Social Christian Reformist Party
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2014)|
|Social Christian Reformist Party
Partido Reformista Social Cristiano
|President||Federico Antún Batlle|
|Founded||June 21, 1963|
|Political position||Centre-right to Right-wing|
|International affiliation||International Democrat Union,
Centrist Democrat International
|Colours||Red, green, white|
|Chamber of Deputies||
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|Politics of the Dominican Republic
The Social Christian Reformist Party (Spanish: Partido Reformista Social Cristiano, PRSC) is a Christian democratic right-wing political party in the Dominican Republic formed by the union of the Partido Reformista (established in 1963 by Joaquín Balaguer who was, at the time, exiled in New York City) and the Partido Revolucionario Social Cristiano. Some of the PRSC's founders and leaders were originally business leaders and Roman Catholics who opposed the communist, democratic socialist and social democratic tendencies of Juan Bosch and José Francisco Peña Gómez, of the PRD and PLD. However, as is the case with most party politics in the Dominican Republic, the party remains pragmatically populist.
Founders of the original PRSC (former Partido Revolucionario Social Cristiano) were anti-trujillistas, among others: Alfonso Moreno Martinez, Mario Read Vittini, Yuyo D'Alessandro, Caonabo Javier Castillo, all of them returning to the Dominican Rep. from political exile. Years later this political party and the Partido Reformista together became Partido Refomista Social Cristiano.
Populism in the Dominican Republic means that candidates win by impressing poor people with promises and personal charisma. Individuals vote based on the likelihood that their personal position will be improved by the vote. The state is poor but paternalistic, and so limited government resources – in the shape of employment opportunities, public works, funding, and free food – are to a certain extent passed out based on party membership. (See: Politics of the Dominican Republic.)
Another important characteristic of politics in the Dominican Republic is the predominance of strong charismatic leaders in place of ideology. Balaguer assembled a machine that helped decide elections even after he was out of power and infirm. At the legislative elections, 16 May 2002, the party won 24.3% of the popular vote and 36 out of 150 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 2 out of 31 seats in the Senate. Its candidate at the presidential election of 16 May 2004, Eduardo Estrella, won 8.6% of the vote.
Following Balaguer's death in 2002, the PRSC declined rapidly. Balaguer was the presidential candidate of the PRSC and its predecessor party in every election from 1966 to 2000 except 1996 when Jacinto Peynado was the candidate, and Balaguer was President from 1966 to 1978 and from 1986 to 1996. The PRSC often also had control of Congress. After the mid-2000s the party has been relegated to being a junior partner of the PRD or PLD; currently it is in alliance with the ruling PLD. In the 16 May 2006 legislative elections, the party formed together with its traditional opponent, the Dominican Revolutionary Party, and others the Grand National Alliance, that won only 82 out of 183 deputies and 10 out of 32 senators. The Social Christian Reform Party itself won 23 seats in the chamber of deputies and 4 seats in the senate, taking a distant third place compared to the Dominican Liberation Party, which won the election, and the Dominican Revolutionary Party.
For the Presidential Election of May 2008, the PRSC elected as their Candidate : Dominican Municipal League President (and elected but never serving Senator from Higuey) Amable Aristy Castro. He came in a distant third place with less than 5% of the vote.
For the legislative elections of May 2010, the party formed with the Dominican Liberation Party a partial alliance in almost all provinces and won 4 senators (1 alone and 3 within the alliance) and 8 deputies (3 alone and 5 within the alliance).
For the 2012 elections, the PRSC remained in alliance with the PLD, and for the first time did not run its own presidential candidate.