Medina declared victor of Dominican Republic vote
Posted Tuesday, May 22 2012 at 19:27
Ruling party candidate Danilo Medina on Tuesday was officially declared the winner of a presidential election held over the weekend in the Dominican Republican, defeating former president Hipolito Mejia.
With all election precincts reporting, Medina, 60, garnered 51.21 percent of Sunday's vote, against 46.95 percent for Mejia, election authorities said.
Medina, who will take the oath of office on August 16, represents the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) of outgoing President Leonel Fernandez, who has served three terms in office.
His running mate in the race was Fernandez's wife Margarita Cedeno, which means that this Caribbean island's first lady in several weeks' time will become its vice president.
Claiming victory on Monday, Medina offered his "thanks to the Dominican people" and vowed to be a leader for all the people.
The last time he faced off against Mejia in a presidential election, back in 2000, he was defeated.
But this time residents of the Republic -- which shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with Haiti -- were swayed by his promises to raise the standard of living, improve the plight of farmers and work for free trade deal with neighboring Haiti, among other campaign themes.
Mejia, 71, was president from 2000 to 2004 in the country of 10 million inhabitants, which shares the mountainous island of Hispaniola with Haiti.
An Organization of American States monitoring team praised the vote, issuing a statement Monday saying it showed the Dominican Republic's "maturity" as a democracy.