Written by Nelson Santana
May 26, 2010
After last week’s nationwide elections the Dominican Republic is now a purple nation controlled by one political party. The Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) has buried its red counterpart and all other opposing political parties. This brings back memories of when one party was in full control of the nation during the era of Trujillo.
How did this phenomenon unfold? Perhaps there are many reasons for the defeat of the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD). All to the contrary, there is one reason in particular for the PLD’s success. Neither the Dominican Revolutionary Party nor the Social Christian Reformist Party has leadership as well-defined as that of the Dominican Liberation Party. There is no question that the PLD’s leader is Dr. Leonel Fernandez, constitutional president of the Dominican Republic. Contrary to the PRD and PRSC no PLD member dares to question President Fernandez’s leadership.
A crucial factor in the great PRD defeat was the constant back and forth bickering between Hipólito Mejía and Miguel Vargas Maldonado. It is not possible for a political party to be victorious when it is unclear as to whom its leader is. On paper, Miguel Vargas Maldonado is the president of the PRD. On the other hand, former president Hipólito Mejía strongly believes he is the chosen one who will lead his party to victory. Prior to the elections Vargas Maldonado had the backing of the PRD and not Mejía, since many in the party view Mejía -- popularly known as the “donkey” for his infamous “hipolitadas” -- as a clown with no right to the presidential candidacy, consequence of his vulgarities.
As a result of the elections, Vargas Maldonado has lost a great deal of support from the PRD to the point that several key members have pleaded with him to withdraw his presidential candidacy; they also advised him to relinquish his post as presidentof the PRD.
The PLD benefited most from the results of their colossal defeat of their opponents. In adverse circumstances the transfer of such power to one political party dismantles any kind of equilibrium that existed prior to the elections.
According to the Junta Central Electoral, the PLD was triumphant in 30 of the 31 Dominican provinces; the exemption being the province of Altagracia, in which the PRD remains in control. In addition, one cannot fail to mention that the PLD was also victorious in the National District.
The PLD’s margin of victory is unprecedented. With regard to municipalities, the PLD was victorious in 92 municipalities, whereas the PRD was victorious in 57, PRSC in 4, PPC in 1 and UDC in 1.
In terms of councilors the PLD captured 573 seats and 105 deputies and the PRD captured 520 and 73 seats respectfully.
The results of these elections are indicative that the Dominican Liberation Party is the most powerful political party in Dominican society today.