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Danilo Medina Sánchez (born 10 November 1951) is a dominican politician and the current President of the Dominican Republic, since August 16, 2012.
With broad political career, Medina is a member of the Dominican Liberation Party, the political party who run the government since 2004. He won the May 2012 dominican presidential election, defeating Hipolito Mejía with 51% of the votes.
Medina was born in Arroyo Cano, San Juan Province, in the southwest of the Dominican Republic. He is the oldest of eight brothers born of Juan Pablo Medina and Amelia Sánchez. Since he was 18 years old he was a student leader, founding the San Juan de la Maguana branch of the Frente Revolucionario Estudiantil Nacionalista at the UASD. When Professor Juan Bosch founded the Partido de la Liberación Dominicana in 1973, Medina joined him. He studied economics at Instituto Tecnológico Santo Domingo (INTEC), and graduated magna cum laude in 1984. He has been a member of the Central Committee of the PLD since 1983. In 1986 election he was elected a deputy in Congress. In 1987, he married psychologist Cándida Montilla and has three daughters, Sibeli, Vanessa and Ana Paula.
Career during the 1990s and 2000s
In 1990, Medina was elected member of the Political Committee of the Dominican Liberation Party together with Leonel Fernández and Juan Temístocles Montás. He was selected by his political organization to be the President of the Chamber of Deputies in the Dominican Republic.
He was President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Dominican Republic from 1994 to 1995 and subsequently served as Secretary of State of the Presidency from 1996 to 1999 and again from 2004 to 2006.
As president of the Chamber of Deputies in the National Congress (1990–94), he was a key figure in congressional negotiations that led to the resolving of the 1994 political impasse. In that year, a close finish between Joaquín Balaguer and José Francisco Peña Gómez brought about a major conflict, as one side accused the other of fraud. The conflict was resolved with a pact that instituted separate presidential and congressional elections, the need for a candidate to receive 50%+1 of the vote to win in a first round, and prohibited presidential re-election. The agreement eventually worked in favor of the PLD, which won the presidential in the 1996 election, with Leonel Fernández defeating José Francisco Peña Gómez in a second round.
Danilo Medina is considered the PLD leading political strategist and negotiator. As such, he was one of the brains behind the presidential campaign of President Fernández. He was appointed Secretary of the Presidency in 1996 and was one of the President's closest aides. In 2000, as President Leonel Fernández could not run due to a Constitutional ban on reelection, Medina was the presidential candidate of the PLD. He finished a distant second behind opposition candidate Hipólito Mejía of the Dominican Revolutionary Party, taking only 24.9 percent of the vote to Mejía's 49.87 percent. However, Medina concluded he had no chance of overcoming Mejía's first-round lead, especially after third-pace finisher Joaquín Balaguer hinted some of his supporters would vote for the PRD in the runoff. Accordingly, Medina pulled out of the runoff, handing the presidency to Mejía. In his concession speech, Medina said that a runoff would not be in the country's best interest.
As President Fernández acceded to a second term in 2004, Danilo Medina was once again appointed Secretary of the Presidency (Equivalent to Chief of Staff) and considered second in command on internal corridors of Government. As a new election approached in 2008, Danilo Medina was considered the main competition for President Fernández, as he was considered by some to have complete political control of the ruling party, the PLD. He resigned from the post on 8 November 2006 in order to launch his bid for the PLD presidential nomination against President Fernández.
After running a campaign under the slogans "Ahora Es" and "Lo Mejor Para Todos"("Now Is the Time" and "The Best for Everybody") Danilo Medina was eventually defeated by President Leonel Fernández in the 6 May 2007 PLD internal election to choose the party's candidate for the 2008 presidential election. Since its foundation the PLD had maintained an implicit non re-election policy, but President Fernández changed that allowing him to campaign against Medina from the Presidential Palace and opt for a second consecutive term in power (his third).
In the internal PLD vote Danilo Medina obtained 28.45% of the votes against President Fernández' 71.55%. Minor irregularities were confirmed during the election process. In the evening of 6 May 2007, Danilo Medina made a brief public appearance saying he had been "beaten by the state" (in reference to the fact that government resources had been used to suppress his candidacy and to promote that of Fernández).
Subsequently Danilo Medina and his supporters maintained a low profile. During this period he was considered the most likely contender for the PLD candidacy in the 2012 Dominican Presidential Elections.
President of the Dominican Republic
Danilo Medina ran for and was elected President of the Dominican Republic in the 2012 Dominican Presidential Elections, that ended on the morning of 21 May, with 51.24% of the votes.
- Gonzalez, David (2000-05-19). "Dominican Wins Presidency As Opponent Shuns Runoff". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2000/05/19/world/dominican-wins-presidency-as-opponent-shuns-runoff.html. Retrieved 2010-05-15.
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- "Gallup otorga a Danilo 62.1%, a Hipólito un 52.6% y a Amable un 51.8%". Listin.com.do. http://www.listin.com.do/la-republica/2011/2/23/178579/Gallup-otorga-a-Danilo-621-a-Hipolito-un-526-y-a-Amable-un-518.
- Santo Domingo (21 May 2012). "Décimo Boletín de la JCE: PLD 51.24% y PRD 46.93%". Listin.com.do. http://www.listin.com.do/la-republica/2012/5/21/233283/Decimo-Boletin-de-la-JCE-PLD-5124-y-PRD-4693.