The New President-Elect Of Dominican Republic Is Lebanese

Lebanese-Dominican Businessman Wins Dominican Republic Presidency
Reuters/Ricardo Rojas

After recovering from coronavirus (COVID-19), Lebanese-Dominican Luis Abinader scored an unassailable win in the 2020 Dominican Republic presidential elections.

Luis Rodolfo Abinader Corona, a Dominican businessman, economist, and politician of Lebanese descent, garnered the absolute majority of votes (53%), effectively fending off the possibility of a runoff election.

With his yet-to-be-official win, Abinader, who is the candidate of the opposition Modern Revolutionary Party, has ended the 16-year reign of the Dominican Liberation Party.

The overwhelming results favoring the politician prompted the competing candidates to concede defeat.

The vote count shows that there is “an irreversible trend and that from now on we have a president-elect,” said Gonzalo Castillo, the candidate that came in second with 37% of the votes.

In turn, Luis Abinader said that he owed his victory to the Dominican people, declaring, “all Dominicans had won by voting for change.”

Nonetheless, he urged his rejoicing supporters to await the official announcement of his victory.

Notably, this is not Abinader’s first run for president. In 2016, he lost to Danilo Medina, the current outgoing president.

On a similar note, he was the vice-presidential candidate of the Dominican Revolutionary Party in the 2012 elections.

He was also pre-candidate for senator from the province of Santo Domingo in 2005; the same year in which he became the vice-president of the same party.

However, up until this point, the businessman had never held elected office.

In 2014, Abinader founded the Modern Revolutionary Party, which emerged after a division in the Dominican Revolutionary Party.

Despite the prevailing COVID-19 situation, the presidential elections saw a high voter turnout.

In the first half of June, Abinader, 52, revealed that he and his wife had caught the virus, and he had to suspend his public appearances for a few weeks. He later announced that he had recovered and tested negative.

As is the case in Lebanon, the outbreak has taken a heavy toll on the Dominican Republic’s tourism sector, which is considered vital for the republic’s economy.

Recovering from this will be one of the major challenges that Luis Abinader, who is no stranger to the sector, will have to face head-on as president.

Abinader is Executive Chairman of ABICOR Group, which has been involved in major tourism projects for years.

Additionally, he has been the president of the Association of Hotels of Sosúa and Cabarete, as well as a member of the National Association of Hotels and Restaurants.

He is also Vice-President of Cementos Santo Domingo, a cement manufacturing company owned by the Abinader family in the Dominican Republic.

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