Dominican Republic. According to
CountryAAH, the PLD (Partido de la Liberación
Dominicana) won a landslide victory in the May 16
congressional elections. For the first time, the PLD can use
a comfortable majority in both the House of Representatives
and the Senate. The success was largely due to the fact that
the opposition party PRD (Partido Revolucionario Dominicano)
reduced its representation from 73 to 60 seats in the House
of Representatives, which, given that the total number of
seats there simultaneously increased from 150 to 178, meant
a dramatic reduction for PRD from 49 to 34%. President
Leonel Fernández's strengthened position even got a PLD
senator to propose a constitutional amendment in August to
extend the presidential term from four to six years,
something President Fernández himself rejected.
The murder of an 18-year-old female student in early June
started an intense debate about the effectiveness of law
enforcement in the country. In July, the government
responded by deciding on military support for the police, an
increase in the number of police officers and longer prison
sentences; Human Rights Officer Porfírio Rojas also proposed
the imposition of the death penalty for some serious crimes.
Ironically, at the same time, statistics showed that crime
is actually on the decline in the Dominican Republic.