Dominican Republic - Rise to power



In the first round of presidential elections of 16 May 2000, Hipólito Mejía of the PRD won 49.8% of the vote, beating both 92-year-old blind Joaquin Balaguer of the PRSC (who served as president for six terms and who had run in every election since the early 1960s); and Danilo Medina Sanchez, handpicked successor of former president Leonel Fernandez of the PLD. There was a large turnout; Medina came in second, and because Mejía did not win 50% of the vote, a runoff election was called. In the Dominican Republic, women vote in the morning and men vote in the afternoon, a result of a 1996 voting reform measure intended to make voting more orderly and to reduce voter fraud. Two electionrelated deaths occurred, but otherwise the elections were seen to be free and fair. Hipólito Mejía won the run-off election on 30 June. He became president on 16 August 2000.

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