Jacobo Majluta Azar
|Jacobo Majluta Azar|
|48th President of the Dominican Republic|
July 4, 1982 – August 16, 1982
|Preceded by||Antonio Guzmán|
|Succeeded by||Salvador Jorge Blanco|
|32nd Vice President of the Dominican Republic|
August 16, 1978 – July 4, 1982
|Preceded by||Carlos R. Goico|
|Born||October 9, 1934
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic Dominican Republic
|Died||March 2, 1996 (aged 61)
Tampa, United States United States
|Nationality||Dominican Republic, Lebanon|
|Spouse(s)||Ana Elisa Villanueva|
|Residence||Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic|
|Alma mater||Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo|
|Religion||Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch|
Jacobo Majluta Azar (October 9, 1934 - March 2, 1996) was one of the generations of politicians in the Dominican Republic whose ambition was continually thwarted by the country's labyrinthine power struggles and explosive sectarianism. He was elected Vice-President in 1978 and served as President for 42 days in 1982, replacing the disgraced Antonio Guzman who had committed suicide, but he never again held the highest office which he so openly craved. Born in 1934 into a merchant family of Lebanese origin, Majluta studied finance at the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo before working as an accountant in the banking and state sectors.
He joined the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) in 1961, in the wake of the Dictator Leonidas Trujillo's assassination, and rose quickly, becoming the youngest minister in Juan Bosch's short-lived government of 1963. When it was overthrown by a military coup later that year, Majluta went into exile, returning to rebuild his political career and winning the PRD's vice-presidential nomination for the 1978 elections.
In power, Majluta was out of sympathy with the PRD's more radical social- democratic wing. As head of CORDE, one of the large state-sector companies, he was also allegedly involved in corruption, although charges were never proven. His real concern, however, was to beat off the challenge of rival caudillos or strongmen within the PRD, and this struggle dominated the rest of his career.
After Guzmán's suicide, Majluta hoped to win the PRD's presidential nomination, but lost out to Salvador Jorge Blanco. When Blanco won the 1982 elections, Majluta became president of the senate, using his position to side with the opposition and block his rival's policy program. As Blanco's administration gradually slid into bankruptcy and scandal, Majluta again aimed for the PRD's nomination. This time, however, he faced the formidable José Francisco Peña Gómez, and open war broke out between the two men's factions. After several rival supporters were killed in shoot- outs, Majluta finally grabbed the nomination for 1986. Despite his considerable political skills, Majluta was no match in the elections that year for Joaquín Balaguer, the grand old man of Dominican politics. Balaguer defeated Majluta by a narrow margin to return to the presidency at the age of 80. The brutal in-fighting which had won Majluta the PRD ticket had also alienated a large section of the party, and many of the PRD faithful voted against their own candidate.
Majluta did not enhance his standing by claiming victory as soon as voting ended and by demanding a rerun of the election. In the end a series of meetings with emissaries from the military and Church - the country's real power-brokers - forced him to accept defeat. In 1987 Majluta was expelled from the PRD as Peña Gómez reasserted his influence, but an electoral court ruled the move illegal. In 1989 he left to form his own Independent Revolutionary Party (PRI), an organization geared specifically towards his own electoral aspirations. The PRI never gained genuine popular support, but the 7 per cent it won in the 1990 election was enough to undermine Peña Gómez's chances.
Ironically, in the weeks before his death, Majluta had sought a rapprochement with his old rival and had even endorsed Peña Gómez's candidature for the forthcoming May elections. It was an uncharacteristic gesture on the part of a hard-nosed, cynical fighter who always valued personal power far higher than party democracy.
Carlos R. Goico
|Vice President of the Dominican Republic
16 August 1978 – 4 July 1982
|President of the Dominican Republic
4 July 1982-16 August 1982
Salvador Jorge Blanco
|Member of the Senate for Santo Domingo
Jacinto Peynado Garrigosa