Lawmaker Becomes President of Dominican Republic

June 12, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. opponent (n.) 
[uh-poh-nuhnt] – a competitor in a contest, battle or election
Example: It was a close fight between the defending champion and his opponent, but the champion still won.

2. tally (n.) [tal-ee] – a record of scores or count of something
Example: The tally of votes was rechecked by the election officials.

3. concede (v.) [kuhn-seed] – to acknowledge or accept defeat or loss
Example: The challenger immediately conceded after the results of the competition were announced.

4. agriculture (n.) [ag-ri-kuhl-cher] – farming; the science and art of planting and producing crops and raising farm animals
ExampleAgriculture is important in that country because its economy depends on the export of crops.

5. deploy (v.) [dih-ploi– to place troops in battle or fighting position
Example: Guards were deployed around the city to ensure the safety of the visiting president.

Read the text below.

Danilo Medina, a lawmaker, was recently declared as the new president of the Dominican Republic. 

Medina earned 51% of the votes, while former president Hipolito Mejia, his closest opponent, only got 47% during the initial tally of votes. Since Medina reached more than half of the votes, a second round of counting was considered not needed.

Mejia did not immediately concede defeat but finally accepted it two days after the election.

As the new president, Medina said he will focus on solving problems in drug trafficking, education and poverty. He said that he wants to build a society where people have stable jobs and enough money to buy what they want.

This year’s election is the second time that the two candidates competed for the same position. The first match happened when Mejia defeated Medina during the 2000 presidential elections. After Mejia’s term ended in 2004, Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Liberation Party held the position until 2012.

In terms of experience, both Mejia and Medina had served the country before they became presidents. Mejia, 71, was a former minister of Agriculture and had become involved in politics at an early age. On the other hand, Medina, 61, served as a lawmaker for four-year terms in 1986, 1990 and 1994.

The only difference between the two for this year’s election was that Mejia had already been president once.

Supporters of both candidates also showed strong passion during the election period. Campaigns reached New York city, where many Dominicans are living.

Sixty thousand police and troops were deployed for security and around 200 foreign electoral observers were also in the country during the election.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         What characteristics do you hope to see in a government leader or official?
·         Do you think being part of the government for a very long time makes someone a better leader or official? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What do you think about the campaigns of candidates in your country during election time?
·         What do you think will happen if the candidates do not campaign for themselves?


June 12, 2012