Legislators in the Dominican Republic have approved a measure to establish a special assembly that will debate whether to allow presidents to hold office for two consecutive terms.

The proposal has divided the Caribbean country's ruling party and could allow President Danilo Medina to run for re-election next year.

Party officials backed the measure after opinion polls indicated Medina had a stronger chance of winning the 2016 presidential election than his predecessor, Leonel Fernandez. Fernandez is expected to run next year in hopes of winning what would be his fourth term as president.

The Chamber of Deputies approved the measure Tuesday.

Officials have not yet set a date for when the special assembly will convene. It will be composed of legislators from the Senate and Chamber of Deputies.