Dominican Republic - Political and electoral system

Political and administrative structure

Divided politically into 29 provinces and a national district (Constitution, Art.5).
Provinces are divided into municipalities, of which 117 exist nationwide. Municipalities are divided into smaller territorial units, such as municipal districts, rural sections and parajes (locales). The country currently consists of 70 municipal districts.
Municipalities and municipal districts include an urban section and rural areas, of which 715 exist nationwide.
Each rural section is made up of several parajes, of which 8,783 exist throughout the country. Parajes constitute the smallest territorial unit in the country's political and administrative structure.

National parliament

El Poder Legislativo se ejerce en nombre del pueblo por el Congreso Nacional, conformado por el Senado de la República y la Cámara de Diputados siendo cada uno de sus miembros elegidos por sufragio universal. El Senado de la República está compuesto por está integrado por 32 senadores y senadoras, elegidos por los habitantes de las 31 provincias y el Distrito Nacional que integran el país. La Cámara de Diputados está compuesta por 190 miembros.

Municipal government

Municipal government is comprised of two complementary organs. The municipal council, or board of councilpersons, is a normative and oversight body. The Sindicatura (representative function) is exercised by a Síndico, or district representative. Councilpersons are elected in a ratio of one to every five thousand or fraction above three thousand inhabitants. Each municipal government includes one Síndico. (Art.5, Municipal Organization Law No. 3455)

Duration of terms

Municipal authorities serve four-year terms.

Representation system

Proportional, using the D'Hondt allocation method.

Type of list

Open list.

Electoral constituency


Quota and parity laws

See Laws.

Legal instruments applicable to municipalities

Constitution of the Dominican Republic; Municipal Organization and Election Law No. 3455; Electoral Law No. 275-97 and amendments thereto.

Electoral Justice

According to the Constitution (Art. 92), the Central Election Board (JCE) is responsible for organizing and directing elections, ensuring the effective exercise of citizenship in the Dominican Republic. Another important function of the JCE is to manage and regulate civil status issues.
It is also responsible for penalizing non-compliance.