Dominican Republic 2014
Dominican Republic. According to Countryaah.com, Dominican Republic population in 2020 is estimated at 10,847,921. President Danilo Medina’s popularity reached record highs during the year after the half-term. In an opinion poll, he was supported by 90% of the respondents. The main reason for this was that he had made a strong effort to keep his election promises and the viable economy. Growth was 4.1% in 2013 and was expected to continue at the same, if not higher rate during 2014.
Tourism and agricultural exports have boosted foreign investment and employment and created the conditions for investment in health care and education. Illiteracy was predicted to be eradicated at the end of the year and poverty decreased from 42% to 36% in one and a half years. Not unexpectedly, therefore, the presidential party PLD (the Dominican Liberation Party) pushed intensely the issue of a constitutional change that would allow Medina to be re-elected, even if the president himself has not yet supported the idea.
However, the opposition pointed out three areas that were still problematic: the electricity grid, corruption and crime. When it came to health care, Medina was also forced to dismiss her health minister Freddy Hidalgo in October after it was revealed that eleven children had died within three days. A preliminary investigation later showed that the deaths were due to staff neglect. At the same time, the media drew attention to the increasingly poor situation in the healthcare system in general.
Another area where nothing new occurred during the year was relations with neighboring Haiti. The Government of the Dominican Republic is under investigation by the Inter-American Human Rights Court (Corte-IDH) and the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IACHR) for ill-treatment and illegal deportation of Haitian refugees. The government, in turn, responded to the criticism, claiming that Corte-IDH demanded measures that were impossible to implement and that the Dominican Republic as a member state would request exit from the court.