UPDATE 3-Dominican Republic's Medina headed for re-election, early results suggest

domingo 15 de mayo de 2016 21:53 GYT

(Adds background, supporters' reactions)

By Jorge Pineda

SANTO DOMINGO May 15 (Reuters) - Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina was poised to win a second term easily on Sunday, with early results showing his record of fast economic growth and social projects swayed voters despite accusations of graft.

In preliminary results from 15 percent of polling stations, Medina's coalition won 61 percent of the vote, a margin that if sustained would be enough to avoid a runoff election in June.

The preliminary results gave his nearest rival, businessman Luis Abinader, 35 percent.

A noisy motorcade of Medina's supporters drove through the capital on Sunday night blaring music in celebration of his apparent victory.

The election was marred by a shootout at one voting center, long lines and grumbles from smaller parties over the method of counting.

Authorities allowed voting to continue for an extra hour until 7 p.m. (2300 GMT) after delays at some centers.

A left-of-center economist, Medina has had high popularity ratings during the latter part of his four-year term in the country of 10.4 million. Electoral rules were changed to allow him to run for a second consecutive term.   Continuación...