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Opposition Candidate Wins Dominican Republic Presidential Vote

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — A businessman who has never held elected office has won the presidency of the Dominican Republic, according to results Monday, ending a 16-year run in power by a center-left party.

The president-elect, Luis Rodolfo Abinader, had won about 53 percent of Sunday’s vote with most of the polling places reporting, topping Gonzalo Castillo of the Dominican Liberation Party, which has governed since 2004.

Mr. Castillo acknowledged “an irreversible tendency” in favor of Mr. Abinader and congratulated him, as did the outgoing president, Daniel Medina, who had been barred by term limits from seeking a third four-year term.

The elections took place as the coronavirus pandemic was sweeping across the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean nation of 10.5 million people. Mr. Abinader spent most of the past month in isolation after having tested positive for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The vote itself had been postponed from May because of the disease.

The Health Ministry on Saturday reported the highest daily count of new confirmed Covid-19 cases, 1,241. The country has reported 794 deaths from the disease.

Voters were required to wear face masks. Only one voter at a time was allowed into polling places, though those outside often appeared to ignore social distancing recommendations.

Mr. Abinader, 52, is part of a family with extensive business holdings in the Dominican Republic, including hotels. While he has never held office, he finished second in the 2016 presidential election. Results of voting for 190 congressional seats and 32 in the Senate were not immediately clear.


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