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Social Christian Reformist Party

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The Social Christian Reformist Party (Partido Reformista Social Cristiano, PRSC) is a party formed by Joaquín Balaguer and his political heirs in the Dominican Republic. As such, it also inherits much of the nationalist, anti-communist, and anti-Haitian rhetoric of Balaguer's political mentor, Rafael Leónidas Trujillo, and his Partido Dominicano.

Some of the PRSC's founders and leaders were originally business leaders and Roman Catholics who opposed the Communist or democratic socialist tendencies of Juan Bosch and José Francisco Peña Gómez, of the PRD and PLD. It remains the party of business. However, as is the case with most party politics in the Dominican Republic, the party remains pragmatically populist.

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. While former senator Eduardo Estrella was the party's candidate in the 2004 presidential election, it remains to be seen if he will inherit Balaguer's cult of personality.

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