Dominican Republic: Polls assign a lead to PLD candidate Danilo Medina
May 11, 2012
Ahead of presidential elections on 20 May, the election result remains uncertain. However, recent surveys give a stronger lead to Danilo Medina, leader of the ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD, Partido de la Liberacion Dominicana). A poll conducted by consulting firm Penn, Schoen & Berland in late April assigns 51.0% of the votes to Medina, while giving 46.0% of votes to former president Hipolito Mejia of the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD, Partido Revolucionario Dominicano), Medina's main opponent. Other surveys confirm that the campaign momentum is shifting in favour of the governing party candidate. A poll conducted by consulting firm Hamilton Campaigns assigns an even larger margin to Medina, who is expected to win 51.0% of the votes against 44.0% for Mejia. Based on these figures a run-off vote would be avoided, as according to Dominican electoral law, candidates can be elected directly in the first round only if they win more than 50% of the votes. In a bid to gain stronger support, Mejia recently announced his intentions to sign a new agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and to reduce inefficient public expenditures, in order to channel more resources towards social programmes and education. On the other hand, Medina has pledged to fight corruption in the public administration and to push forward reforms in the corporate tax regime, in order to guarantee a fair taxation for enterprises without losing resources for state finances.