Dominican Republic 2006
Dominican Republic. According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in Dominican Republic include Independence Day (February 27) and New Year (January 1). 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.