The Dominican Republic holds elections every four years at the congressional levels as well as every four years at the presidential levels. The country becomes highly politicized, as millions of dollars are spent in propaganda and campaigning. The political system is characterized by clientelism, which has corrupted the system throughout the years.
There are many political parties and interest groups and, new in this scenario, civil organizations. The three major parties are the conservative Social Christian Reformist Party (Spanish: Partido Reformista Social Cristiano [PRSC]), in power 1966–78 and 1986–96; the social democratic Dominican Revolutionary Party (Spanish: Partido Revolucionario Dominicano [PRD]), in power in 1963, 1978–86, and 2000–04); and the increasingly conservative Dominican Liberation Party (Spanish: Partido de la Liberación Dominicana [PLD]), in power 1996–2000 and since 2004.
The Dominican Republic maintains close relations with the nations of the Western Hemisphere and the principal nations of Europe. Relations with the U.S. are very close.
The country is a member of the following international organizations: ACP, Caricom (observer), ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA (graduate), IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (suspended), ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (or ITSO), Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent member), ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW (signatory), PCA, Rio Group, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Unión Latina, UNOCI, UNWTO (or WToO), UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WTF, WIPO, WMO, WTO (or WTrO).