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Dominican Republic: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: Dominican Republic
conventional short form: The Dominican
local long form: Republica Dominicana
local short form: La Dominicana
CapitalSanto Domingo Santo Domingo
geographic coordinates: 18 28 N, 69 54 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions10 regions (regiones, singular - region);Cibao Nordeste, Cibao Noroeste, Cibao Norte, Cibao Sur, El Valle, Enriquillo, Higuamo, Ozama, Valdesia, Yuma
Constitutionmany previous (38 total); latest proclaimed 26 January 2010; note - the Dominican Republic Government has a practice of promulgating a "new" constitution whenever an amendment is ratified (2013)
Executive branchchief of state: President Danilo MEDINA Sanchez (since 16 August 2012); Vice President Margarita CEDENO DE FERNANDEZ (since 16 August 2012); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Danilo MEDINA Sanchez (since 16 August 2012); Vice President Margarita CEDENO DE FERNANDEZ (since 16 August 2012)
cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the president
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms; election last held on 20 May 2012 (next to be held in 2016)
election results: Danilo MEDINA Sanchez elected president; percent of vote - Danilo MEDINA Sanchez 51.2%, Hipolito MEJIA 47%, other 1.8%; Margarita CEDENO DE FERNANDEZ elected vice president
Flag descriptiona centered white cross that extends to the edges divides the flag into four rectangles - the top ones are blue (hoist side) and red, and the bottom ones are red (hoist side) and blue; a small coat of arms featuring a shield supported by a laurel branch (left) and a palm branch (right) is at the center of the cross; above the shield a blue ribbon displays the motto, DIOS, PATRIA, LIBERTAD (God, Fatherland, Liberty), and below the shield, REPUBLICA DOMINICANA appears on a red ribbon; in the shield a bible is opened to a verse that reads "Y la verdad nos hara libre" (And the truth shall set you free); blue stands for liberty, white for salvation, and red for the blood of heroes
Independence27 February 1844 (from Haiti)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice or Suprema Corte de Justicia (consists of a minimum of 16 magistrates); Constitutional Court or Tribunal Constitucional (consists of 13 judges)
note - the Constitutional Court was established in 2010 by constitutional amendment
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court and Constitutional Court judges appointed by the National Council of the Judiciary comprised of the president, the leaders of both chambers of congress, the president of the Supreme Court, and a non-governing party congressional representative; Supreme Court judges appointed for 7- year terms; Constitutional Court judges appointed for 9-year terms
subordinate courts: courts of appeal; courts of first instance; justices of the peace; special courts for juvenile, labor, and land cases; Contentious Administrative Court for cases filed against the government
Legal systemcivil law system based on the French civil code; Criminal Procedures Code modified in 2004 to include important elements of an accusatory system
Legislative branchbicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Senate or Senado (32 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Camara de Diputados (183 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 16 May 2010 (next to be held in May 2016); House of Representatives - last held on 16 May 2010 (next to be held in May 2016); in order to synchronize presidential, legislative, and local elections for 2016, those members elected in 2010 will actually serve six-year terms
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLD 31, PRSC 1; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLD 105, PRD 75, PRSC 3
International organization participationACP, AOSIS, BCIE, Caricom (observer), CD, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINUSMA, NAM, OAS, OIF (observer), OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, Petrocaribe, SICA (associated member), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National holidayIndependence Day, 27 February (1844)
Political pressure groups and leadersCitizen Participation Group (Participacion Ciudadania)
Collective of Popular Organizations or COP
Foundation for Institution-Building and Justice or FINJUS
Political parties and leadersDominican Liberation Party or PLD (Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna)
Dominican Revolutionary Party or PRD (Miguel VARGAS Maldonado)
National Progressive Front (Vinicio CASTILLO, Pelegrin CASTILLO)
Social Christian Reformist Party or PRSC (Carlos MORALES Troncoso)
Suffrage18 years of age, universal and compulsory; married persons regardless of age can vote; note - members of the armed forces and national police by law cannot vote
Government typedemocratic republic
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Anibal de Jesus de CASTRO Rodriguez (since 5 July 2011)
chancery: 1715 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: (1) (202) 332-6280
FAX: (1) (202) 265-8057
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Glendale (CA), Mayaguez (Puerto Rico), Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
National anthemname: "Himno Nacional" (National Anthem)
lyrics/music: Emilio PRUD"HOMME/Jose REYES
note: adopted 1934; also known as "Quisqueyanos valientes" (Valient Sons of Quisqueye); the anthem never refers to the people as Dominican but rather calls them "Quisqueyanos," a reference to the indigenous name of the island
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)palmchat (bird)
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador James BREWSTER
embassy: corner of Calle Cesar Nicolas Penson and Calle Leopoldo Navarro, Santo Domingo
mailing address: Unit 5500, APO AA 34041-5500
telephone: (1) (809) 221-2171
FAX: (1) (809) 686-7437