Written by 21:38 World

Dominican President Set to Win Re-Election as Voters Eye Crisis in Haiti

President Luis Abinader of the Dominican Republic was heading to a win in his re-election bid on Sunday as voters embraced his crackdown on migrants from neighboring Haiti, an anti-corruption drive and his stewardship of one of Latin America’s best-performing economies.

Mr. Abinader, a former executive in the tourism industry, took 59 percent of the vote against 27 percent for his closest rival, Leonel Fernández, a three-time former president, and 11 percent for Abel Martínez, a provincial mayor, with 21.5 percent of votes counted, according to the Dominican Republic’s national electoral authority.

Both Mr. Fernández and Mr. Martínez called Mr. Abinader on Sunday evening to concede and congratulate him, despite the lack of full official results, which were expected to be available in coming days. In a victory speech, Mr. Abinader thanked his rivals and those who voted for him.

“I accept the trust placed in me,” Mr. Abinader said. “I will not let you down.”

The election showcased how a political leader could turn migration fears to his advantage.

The Dominican Republic is deporting tens of thousands of Haitians this year — despite pleas from the United Nations to stop — as they flee gang-fueled lawlessness. Mr. Abinader is going even further, building a border wall between the two countries that share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.

“He has shown who wears the pants on this issue,” said Robert Luna, a voter in Santo Domingo who works in marketing, about Mr. Abinader’s hard-line migration policies. “He’s fighting for what the fathers of the nation wanted.”


Last modified: 21 May 2024