Dominican Government

chief of state: President Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna (since 16 August 2004); Vice President Rafael ALBURQUERQUE de Castro (since 16 August 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government head of government: President Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna (since 16 August 2004); Vice President Rafael ALBURQUERQUE de Castro (since 16 August 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the president elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms; election last held 16 May 2004 (next to be held in May 2008) election results: Leonel FERNANDEZ elected president; percent of vote - Leonel FERNANDEZ (PLD) 57.1%, Rafael Hipolito MEJIA Dominguez (PRD) 33.7%, Eduardo ESTRELLA (PRSC) 8.7%

Leonel Fernandez was elected President of the Dominican Republic on May 16, 2004, after defeating incumbent president Hipolito Mejia. A former lawyer and the leader of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), Fernandez had previously served as president of the Dominican Republic from 1996-2000, before leaving his post amidst a corruption scandal immediately before Mejia took office. The election of Fernandez was seen as a reaction to the severe economic crisis faced by the Dominican Republic, since under Mejia, the price of staple foods tripled and quadrupled, the foreign debt doubled, the value of the peso plummeted, and unemployment soared -- events which Mejia attributed to a bank fraud scandal and a world recession. As part of his campaign, Fernandez promised to stabilize the economy and reverse inflation, which topped 43 percent under Mejia. During Fernandez' previous term in office, the economy had grown by over 7 percent a year. Fernandez's election was significant in that it included votes from over 50,000 Dominicans living abroad in the United States, Puerto Rica, Canada, Spain and Venezuela. This was the first time Dominicans abroad were allowed to vote in a national election. Fernandez was born on December 26, 1953, in Santo Domingo, but was raised in New York City.

Leonel Fernández Dr. Leonel Antonio Fernández Reyna (born 26 December 1953) is a politician from the Dominican Republic. He was born in Santo Domingo but spent his childhood and formative years in New York City, USA. Leonel Fernández Reyna at the UNHe joined the PLD (see further below) since its inception in the early seventies, when the late Juan Bosch left the PRD party to create the new party. Fernández was a close pupil of Bosch, and was presented as a vice-president candidate with the latter during the 1994 presidential elections. He served a four-year term as president between 1996 and 2000. In the first-round election on 16 May 1996 he polled 38.9% and was placed second behind José Francisco Peña Gómez of the left-leaning Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD). In the second round on 30 June, however, he secured 51.2%. He was subsequently sworn in as president on 16 August, succeeding incumbent president President Joaquín Balaguer of the Christian Democratic PRSC. During his term in office, Fernández's political agenda was one of economic and judicial reform. He helped enhance Dominican participation in hemispheric forums, such as the Organization of American States and the Miami Summit follow-up mechanism. During Fernández's first term, the Dominican economy enjoyed an average growth rate of seven per cent, the highest growth rate in that period, along with countries like South Korea. Inflation was stabilised in the low single digits, the lowest in all of Latin America. At the end of his mandate, he was succeeded by Hipólito Mejía of the PRD. After a four-year hiatus, he was elected to a second term of office in the presidential election held on 16 May 2004 with absolute majority, representing the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), greatly due to the precarious situation the country was in because of the poor judgement, administration and corruption of the PRD mandate. He was sworn in on 16 August 2004. Fernández is the author of several books whose topics include politics and economics.