Margarita Cedeño, the first lady of the Dominican Republic, announced yesterday that she will not make a bid for the presidency in the 2012 general election. The news comes just weeks after the ruling Partido de la Liberación Dominicana (PLD) party approved Cedeño’s candidacy in the party’s primary. In a radio and televised message on Monday night, Cedeño said “I don’t believe the presidency is my ultimate goal.”
Her husband, President Leonel Fernández, had announced earlier this month that he will not seek a fourth term, ending speculation of whether he would reform the constitution to allow for more than three terms. His announcement also opened the door for the first lady to become the PLD’s nominee in the general election. However, rising tension among PLD leadership likely influenced Cedeño’s decision to not pursue the party’s nomination.
With Cedeño out of the running, it is not clear who will represent the PLD to face former President Hipólito Mejía of the opposition Partido Revolucionario Dominicano. According to the Dominican Central Electoral Board press release last month, a total of 6,361,258 Dominican citizens are eligible to vote in the May 2012 presidential election—244,000 more voters than were eligible in the 2010 congressional election.