The Dominican Republic maintains stability under President Luis Abinader. His party enjoys a safe majority in the Senate and a coalition-based majority in the lower chamber. Amidst an influx of Haitian migrants, Abinader adopted a stricter stance toward Haiti, endorsing the construction of a border wall to curb migration.

President Abinader inherited a thriving economy, but the COVID-19 pandemic halted tourism and manufacturing in free trade zones. Despite a 6% GDP decline in 2020, growth surged by 12% in 2021 and almost 6% in 2022, outpacing the region. Remittances increased nearly 50% in 2021. However, soaring food and energy costs strain the impoverished population’s ability to afford essentials.

Abinader’s most significant weakness is the perception that business elites have wielded undue influence over his administration, promoting private sector solutions to public problems. Nepotistic and patronage appointments persist. Still, the Dominican state has taken gradual steps to diminish traditional privileges. These measures include implementing a merit-based approach to hiring for public positions, and replacing non-competitive, no-bid contracting with a competitive process for government contracts.

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