Deputies seats was raised from 120 to 149 prior to polling…(T)he relatively low voter turnout was partially attributed to the fact that the legislative elections were, for the first time, held separately from the presidential ones" (page 81).

Country profile. Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico 2001: "Conflict intensified after mid-term elections in May 1998 in which the PRD won a large majority in Congress and the municipalities. This led the PLD to join forces once again with the (PRSC) in an attempt to roll back some of the PRD's gains" (page 2001).

Country report. Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico 1998, 2: Describes issues involved in the election (page 31).

Country report. Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico 1998, 3: Describes the political structure of the Dominican Republic after the May 10 elections (page 26). "The results of the congressional and municipal elections held on May 16th have substantially altered the political scene in the Dominican Republic. Having previously held only a tiny majority in Congress, the opposition [PRD] and its allies in the Acuerdo de Santo Domingo now enjoy a substantial majority in both houses" (page 30). Gives the results. Discusses other implications of the election (page 31). "The new political context will require greater maturity on the part of all political parties for the country to progress, and the May elections have provided encouraging evidence that the process of democratisation in the Dominican Republic is slowly deepening...Election day itself passed smoothly, and there were no significant allegations of fraud."

EcoCentral: Central American economy & sustainable development 1998-5-21: "The left-center opposition [PRD] won the May 16 congressional and local elections and will now dominate both houses of Congress. The elections were held just six days after the death of the party's longtime leader, Jose Francisco Pena Gomez" (page 1). "The results are a severe setback for President Leonel Fernandez and his centrist [PLD]…The conservative [PRSC] of former president Joaquin Balaguer also suffered a major defeat…Observers say the PRD was aided by sympathy votes for Pena Gomez…Ventura went on to win with a 61% majority" (page 2).

Espinal 1999: "The PRD won by an even wider margin than polls had suggested, gaining most congressional seats and municipal governments (80 percent of senate seats, 56 percent of deputy seats, and 83 percent of mayoral races). Although Fernández's own PLD improved its congressional representation compared to 1994, it was not nearly to the level expected by the party; the PRSC, in turn, did very poorly" (page 491).

García 2000: "Mayo 16. Elecciones congresionales y municipales. Triunfo del PRD: obtiene 24 senadores, 83 diputados y 94 municipios. El PLD alcanzó 4 senadores, 49 diputados y 14 municipios. El PRSC sólo consiguió 2 senadores, 17 diputados y 7 municipios" (page 344).

Grullón 1999: Describes the election and gives the results (page 239-262).

Hartlyn 1998: "(T)he features of the country's current constitutional framework and electoral calendar appear to complicate governance in the country more than to enhance it...(H)olding congressional elections at the midterm of the presidential term, rather than concurrently with presidential elections may lead to the selection of politicians more responsive to their constituencies and less beholden to the party leaders who placed them on congressional party lists...Yet, another consequence of this new institutional combination is that it is more likely that presidents may never achieve effective governing majorities" (pages 277-278).

Keesing's record of world events May 1998: "The centre-left [PRD], won a sweeping victory in legislative and municipal elections held on May 16, winning 83 seats in the enlarged 149-seat Chamber of Deputies…and 24 seats in the 30-member Senate…The turnout was an estimated 52 per cent, the highest rate of abstention ever recorded in the country. Analysts believed that the low turnout reflected the decision to hold, for the first time, separate legislative and presidential elections…The PRD…also took control of about 90 per cent of the island's 115 municipalities, including the capital" (page 42266).

Sagás 1999: "This article examines the 1998 elections in the Dominican Republic: its main actors, the electoral campaign, and its results and implications. On 16 May 1998, the Dominican electorate went to the polls to elect 30 senators, 149 'diputados' (deputies or lower chamber representatives), 115 mayors (and vice-mayors), and 756 'regidores' (city council members). The results showed an overwhelming victory for the opposition Dominican Revolutionary Party. The article also analyzes the feasibility of the current Dominican electoral system, where congressional and municipal elections are held mid-way through the presidential term, and the influence of the electoral system on democratic governance in the Dominican Republic. Finally, it argues that midterm elections may complicate the future of democratic governability in the Dominican Republic" (pages 282-283). "The campaign" (pages 284-286). "The election" (pages 286-287). "Composition of the Dominican Congress, 1998-2002" (page 287).

Sagás 2001: "The minority status of Fernández's party was reinforced following the 1998 congressional and municipal elections, when the PRD achieved a major victory, winning 24 of the 30 senate seats and 83 of the 149 house seats" (page 496).

2000

January

Country report. Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico April 2000: "In January the Partido Reformista Social Cristiano (PRSC) confirmed the former president, Joaquín Balaguer, as its presidential candidate. Mr Balaguer is 94 years old, suffers from mobility problems and has severely impaired sight and hearing...It seems unlikely that Mr Balaguer will gain second place in the polls, but in the event of a second-round vote he could become very influential" (page 12).

April

Country report. Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico April 2000: "After a frantic few months and considerable controversy, the Junta Central Electoral (JCE, the Central Electoral Board) finished distributing new identity and electoral cards in April. The new card has been introduced to provide for greater security in the electoral process, and contains a colour photograph that can be cross-checked with information filed at the JCE" (page 12).

Sagás 2001: "The [JCE] issued new voter registration cards in a massive nationwide registration drive, and tried to eliminate some of the irregularities that had previously plagued the electoral register. For example, the JCE published the register several weeks before election day, thus allowing the political parties and individuals to check its accuracy…And again, as in 1996 and 1998, the system of 'colegios cerrados' ('closed' polling stations) was used. In this system, voters must register within a certain time at the polling stations, and are later called in to vote. Thus it is physically impossible for an individual to vote twice" (page 497).

May 16: presidential election (Mejía Domínguez / PRD)

Country report. Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico July 2000: "Hipólito Mejía of the (PRD) won May's presidential election at the first round, ending 16 years in opposition for the country's largest political party. Mr Mejía gained a fraction under half of the vote, ahead of Danilo Medina of the ruling (PLD) and Joaquín Balaguer of the (PRSC). Although Mr Mejía failed to gain the 50% plus one of votes required to avoid a second round, his 49.9% tally proved enough of a mandate to persuade Mr Medina not to exercise his right to demand a run-off election" (page 12). "Dominican Republic: presidential election results, May 16th 2000" (page 12). Gives the number of votes and percent of total votes for three candidates and "minority parties." "The PRD will now have control of the executive and both lower houses at least until 2002" (pages 12-13). "Dominican Republic: parliamentary standings, 1998-2002" (page 13). Gives the number of seats in the chamber of deputies and the senate for three parties. "Although the Dominican Republic nominally has four-year presidential and parliamentary terms, by splitting the elections for the two, the country appears to reside in a continuous state of electioneering. The uncertainty created inevitably leads to delays, and legislation is often stalled. Following the May 2000 election there have been calls for a constitutional commission to be established to find a solution to this problem. The most likely outcome-should Mr Mejía decide to establish such a commission-would be to hold presidential and legislative elections concurrently, thereby instituting four-year terms for both" (page 13).

Keesing's record of world events May 2000: "With 96.08 per cent of the vote counted Mejía had 49.86 per cent, just short of the absolute majority required. However, both Balaguer and Medina decided to withdraw from the race, thus making a run-off election unnecessary" (page 43566). "Provisional results of Dominican Republic presidential election" (page 43566). Gives candidate with party and percent of vote received.

NotiCen: Central American economy and sustainable development 2000-5-25: "Hipolito Mejia, candidate for the [PRD], won the May 16 presidential election, promising to fight corruption and concentrate resources on social programs. Mejia's running mate Milagros Ortiz Bosch, niece of former President Juan Bosch, became the country's first female vice president" (page 2).

NotiCen: Central American economy and sustainable development 2000-8-24: "In the May 16 elections, Mejia won with 49.8% of the vote, defeating governing [PLD] candidate Danilo Medina with 24.9%, and Joaquin Balaguer of the [PRSC] with 24.6%" (page 7).

Ramírez Morillo 2000: "Resultados electorales elecciones 2000 (por provincias y partidos)" (page 80). "Inscritos, votos validos, emitidos y abstención, elecciones 2000 (por provincias)" (page 81). "Listado de totales computados por provincia y municipio (con alianzas)" (pages 86-91).

Sagás 2001: "The 2000 presidential election pitted Hipólito Mejía (PRD) against Danilo Medina (PLD) and Joaquín Balaguer (PRSC)" (page 496). Gives names of vice-presidential candidates and describes the campaign (pages 496-497). "Some 4.2 million Dominicans were officially registered to vote on 16 May. In the event, over three million voted in the election, a turnout rate of 76%" (page 497). "Results of the 2000 presidential election in the Dominican Republic" (page 497).

May 18

NotiCen: Central American economy and sustainable development 2000-5-25: Balaguer's "chance of election this time depended on a second-round vote. Polls showed his electoral support never rose much above 25%, buf if Mejia faltered in the first round, Balaguer counted on getting support from the PLD to win in the runoff. Fernandez won in 1996 in a second-round vite with Balaguer's PRSC support, blocking popular PRD leader Jose Pena Gomez from office. This time the PLD-PRSC alliance failed, as Balaguer said the day after the election that he could not guarantee that PRSC members would support Medina" (pages 2-3).

Sagás 2001: On "the morning of May 18, after several meetings of the PLD's Political Committee, and after a visit to gauge potential support from Balaguer, Danilo Medina announced the withdrawal of his candidacy in case of a runoff. Hence, a runoff election was not called for" (page 498). Discusses reasons for the PLD's decision. "Medina's announcement eased considerably the pressue on the JCE, which had been fearful of the consequences of having to announce that Mejía had not reached the 50% required to avert a runoff. On the evening of 18 May the JCE finally declared Mejía the official winner with 49.9% of the vote" (page 498). "The 2000 presidential election in the Dominican Republic marked the final transfer of power to a new political generation. It also confirms the hegemony of the PRD as a dominant party…The 2000 presidential election has also called into question the majority runoff electoral system" (page 500).

June

NotiCen: Central American economy and sustainable development 2000-8-24: "Fernandez publicly analyzed what went wrong during the election…The political reality in the Dominican Republic is that both the PLD and Balaguer's PRSC are minority parties compared to the PRD, and they can win only through alliances against the PRD during runoff elections. In 1996, however, Balaguer was not a candidate…In that runoff, Balaguer threw the PRSC's vote behind Fernandez…With Balaguer back in contention in the May 2000 election, the PRD profited from the failure of the PLD and the PRSC to again form an alliance against the PRD candidate…Fernandez expects the PLD to recover the presidency in the next election because of the impossibility of Mejia fulfilling his campaign promises" (pages 8-9).

August

Country report. Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico July 2000: "Mr Mejía will be inaugurated as president on August 16th. Milagros Ortiz Bosch will serve as vice-president" (page 12).

NotiCen: Central American economy and sustainable development 2000-8-24: "Hipolito Mejia and Milagros Ortiz Bosch were sworn in Aug. 16 as president and vice president before the National Assembly. The inauguration marked the return to power of Mejia's [PRD] after 14 years in opposition, but outgoing President Leonel Fernandez predicted Mejia's presidency would fail" (pages 6-7).

2001

Country report. Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico January 2001: "Dominican Republic: political structure" (page 5). Describes the government as of January 2001.

July

Latin American regional reports. Caribbean & Central America report July 17, 2001: "Former President Joaquín Balaguer gave an astonishing demonstration of his continuing political authority on 1 July, when, at the age of 94, he reshaped the [PRSC] in his own image, and was proclaimed life president of the party into the bargain…The ostensible reason for the extraordinary assembly was to get the party into shape for the 2002 local and legislative elections, and for the 2004 presidential contest. The new directorate will be in charge of drawing up candidate lists for the forthcoming elections" (electronic edition).

September

Country report. Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico October 2001: "Following months of negotiations, a key political agreement was achieved in late September with the announcement of a pact for constitutional reform between the (PRD), the PRSC and the PLD. The pact is clearly designed to forestall efforts by some legislators to hijack the constitutional reform process and promote a cynical reform to extend the current legislative term, thereby prolonging their mandate and suspending the congressional elections scheduled for May 2002" (page 15). Describes the pact.

Latin American regional reports. Caribbean & Central America report December 4, 2001: "Under the original three-party agreement, constitutional reform would have concentrated on four issues: elimination of the 'closed' electoral stations, reduction of the percentage of votes needed to win in a first round to 45%, election of the representatives to the Central American Parliament (Parlacen) by popular vote instead of by congress, [and] further revision of the constitution by an elected constituent assembly" (electronic edition).

November

Keesing's record of world events November 2001: "Juan Bosch, who served as President of the Dominican Republic for seven months in 1963, died from the effects of respiratory disease, on Nov. 1, aged 92" (electronic edition).

December

NotiCen: Central American economy and sustainable development 2001-12-13: "After months of investigation, the attorney general's office has decided not to indict former Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez (1996-2000) on charges stemming from a multimillion-dollar fraud…Far from dampening enthusiasm for the former president, the investigation seems to have boosted his standing in the [PLD]…In December, the PLD's political committee decided to propose him as the next party president. Fernandez is also considered a likely candidate in the presidential election of 2004" (electronic edition).

Latin American regional reports. Caribbean & Central America report January 15, 2002: "A majority of Dominican legislators went ahead with their plans and voted a bill calling for a constitutional reform which included presidential re-election and, most importantly for them, a two-year extension of their mandates…Working unusually hard against the clock, congress pushed through the legislation before the end of the year, with the aim of blocking the legislative elections scheduled for 16 May this year. When [the bill] reached President Hipólito Mejía, though, he resorted to what he openly described as a 'subterfuge': he asked the supreme court for an opinion on its constitutionality" (electronic edition).

2002

January

Keesing's record of world events January 2002: "It was reported on Jan. 15 that, in response to a request from President Hipólito Mejía, the Supreme Court had ruled that constitutional reform under consideration in the National Congress (the bicameral legislature) that included a two-year extension of the legislature's current mandate until 2004 was in breach of the constitution" (electronic edition).

May 16: municipal and congressional elections

Country report. Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico April 2001: "As of the 2002 congressional election, voters will elect individuals under a new constituency system" (page 13).

Country report. Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico April 2002: "Over 2,000 posts are up for election...The elections are the first to be held under new rules introduced in 1997, which were modified by the (JCE) in July 2001. The 1997 reform originally envisaged that the system of closed party lists would be abolished for both legislative and muncipal positions, allowing voters to select individual candidates from among party lists. A ruling by the JCE in July 2001 ratified the changes for the lower house elections, but for controversial 'logistical reasons' ruled that the old system of closed party lists would remain in place for elections to municipal posts, leaving those posts in the gift of the party leadership. As a result, the full reform of legislative and municipal representation sought by the 1997 rules, which aimed to reduce clientelistic practices, has been put on hold" (page 8).

Country report. Dominican Republic, Haiti July 2002: "The results of the mid-term congressional and municipal elections, which took place on May 16th, were favourable for the ruling [PRD]. The PRD consolidated its dominant position in the incoming Congress, which takes over on August 16th…It took 29 of the 32 Senate seats, and retained its place as the largest party in the lower house…It also tightened its grip on local government, winning 104 of the 125 municipalities…Within weeks of the mid-term elections a group of PRD legislators pushed a constitutional reform bill through Congress to permit consecutive presidential re-election and to reduce the number of votes needed to win a presidential election to a simple majority. A special session of Congress will now be convened to deliberate on the proposed changes" (page 8).

NotiCen: Central American economy and sustainable development 2002-5-23: "The Dominican Republic's governing [PRD] won the legislative and municipal elections May 16. It will control Congress and most city governments. The [PLD], led by former President Leonel Fernandez (1996-2000), trailed far behind, with just a handful of victories. After the elections, President Hipolito Mejia moved to shut out the PLD by offering a political pact to Joaquin Balaguer's [PRSC]…The one major victory for the PLD was Jose Tomas Perez's capture of the Senate seat for the important Distrito Nacional (Santo Domingo)…Mejia offered Balaguer and his PRSC a pact by which the two parties would share leadership posts in Congress, with the PRSC managing the Chamber of Deputies and the PRD the Senate. PRSC leaders said the party would consider some kind of an accord and work with the PRD wherever necessary to improve the situation of the people, but they rejected Mejia's proposal because the party wanted to show it could win the presidency in 2004 on its own. The final decision, however, would be made by party president Balaguer, the only person with the power to negotiate such a pact, they said…This election marks the first use of proportional voting, which allows voters to choose specific candidates rather than a party slate, and of a requirement that one-third of the candidates must be women" (electronic edition).

Keesing's record of world events May 2002: "Simultaneous legislative and municipal elections were held in the Dominican Republic on May 16. In a setback for the government of President Hipólito Mejía, the ruling Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) saw its representation in the 150-seat Chamber of Deputies…reduced to 73, depriving the party of its absolute majority over the two opposition parties-the Centre right Christian Social Reform Party (PRSC) and the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD). In elections to the Senate…the PRD increased its representation to 29 seats, leaving the remaining three seats to be secured by the PRSC and the PLD…In the elections to the 125 municipalities, the PRD secured majorities in 104 municipalities, whereas 11 were won by the PRSC. The PLD won seven municipalities and the Independent Revolutionary Party (PRI) secured majorities in three" (electronic edition). "Results of legislative elections in the Dominican Republic" (electronic version).

Latin American regional reports. Caribbean & Central America report June 11, 2002: "Two weeks after the elections, the central electoral board (JCE) finally unveiled the 'definitive' results, pending an appeal by the opposition [PLD]. In the lower chamber the PRD will have 73 seats; the PLD, 41; and the [PRSC], 36. The real winner in the lower chamber was the PRSC, which attracted 58% more votes than in 1998 and all but doubled its representation" (electronic edition).

June

Country report. Dominican Republic, Haiti October 2002: "As the 1998-2002 legislative cycle neared its end in June, in one day PRD legislators introduced and passed a law convening a so called Revisory Assembly without any prior debate or attempt to build consensus with other political parties or civil society" (page 12).

Latin American regional reports. Caribbean & Central America report June 11, 2002:
"The real significance of the legislative elections rests in what lies ahead: the 2004 presidential race. The lower house results have not deterred the government from moving full steam ahead in its efforts to change the constitution to permit presidential re-election. Consecutive re-election was banned by a constitutional amendment in 1994. The reform proposals, which also include reducing the amount of votes required for victory from 50% to 40%, were presented to the lower house in early June" (electronic edition).

July

Country report. Dominican Republic, Haiti August 2002: "Despite its good election results, the government, led by the president, Hipólito Mejía, is likely to face additional obstacles in Congress during the second half of its term, following the death in early July of Joaquín Balaguer, the leader of the PRSC. Mr Balaguer, the dominant figure of Dominican politics since the restoration of democracy in 1966, was personally close to Mr Mejía…As new leaders attempt to stamp their authority on the PRSC, the party is likely to take a less co-operative stance towards the government" (page 1).

Country report. Dominican Republic, Haiti October 2002: "In July legislators voted to reform the constitution to allow presidents to serve two consecutive terms in office" (page 12). "On July 14th Mr Balaguer, the former president who had ruled for a total of 22 years, died at the age of 95…Although he had left office in 1996 and last appeared in public in July 2001, he retained enormous political influence" (page 15). "All three parties [PLD, PRD, PRSC] are currently without either 'caudillos' or heirs apparent" (page 16).

Latin American regional reports. Caribbean & Central America report August 20, 2002: "The great untouchable of Dominican politics, seven-times President Dr Joaquín Balaguer has died aged 95. He ruled for a total of 22 years since first serving as a puppet president under military dictator Rafael Trujillo in 1960" (electronic version).

NotiCen: Central American economy and sustainable development 2001-12-13: "Joaquin Balaguer, former president of the Dominican Republic, died July 14 of cardiac arrest at the age of 95. Balaguer was an ally of former dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo (1930-1961) and was elected president six times after Trujillo's assassination in 1961…Some analysts believe that Balaguer's death leaves a political vacuum that could develop into a leadership crisis within the PRSC" (electronic edition).

August

Country report. Dominican Republic, Haiti October 2002: "In the new legislature that took office in August 2002 the PRD government has 29 senators and 73 deputies; in opposition the PRSC has two senators and 36 deputies and the PLD one senator and 41 deputies" (page 5).

September

Country report. Dominican Republic, Haiti October 2002: "In mid-September the PLD filed a complaint with the Organisation of American States concerning the governing party's disregard of public opinion in election of new members to the electoral commission. According to the PLD, the PRD used its substantial Senate majority to vote its own candidates onto the commission. Civil society groups have also questioned the selection of the board…Despite these concerns, the PRD has said that it will use its majority to select the electoral board without further consultation" (page 15).