Dominican Republic

Dominican Revolutionary Party

Published 11th May, 2012

The Dominican Revolutionary Party or PRD was founded in 1939 by Juan Bosch who was, at the time, in exile in Cuba. The party describes itself as left of centre and believes in Social Democracy and Populism.

Bosch returned to the Dominican Republic in 1962 and went on to win the presidential election of that year. He remained in office from February 1963 until September 1963 when he was deposed in a military insurrection. In 1965 the PRD launched its own coup against the new regime which led to a military intervention by United States marines.

The party lost the 1966 election and was to remain in opposition until 1978 when their presidential candidate, Silvestre Antonio Guzmán Fernández, was elected president. The party also did well in the general election, taking 48 of 91 seats in the Congress.

The party then saw their next candidate, Salvador Omar Jorge Blanco, elected as president in 1982 when the party was also able to secure an absolute majority in Congress, taking 62 of 120 seats in Congress.

After this successful election the party experienced internal difficulties and in 1986 their representation dropped to 48 of 120 seats and they lost the presidential election. Four years later, in 1990, their situation worsened and they dropped to 33 seats.

By 1994 their fortunes were improving once more and the PRD, in coalition with the Democratic Unity (UD) won 57 of 120 seats in Congress and 15 seats in the Senate.

In 1998 their fortunes had improved further and they were victorious, taking 83 of 149 seats in the Congress and 24 seats in the 30 seat Senate. Two years later in the 2000 presidential election their candidate, Hipólito Mejía, went on to win the presidential election.

Despite failing to meet expectations, the party was the largest party in the 2002 general election with 73 of 150 seats in the Congress. But deep divisions emerged when the, by now unpopular, president announced that he would be standing for a second term. He lost the subsequent presidential election in 2004 and the party dropped to 60 seats in an enlarged 178 seat Congress in 2006 despite having formed a coalition of parties called the Grand National Alliance.

In 2010 the party stood alone once more and was defeated by the Dominican Liberation Party; they took 75 of 183 seats in the Congress and formed the official opposition.

The Dominican Revolutionary Party is a member of the Foro de São Paulo, a conference of left leaning parties. The PRD is also a member of Socialist International.

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