President of the Dominican Republic

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President of the Dominican Republic
Coat of arms of the Dominican Republic.svg
Coat of arms of the Dominican Republic
Symbol of the Presidency of the Dominican Republic.png
Presidential seal
President Abinader 2020.jpg
Luis Abinader
since 16 August 2020
Style Your Excellency, Mr. President
His Excellency
Residence National Palace, Distrito Nacional, Santo Domingo
Appointer Universal suffrage election
Term length Four years, renewable once (consecutively)
Inaugural holder Pedro Santana
Formation14 November 1844
Deputy Vice President of the Dominican Republic
Salaryup to RD$450,000/US$ 8,213 monthly [1]

The president of the Dominican Republic (Spanish : Presidente de la República Dominicana) is both the head of state and head of government of the Dominican Republic. The presidential system was established in 1844, following the proclamation of the republic during the Dominican War of Independence. The president of the Dominican Republic is styled Your Excellency, Mr. President during his time in office. His official residence is the National Palace.


The article CXXVIII of the constitution instructs the president of the "faithful execution of the Dominican Law" and confers on him the rank of commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, the National Police and all the state security forces. It has the power to appoint ministers, grant pardons, moratoria and the duty of ensuring national security and the collection and faithful investment of national income. The constitution also places it as the head of the state's foreign policy and grants it the power to appoint diplomatic representatives on the recommendation and approval of the Senate of the Dominican Republic.

The president is elected by universal suffrage for a term of four years. Since the Constitution of the Dominican Republic of 1966, in its modification of 2015, no person can be elected to the position of president more than twice. In case of death, dismissal, or resignation of a president, the vice president assumes the presidency. In the absence of both, the executive branch may organize an interim government or pass control of the government to the legislative branch.

There have been 54 people who have taken office. The first president was Pedro Santana, who was invested on 14 November 1844 by decision of the Central Government Junta. The current president of the Dominican Republic is Luis Abinader of the Modern Revolutionary Party, who won the 2020 Dominican Republic general election and took office on 16 August 2020 from Danilo Medina.

Beginning in the first decade of the 21st century, the Dominican presidency has taken on a more participatory role at the global level, strengthening diplomatic ties throughout the world and serving as a mediator in conflicts as close as the 2009 Honduran coup d'état and so far away as the Arab–Israeli conflict. [2]


The origin of the presidency of the Dominican Republic goes back to the War of Independence, when the Central Government Junta (JCG) constituted the first form of government that the country had in independent and republican living conditions.[ citation needed ]

The main activities, at such a convulsive moment, were to lead the war against the invasion of the Haitians, since it depended on the survival of the newly born state and the application of emergency measures of a provisional nature in order to put the governmental machinery, the collection of taxes, inform foreign powers of the existence of the new state and extend its dominion over the newly liberated territory. At the beginning J.C.G. He had to keep Haitian laws in force for a while, since otherwise the courts, the collection of taxes, municipalities, customs and other indispensable organisms for the normal course of the institutional life of every society would not have worked. The J.C.G. He ruled the country for an eight-month period.[ citation needed ]

In July 1844, General Pedro Santana, after a streak of successive victories in the southern part of the country, appeared with his army in Santo Domingo and was proclaimed President of the Junta Central Government. [3] The following month, Santana sent the nation's Founding Fathers into exile. On 14 November of that same year he took office as the first constitutional president of the Dominican Republic.[ citation needed ]

Constitutional role

Presidential Seal ElSimboloDelPresidenciaDelaRepublicaDominicana.png
Presidential Seal
Presidential Seal (On Sea) Presidential Standard of the Dominican Republic (At Sea).svg
Presidential Seal (On Sea)

The Constitution of the Dominican Republic, which was most recently amended in 2015, establishes the requirements, rights and obligations of the president of the republic.

The office can be held for up to two consecutive four-year terms. [4] People who have completed their presidencies cannot run for president again. [4] The change of command takes place every four years, on 16 August, which is the day of the Restoration of the Republic, a national holiday.

Prior to 2015, the president was limited to one consecutive term, but could run for the office again after at least one subsequent term.

Schools and powers of the president of the Dominican Republic

The schools and powers of the president of the Dominican Republic are contained in the title fourth, chapter I, section II of Constitution of the Dominican Republic giving the following rights and obligations: 'in its status as head of state corresponding:'


According to the Constitution of the Dominican Republic of 1966, in its modification of the year 2015 by the Congress, the President:

Constitutions through Trujillo

The first Dominican constitution was promulgated on 6 November 1844, immediately after the nation achieved independence from Haiti. It was a liberal document with many familiar elements—separation of powers, checks and balances, and a long list of basic rights. However, an authoritarian government replaced the country's liberal, democratic government during its first year. The new regime proceeded to write its own constitution. This second constitution considerably strengthened the executive, weakened the legislative and the judicial branches, and gave the president widespread emergency powers, including the power to suspend basic rights and to rule by decree. Thereafter, governance of the country often alternated between liberal and authoritarian constitutional systems. [5]

Even the dictator Rafael Trujillo always took care to operate under the banner of constitutionalism. Under Trujillo, however, the legislature was simply a rubber stamp; the courts were not independent; and basic rights all but ceased to exist. He governed as a tyrant, unfettered by constitutional restrictions. [5]

Constitutions after Trujillo

After Trujillo's death in 1961, the constitution was amended to provide for new elections and to allow the transfer of power to an interim Council of State. Although promulgated as a new document, the 1962 constitution was actually a continuation of the Trujillo constitution, and it was thus unpopular. [5]

In 1964, Juan Bosch's freely elected, social-democratic government drafted a new and far more liberal constitution. It separated church and state, put severe limits on the political activities of the armed forces, established a wide range of civil liberties, and restricted the rights of property relative to individual rights. These provisions frightened the more conservative elements in Dominican society, which banded together to oust Bosch and his constitution in September 1963. Subsequently, the more conservative 1962 constitution was restored. In the name of constitutionalism, Bosch and his followers launched a revolution in 1965, the objective of which was restoration of the liberal 1963 constitution. [5]

Largely as a result of the United States military intervention of April 1965, the civil war had died down by 1966. With Joaquín Balaguer and his party in control, the Dominicans wrote still another constitution. This one was intended to avert the conflicts and polarization of the past by combining features from both the liberal and the conservative traditions. The 1966 Constitution incorporated a long list of basic rights, and it provided for a strengthened legislature; however, it also gave extensive powers to the executive, including emergency powers. In this way, the country sought to bridge the gap between its democratic and its authoritarian constitutions, by compromising their differences. [5]

Later constitutions were enacted in 1994 and 2002.


Latest election

Luis Abinader Modern Revolutionary Party and allies [lower-alpha 1] 2,154,87652.51
Gonzalo Castillo Dominican Liberation Party and allies [lower-alpha 2] 1,537,07837.46
Leonel Fernández People's Force and allies [lower-alpha 3] 365,2268.90
Guillermo Moreno García Country Alliance 39,4580.96
Ismael Reyes Cruz Institutional Democratic Party 3,4840.08
Juan Cohen National Citizen Will Party 3,2500.08
Valid votes4,103,37298.56
Invalid/blank votes59,9431.44
Total votes4,163,315100.00
Registered voters/turnout7,529,93255.29
Source: JCE

See also


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  1. "EL CONGRESO NACIONAL: En Nombre de la República. Ley No. 105-13" (PDF). 8 August 2013.
  2. Valdez, Annia (2 July 2011). "Viajes históricos de Leonel". Listin Diario (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  3. Los Dirigentes de la primera República
  4. 1 2 "Dominican Republic's Constitution of 2015" (PDF).
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 PD-icon.svg This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain .Jonathan Hartlyn (December 1989). "Constitutional Development". In Haggerty, Richard A. (ed.). Dominican Republic: A country study. Federal Research Division, Library of Congress. LCCN   2001023524.