By Ezequiel Abiu Lopez
SANTO DOMINGO, DR, Weds. July 8, 2020 (Reuters) – Electoral authorities in the Dominican Republic confirmed Luis Abinader as President-elect on Tuesday after the opposition candidate won with a majority vote that ousted the long-ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD).
With the count almost complete, Abinader won 52.53% of votes, followed by ruling party candidate Gonzalo Castillo with 37.48%.
Castillo had conceded defeat on Monday to Abinader, of the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), after the election that was overshadowed by the Caribbean nation’s struggles with the coronavirus pandemic.
The relatively small nation of just 10.4 million inhabitants, who share the island of Hispaniola with neighboring Haiti, has registered more than 38,000 cases and 821 deaths from the virus.
Abinader’s victory marks the end of 16 years of rule by the PLD, which achieved one of the strongest economic growth rates in Latin America but faced corruption allegations and grievances over inequality.
(Reporting by Ezequiel Abiu Lopez; Writing by Daina Beth Solomon)