Dominican Liberation Party

The Dominican Liberation Party (Spanish: Partido de la Liberación Dominicana, referred to here by its Spanish acronym, the PLD) is a political party in the Dominican Republic. Founded in 1973 by former president Juan Bosch, the party, along with the Dominican Revolutionary Party (referred to here by its Spanish acronym, the PRD), has dominated politics in the country since the establishment of democracy in the late 1960s. The PLD have won several elections since the late 1990s and had held control over much of the government until 2020, when the Modern Revolutionary Party (referred to here by its Spanish acronym, the PRM) won several governmental seats as well as the Presidency with the election of Luis Abinader as President. The PLD party's logo is a yellow five-pointed star on a purple background.

Dominican Liberation Party

Partido de la Liberación Dominicana
LeaderDanilo Medina
PresidentTemístocles Montás (Interim)
General SecretaryReinaldo Pared Pérez
FounderJuan Bosch
Founded15 December 1973; 47 years ago (1973-12-15)
Split fromDominican Revolutionary Party
HeadquartersIndependence Avenue 401, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
NewspaperVanguardia del Pueblo
IdeologySocial democracy
Third Way
Political positionCentre to centre-left[1]
Regional affiliationCenter-Democratic Integration Group
Continental affiliationCOPPPAL
Foro de São Paulo
Colors   Violet and Yellow
"Himno del Partido de la Liberacion Dominicana"
"Hymn of Dominican Liberation Party"
Chamber of Deputies[2]
73 / 190
3 / 32
65 / 155
Central American Parliament[3]
8 / 20
Juan Bosch, first president of the Dominican Liberation Party (1973–2001)
Leonel Fernández, second president of the Dominican Liberation Party (2001–2019)


The PLD has been a major player in the Dominican political landscape for many years. Since its founding in 1973, it has won 5 of the last 7 presidential elections. Two presidents have been from the PLD: Leonel Fernandez (1996-2000; 2004-2012) and Danilo Medina (2012-2020). Only Hipolito Mejia of the PRD interrupted the PLD party’s long line of electoral successes between 2000 and 2004.[4] The PRD served as a forerunner to the PLD since it was founded by the same man, Juan Bosch. However, when Bosch disliked the direction in which the PRD was going in the early ‘70s, he left the party and founded the PLD in 1973.[5]

Founder and HistoryEdit

Juan Emilio Bosch Gaviño was a politician and historian who founded the modern-day PLD. Bosch first involved himself in politics in the late 1920s, when he predicted the ascendency of the military leader, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. Trujillo took power in 1930 and began shutting down the opposition, including Bosch.[6] In 1934, Bosch was arrested under suspicion of being part of a conspiracy to overthrow the government. Proven innocent, he was released from custody and a few years later left the Dominican Republic to go to Puerto Rico with his wife for “medical reasons.” In reality, he had exiled himself since he did not want to be a part of Trujillo’s increasingly oppressive government.[6]

Bosch returned after Trujillo was assassinated in the early 1960s, and became the nation’s first democratically elected President in 1963 with the support of John F. Kennedy.[7] He took a position against corruption and worked to better the country’s position post-dictatorship. However, he was overthrown by the military after just a few months in office.[5] Political scientist Matias Bosch stated, however, that the United States would often withdraw their support of Latin American democracies if they felt it might threaten their interests, especially in light of the recently-revolutionized Cuba.[7]

Bosch was exiled again and a civil war ensued soon thereafter, in an attempt to put Bosch in power again. This warranted intervention by the US government and a new democracy was established. This time, one of Trujillo’s original supporters, Joaquin Balaguer, won the presidency.[8]

Bosch rejoined the PRD, but in the early 1970s, left the party because he felt that the PRD was only working for small and wealthy interest groups and not for the people. Bosch founded the PLD in 1973 and ran for president in several elections between 1978 and 1994 until finally retiring from political life in 1996, at the age of 87, when he conceded to a person whom some call his “disciple,” Leonel Fernandez, who ran as his vice president in the 1994 election.[5]

The Odebrecht Bribery ScandalEdit

The Odebrecht Bribery Scandal was a scandal in which the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht paid millions of dollars in bribes to various governments in Africa and Latin America—including the Dominican Republic—for special construction contracts, occurring between 2001 and 2014.[9] It spanned three Dominican presidents—Mejia, Fernandez, and Medina—the latter two of which were PLD. It was revealed that the company had paid more than 90 million dollars to the Dominican government and had been involved in construction projects that included aqueducts, hydroelectric plants, and roads and highways.[5] This scandal that swept the whole of Latin America led to a lot of discontent and distrust among the citizens of the Dominican Republic towards the government.[10] In fact, a new movement emerged called the Green March (Spanish: Marcha Verde) in protest of the scandal, which in fact was explicitly mentioned in their manifesto.[11]

2020 ElectionsEdit

The Dominican elections that occurred on July 5, 2020 represent the first time in 16 years that the PLD lost the presidency.[4] The elections were postponed from May to July due to the coronavirus pandemic.[12] More than 4 million people came out to vote, within the country and abroad. The candidate for the PLD was Gonazalo Castillo and for the PRM, Luis Abinader, who had run in 2016 against the PLD incumbent Danilo Medina. When the results came in, it was announced that Abinader had won the presidency with 54% of the vote compared to Castillo’s 37%.[4] The PLD also lost several Senate and Parliamentary seats, effectively losing much of the hold they had had in the government years.[13] In an Op-Ed article, the former PLD President Leonel Fernandez wrote that the results of the elections reflected a conjunction of several factors including the Odebrecht scandal and the recent protests in the country against the government of Medina and the PLD.[14]

Brief overview of election statisticsEdit

The party has been elected into office five times now, with its last president Danilo Medina President of the Dominican Republic, in the 1996, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 elections, though losing in 2000. In May 2006 the party and its allies gained control of both houses of Congress.[citation needed]

At the legislative elections, 16 May 2002, the party won 29.1% of the popular vote and 41 out of 150 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 2 out of 31 seats in the Senate. Its candidate at the presidential election of 16 May 2004, Leonel Fernández, won 57.1% of the vote.[citation needed]

Founded by Juan Bosch in 1973, the PLD originally was considerably to the left of Bosch's original party, the Dominican Revolutionary Party. Bosch ran for president as the party’s candidate several times, but did not win. Following Bosch’s retirement, Fernandez became the leader of the party and won the 1996 presidential elections after forming an alliance with Dr. Joaquín Balaguer, Bosch’s political enemy for over 30 years. He did not run for another term in 2000, but returned to the presidency in 2004. The party's logo is a yellow five-pointed star on a purple background.[citation needed]

In the 16 May 2006 legislative elections, the party led the Progressive Bloc, that won 96 out of 178 deputies and 22 out of 32 senators.[citation needed]

On May 16, 2008, presidential elections were carried and PLD candidate Leonel Fernández won 54%, defeating 7 other presidential candidates.[citation needed]

On May 16, 2010, congressional and municipal elections held, the Dominican Liberation Party won a majority of Senators (31 of 32) and Representatives, as well the largest number of mayors around the country.[citation needed]

On May 20, 2012 the PLD won its third straight Presidential elections with its candidate Danilo Medina, with 51.2% of the vote, against former President Hipólito Mejía, from the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) who obtained 46.9% on these elections.[citation needed]

By 2016, the PLD has retained the Presidency of the Dominican Republic for 16 out of the previous 20 years, and has become the only party in the Dominican Republic to have attained this achievement in the country's democratic history after the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo which lasted between 1930 until 1961.[citation needed]

On July 5, 2020, the party's 16-year rule in the Dominican Republic officially ended after losing to the rival Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM).[15]

Full members of the Political CommitteeEdit

Member[citation needed] Admission Age (as 02/13)
Euclides Gutiérrez Féliz 1973 76
José Joaquín Bidó Medina 1973 80
Felucho Jiménez 1978 63
Lidio Cadet 1982 80
Danilo Medina 1990 61
Leonel Fernández 1990 59
Juan Temístocles Montás 1990 62
Alejandrina Germán 1995 63
Eduardo Selman 1995 71
Jaime David Fernández Mirabal 1996 56
Reinaldo Pared Pérez 2000 56
Bautista Rojas Gómez 2001 61
Cristina Lizardo 2001 54
Francisco Javier García 2001 53
Franklin Almeyda 2001 70
José Tomás Pérez 2001 57
José Ramón Fadul 2001 60
Ramón Ventura Camejo 2001 59
Radhamés Segura 2001 63
Rafael Alburquerque 2004 72
Carlos Amarante Baret 2006 52
Alma Fernández 2006 62
Julio César Valentín 2006 46
Radhamés Camacho 2006 54

Temporary members of the Political CommitteeEdit

Member[citation needed] Admission Reason Age
Abel Martínez 2010 Elected President of Chambers of Deputies 40
Margarita Cedeño 2012 Elected Vice-President of the Republic 47

Electoral historyEdit

Presidential electionsEdit

Election Party candidate Votes % Votes % Result
First Round Second Round
1978 Juan Bosch 18,375 1.1% - - Lost  N
1982 179,849 9.8% - - Lost  N
1986 378,881 18.4% - - Lost  N
1990 653,595 33.79% - - Lost  N
1994 395,653 13.1% - - Lost  N
1996 Leonel Fernández 1,130,523 38.9% 1,466,382 51.3% Elected  Y
2000 Danilo Medina 796,923 24.94% - - Lost  N
2004 Leonel Fernández 2,063,871 57.1% - - Elected  Y
2008 2,199,734 53.83% - - Elected  Y
2012 Danilo Medina 2,323,463 51.21% - - Elected  Y
2016 2,847,438 61.74% - - Elected  Y
2020 Gonzalo Castillo 1,536,989 37.46% - - Lost  N

Congressional electionsEdit

Election Votes % Chamber seats +/– Position Senate seats +/– Position
1978 18,565 1.1%
0 / 91
0 / 27
1982 174,464 9.7%
7 / 120
  7   3rd
0 / 27
1986 387,881 18.4%
16 / 120
  9   3rd
2 / 30
  2   3rd
1990 625,929 32.7%

in alliance with UD

44 / 120
  28   2nd
12 / 30
  10   2nd
1994 467,617 15.8%
13 / 120
  31   3rd
1 / 30
  11   3rd
1998 654,713 31.3%
49 / 149
  36   2nd
4 / 30
  3   2nd
2002 657,658 28.8%

in alliance with BIS and APD

41 / 150
  8   2nd
1 / 30
  3   3rd
2006 1,387,878 46.4%

as part of the Progressive Bloc

96 / 178
  55   1st
22 / 32
  21   1st
2010 1,380,601 41.71%
93 / 183
  3   1st
28 / 32
  6   1st
2016 1,794,325 41.79%
106 / 190
  13   1st
26 / 32
  2   1st
75 / 190
  31   2nd
6 / 32
  20   2nd


  1. ^ "La factibilidad política de las reformas del sector social en América Latina" (PDF). CEPAL, United Nations. p. 49.
  2. ^ "Busque sus Diputados". Cámara de Diputados de la República Dominicana. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  3. ^ a b c [1]
  4. ^ a b c "IFES Election Guide Dominican Republic". IFES Election Guide. 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d Zapete, Marino (2019). La Crónica Irreverente. Santo Domingo: Editora Búho.
  6. ^ a b Peña, Beatriz Carolina (June 2004). "La Persecución Como Contradiscurso Al Ordenya La Paz Trujilustas En Los Cuentos Escritos En El Exilio, De Juan Bosch". Atenea. 24: 119–132 – via EBSCOhost.
  7. ^ a b Bosch, Matias (Spring 2006). "Juan Bosch: The Construction of Dominican Democracy". Journal of Third World Studies. 23 (1): 17–21 – via EBSCOhost.
  8. ^ Hall, Michael R. (Spring 2006). "The Transition from Dictatorship to Democracy in the Dominican Republic". Journal of Third World Studies. 23 (1): 13–16 – via EBSCOhost.
  9. ^ United States Department of Justice (December 21, 2016). "Odebrecht and Braskem Plead Guilty and Agree to Pay at Least $3.5 Billion in Global Penalties to Resolve Largest Foreign Bribery Case in History".
  10. ^ Grynspan, Rebecca; et al. (2019). Las Sendas Abiertas En América Latina: Aprendizajes y Desafíos Para Una Nueva Agenda De Transformaciones. Argentina: CLASCO. pp. 51–62.
  11. ^ Marcha Verde. "Manifiesto". Marcha Verde Para El Fin de la Impunidad.
  12. ^ Flores, Javier (April 14, 2020). "Primera Vez En Medio Siglo Aplazan Las Presidenciales". Listín Diario.
  13. ^ Junta Central Electoral (2020). "Relación General Definitiva Computo Electoral Elecciones 5 de Julio 2020".
  14. ^ Fernández, Leonel (September 28, 2020). "El PLD: Causas De Una Derrota". Listín Diario.
  15. ^

External linksEdit