The Dominican Ost ruling party was hit by a kickback scandal

Dominican Republic voters exclude the party that has dominated the country for more than two decades as Congress continues to vote in Latin America.

Leader of the Opposition Louis Abinadar will be sworn in as president of the Caribbean's largest economy next month after winning the first month and escaping the runoff.

With 67% of polling stations reporting, Abinadar of the Modern Revolutionary Party won 53% of the ballots with the Dominican Liberation Party, compared to 37% of the ballots for the ruling party candidate Gonzalo Castillo. Castillo greeted Abhinandar in a speech delivered by local TV station CDN37.

As the economic outlook of Latin America worsens, parties have been voted consecutively in the past year, from Argentina to Uruguay to Suriname. In the Dominican Republic, a series of graft scandals have also brought voters against the government.

A 52-year-old economist, Abinader has opted to work with trade-friendly policies that have helped the Dominican Republic become one of America's fastest-growing economies, while Kovid-19 has not destroyed tourism. According to economists surveyed by Bloomberg, the country has experienced a severe recession in three decades this year.

"We will get back the jobs for all those who want to work and maintain confidence in our democratic institutions," Abinadar told supporters after the vote.

Ebinadar, a cement company executive and tourism developer, says international funds will be sought to stabilize the Dominican peso and to manage the bailout from the epidemic. He will be sworn in on August 16 with a four-year term.

Three-time PLD president Lionel Fernandez, who split with the party last year, finished third with 9% of the vote. The PLD has led the country for the past 24 years under the aegis of Fernandez and now under the leadership of President Danilo Medina.

The Dominican Republic is the regional hub for coronavirus outbreaks and reported 1,241 new cases on Sunday, a record for the country of 11 million. Health officials are warning that there will be an increase in cases due to Sunday's election rush.

During the election, following an altercation between rival party members, an opposition supporter was shot dead near a polling station in the capital Santo Domingo and two others were injured.

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