President of Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic’s politics takes place in a structure of a presidential representative democratic republic, which means that the President of Dominican Republic is both the head of the government and the head of the state, and of a pluriform multi-party system. The government headed by the President of Dominican Republic exercise executive power, while the legislative power is endowed in both the government and two chambers of the National Congress. The Judiciary on the other hand, is independent of the legislature and the executive.
The President of Dominican Republic functions as both the head of the state and the head of the government; appoints the cabinet, carry out laws passed by the legislative branch; and is the chief commanding officer of the armed forces. The term of presidency is four years; the presidential and vice-presidential positions are elected on the same ticket by popular vote, and elections are held in years equally dividable by four.
The present President of Dominican Republic is Leonel Antonio Fernández Reyna who took office on the 16th of August 2004. He was born on the 26th of December 1953 in Santo Domingo but lived his childhood and formative years in New York City, US. Fernández is a Dominican politician who joined the PLD party at its initiation in 1973. He was presented as vice-president candidate during the 1994 presidential elections. He also served a four-year term as President of Dominican Republic in 1996 to 2000.
During his first term, his political program was one of economic and judicial reform, and the Dominican economy took pleasure on the average growth rate of seven percent, the highest in that period. He helped improve Dominican participation in hemispheric discussions, such as the Miami Summit follow-up method and the Organization of American States. Inflation became stable in the low single digits, the lowest in the entire Latin America. However, Fernández achievements in this area were not felt by a huge majority of poor Dominicans who constantly complained of unfair distribution of wealth, which led to the very big victory by PRD party in mid-term congressional elections. At the end of his term of office, he was succeeded by Hipólito Mejía of the PRD, who at that time embodied the people’s desires to a more fair wealth distribution.
After the four-year break, he was elected to a second term of office as the President of Dominican Republic in the May 16, 2004 presidential election, with a total majority, and representing the same PLD party. His victory was greatly influenced by the country’s economic situation after the bankruptcy due to deceptive actions of the country’s biggest banks during President Hipólito Mejía’s administration. Although some may distinguish Fernández as an innovative and forward thinker, others protest that his tight focus on technological development is frequently at the expense of the basic needs such as health, education, and food.
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