Overview and context
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Nationally Determined Contribution (UNFCCC website)
The Dominican Republic is an electoral democracy with universal and compulsory suffrage, in which the legal system is based on French Civil Codes. The President is both the Head of State and the Head of the Government. The President and Vice-President are elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four year terms. The first Constitution was written in 1844 following the nation’s independence from Haiti. Subsequently, there have been 38 constitutions, the most recent of which was passed in 2010.
The National Congress is bicameral, with a 32-seat Senate and a 183-seat Chamber of Deputies, the members of which are elected by popular vote for 4-year terms without term-limits. The last elections for President, Vice-President and the National Congress will were held in May 2016, the next are expected for 2020.
There are two legislative sessions per-year that each last 90 days, the first of which begins on August 16 and the second on February 27. Members of both houses of Congress and the President of the Republic have the authority to introduce legislation, while the Supreme Court of Justice may introduce legislation on judicial matters and the Central Electoral Board may introduce legislation on electoral matters. Constitutional reforms passed in 2010 authorise the introduction of a popular legislative initiative if supported by at least 2% of citizens registered to vote. For organic laws to be approved by Congress, it requires two-thirds vote of those present in both chambers. Legislation approved by Congress is sent to the President for promulgation, following which it is published in the Official Gazette.