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Candidates Fight for "Change" Vote in Dominican Election

May 19, 2012

Voters in the Dominican Republic's presidential election on Sunday will choose between two candidates vying to be seen as agents of change, even though one represents the ruling party and the other is a former president.

Making the choice even harder, both candidates represent center-left political parties in a race devoid of major ideological differences and lacking a conservative option.

Polls show Danilo Medina, 60, of the ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), leading by a comfortable margin of 5 to 10 percentage points over Hipolito Mejia, 70, who is hoping to return to power for the opposition Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) eight years after a failed re-election bid.

"There isn't a young, fresh, new voice," said Eric Farnsworth, a Latin America expert at the Council of the Americas in New York. "So what you have is both candidates trying to position themselves as the one who is most competent and trustworthy to run the government."

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