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Dominican Republic: Democracy for a Better Life


The Inter-American Dialogue and Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC) co-hosted the second of eight national dialogues on democracy in Juan Dolio, Dominican Republic on October 5 to 7, 2007. The workshop, titled Dominican Republic: Democracy for a Better Life, brought together a group of 35 distinguished Dominicans which included representatives of the major political parties, members of Congress, academics, prominent members of the clergy, union leaders, private sector executives, and other members of civil society. The participants discussed the fundamental issues relating to democracy in the Dominican Republic.

The participants noted that poverty, lack of state authority, institutional weakness, and corruption were all obstacles to democratic consolidation in the Dominican Republic. Some participants also pointed to the lack of representativeness in the political party system, as well as the pervasiveness of clientelism and lack of transparency in politics. Despite these weaknesses, the participants commented that the rule of law has improved, as reflected in the strength of the judicial branch of government. The participants also mentioned the importance of strengthening the education system, especially infrastructure, management, and the quality of teaching.

In terms of improving poverty and inequality, the participants evaluated the impact of the Washington Consensus and the DR-CAFTA free trade agreement. One participant noted that the country has an economic dependence on tariffs, tourism, and remittances, and that the productive sector could be strengthened. Finally, the participants pointed to the increasing levels of citizen insecurity, with public perceptions of insecurity at an all time high.

Participants in the dialogue included Ramón Alburquerque, president of the Domincan Revolutionary Party (PRD); Miguel Ceara, national coordinator of UNDP; Licelott Marte de Barrios, former congresswoman for the Social Christian Reformist Party (PRSC); Rafael Toribio, director of the Center for Governance and Social Management at INTEC; Julio César Valentín, congressman for the Dominican Liberation Party and president of the Chamber of Deputies; and Elena Viyella, president of Inter-Quimica S.A.

Read report here.


Colombia: Dos décadas de la Constitución de 1991, Avances de la representación y retos de la gobernabilidad.
June 2010.

La República Dominicana: Una democracia para vivir mejor. May 2009.

Dominican Republic: Democracy for a Better Life. June 2009.


"Colombia: Two decades of the Constitution of 1991, Advances of representation and challenges of governance." Chinauta, Cundinamarca, Colombia. April 23-25, 2009.

"Chile: Twenty Years After the Plebiscite." Reñaca, Chile. June 26-28, 2008.

"Dominican Republic: Democracy for a Better Life." Juan Dolio, Dominican Republic. October 5-7, 2007.

"Guatemala: Ten Years After the Peace Accords." Antigua, Guatemala. March 22-24, 2007.


Ford Foundation

Smith Richardson Foundation
United Nations Democracy Fund


Marifeli Pérez-Stable
Non-Resident Senior Fellow

Landen Romei
Program Assistant