(Bloomberg) -- Dominican Republic’s pro-business President Luis Abinader cruised toward a landslide first round win in Sunday’s election as voters rewarded him for one of the strongest economies in the Americas.

Abinader had 58% of the vote versus his nearest rival, former President Leonel Fernández, with 28%, with 37% of ballots tallied. Fernández and third-placed candidate Abel Martínez, who had 11%, both conceded early, before full official results had been declared.   

There were six other candidates, but none had more than 1.5% support.

Abinader, 56, with the Modern Revolutionary Party, campaigned on reinforcing one of the biggest economic success stories in the Americas while resisting calls from the international community to take in refugees from neighboring Haiti.

Read More: As Haiti Crumbles, Its Neighbor Is Thriving With a Tourism Boom

In a victory speech, he thanked his rivals for stepping aside, saying that it reaffirmed “the country’s image as an example of deep democratic convictions.”

The economy will grow 4.4% this year, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, powered by tourism and strong foreign investment. While unemployment and poverty are falling, the opposition argued that many Dominicans have missed out on the boom. 

As Haiti has collapsed into gang violence and hunger, Abinader stepped up deportations and built a border wall, while exhorting the international community to do more. 

Abinader, a former businessman who first won election in 2020 with 53% of the vote, has emerged as one of Latin America’s most popular leaders.

On Sunday, he reiterated that he will step down after his next term and  adhere to constitutional term limits. He also said he would work to make the Caribbean nation more prosperous and inclusive, and to keep cracking down on deep-rooted corruption. 

“The message of the ballot box was clear,” he said. “The changes we’ve made are going to be irreversible, there is not turning back. The Dominican Republic has changed, and it has changed forever.”

(Updates vote count in second paragraph.)

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