President Leonel Fernández of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), who served as president previously (1996-2000), took office again on August 16, 2004 and is running for reelection on May 16, 2008. Since taking office, President Fernández has presided over a period of rapid economic growth, enjoys continued popular support, and has a majority in both legislative chambers. He has enacted fiscal reforms and restored investor confidence in the Dominican economy, but also suffered setbacks stemming from an alleged financing scandal and criticism of the government's response to two tropical storms in late 2007. Fernández is the favored candidate in the May 16, 2008 presidential race, enjoying a significant lead over his chief opponent, Miguel Vargas Maldonado of the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD). With the March 2007 implementation of the U.S.-Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), observers expect a rise in foreign investment in the Dominican Republic in 2008. This report will be updated.