Poll: Former Dominican President Mejia to Win Primaries

Mar 03, 2011, 18:00 ET from Asisa Research Group

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, March 3, 2011 - According to the results of a nationwide poll conducted last week by regional pollster Asisa Research Group, former President Hipolito Mejia would win the Dominican Revolutionary Party's (PRD) primaries with at least 64% of the vote.

His contender, current president of the PRD, Miguel Vargas, would obtain 36% of the vote, if the primaries were held today.

According to the poll released this Thursday in Santo Domingo, the tendency has been increasingly favoring Mejia, who has gained 8% when compared to January's poll conducted by Asisa that was also published in the Caribbean country.

Miguel Vargas, who lost the 2008 Presidential elections against Leonel Fernandez, appears to have lost most of his support in all the regions of the country; including cities like Santiago where support for Mejia is reaching 90% of likely voters, and the rest of the northern region where the poll indicates Mejia would obtain 77% of the vote.

The poll also included questions about the situation of the ruling PLD (Dominican Liberation Party), where President Fernandez would obtain 75% of the internal preference in case he chose to run for a third term. His closest contender, Danilo Medina would obtain 13% against President Fernandez, if the PLD's primaries were held today.

Whether Fernandez will be able to run for a third term is yet to be determined, as the new constitution of the Dominican Republic doesn't allow reelection, but some experts say there are loopholes and that President Fernandez will be able to run for a third consecutive term.

The poll also indicates that if Fernandez was not to run for reelection, Danilo Medina would win the PLD's primaries with 49% of the vote, if they were held today.

If former President Mejia wins his party's primaries this Sunday, and Danilo Medina wins the PLD's primaries, then the likely scenario for the 2012 Presidential elections in the Dominican Republic will be exactly the way it was back in the year 2000, when Mejia (PRD) beat Medina (PLD) with 49.8% of the vote.

The PRD's primaries will be held on Sunday, March 6th across the Dominican Republic and between 600,000 and 800,000 Dominicans are expected to vote in these primaries. Presidential elections in the Dominican Republic are scheduled for May 16th of 2012.

The poll was conducted between February 25 - 28, and 900 "likely voters" for each of the major party's primaries were interviewed.

SOURCE Asisa Research Group