Elections in Latin America 2022: Will the Left continue to advance in the region?
In 2022, several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean will hold elections to define representatives for different public positions, such as presidents, congressmen and even to participate in referendums, amid the prolonged pandemic of covid-19 and the fear of the new omicron variant.
In 2021, when some restrictions were still in force due to the coronavirus and after most of them were lifted, citizens participated in elections in several countries in the region, explains journalist Edgar Romero in a report for RT.
In Ecuador, Peru, Honduras and Chile there were presidential elections. The Ecuadorians elected in the ballot, held on April 11, the banker Guillermo Lasso as their president; In the three remaining countries, the winners were the left-wing candidates: the Peruvians opted for Pedro Castillo, the Hondurans for Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, and the Chileans for Gabriel Boric.
In these four countries and in El Salvador there were legislative elections. The Salvadorans renewed all the seats in the Legislative Assembly, with the majority of the seats remaining with the Nuevas Ideas party (New Ideas), led by President Nayib Bukele.
In Ecuador, the Parliament, with 137 seats, was more divided – a division that has been deepening as time has passed – and Lasso’s Creo movement barely got 12 seats; while in Peru, Castillo’s Peru Libre party reached 37 of the 130 seats in Congress. In Chile, the Chamber of Deputies was completely renewed and 27 of the 50 senators were elected; the lower house was left with a majority of parliamentarians from the left, while the upper house was divided, with 25 legislators from the left and center-left and the same number from the right and center-right.
In Mexico the so-called federal elections were held, in which Mexicans renewed more than 20,000 popularly elected positions throughout the country, among them the deputies of the national Congress, governorships, deputies of 30 Local Congresses and municipal presidencies.
Bolivia and Venezuela held regional elections; while in Paraguay there were municipal elections. In addition to this, the Chileans elected in May the 155 members of the Constitutional Convention, in charge of drafting the new Constitution of the country, after the «Approve» option triumphed in the 2020 national plebiscite and this gave way to the constitutional process.
Elections in Costa Rica
In 2022, the first to vote are Costa Ricans and they will do so on February 6 in the general elections, in which they will elect the new president, two vice presidents and the 57 deputies of the Legislative Assembly.
In the event that no presidential candidate obtains at least 40% of the valid votes cast, there will be a second round on April 3.
In this Central American country there is no possibility of immediate reelection, so the current president, Carlos Alvarado, cannot be a candidate. For his political organization, the Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC), Welmer Ramos González, who is currently a deputy and who served as Minister of Economy, Industry and Commerce between 2014 and 2017, will seek the presidential chair for the next four years.
In addition to Ramos, there are 24 other candidates – apart from four unsuccessful candidates – in a country of just over 5 million inhabitants. The candidates for the Presidency already started the electoral campaign in October and, according to the main polls, such as that of the Center for Research and Political Studies (CIEP) of the University of Costa Rica (UCR), the following are the ones with the greatest chances of victory , although insufficient to win in the first round:
José María Figueres, from the Partido de Liberación Nacional (PLN).
Lineth Saborío, from the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana (PUSC).
Fabricio Alvarado, from Nueva República, who lost to Alvarado in 2018.
José María Villalta, from the Frente Amplio.
Rodrigo Chaves, from the Progreso Social Democrático.
Colombia and the future of the elections
Colombians will go to the polls first on March 13, when elections will be held to renew the two houses of Congress. The Senate will elect its 108 legislators; while in the House of Representatives 188 deputies will be elected, 16 more than its current composition of 172 parliamentarians.
Those 16 new seats will be occupied by the victims of the armed conflict, as part of the Peace Agreement signed in 2016 by the Colombian Government with the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
Subsequently, on May 19, Colombians will be summoned to elect the new president and vice president of the country. To win that day, the presidential formula must obtain half plus one of the total valid votes, otherwise the ballot will be held on June 19 between the two most voted candidates.
At the moment, there are around 40 candidates to replace the position currently held by Iván Duque. However, that number will be reduced, because on March 13, the day of the legislative elections, Colombians will participate in popular, internal or inter-party consultations of political parties and movements to elect their presidential candidates; although some have already been or will be chosen through other mechanisms contemplated in Colombian regulations.
At the moment, according to the polls, such as the last one from Invamer, presented in December and published by Blu Radio, the candidates with the most option of reaching the Presidency of Colombia are the leftist Gustavo Petro (42.1% of voting intention), the former mayor of Medellín Sergio Fajardo (18.9%), the former mayor of Bucaramanga Rodolfo Hernández (13.8%) and in fourth place is the candidate of the ruling Centro Democrático party, Óscar Iván Zuluaga (12.7%).
In Brazil, on October 2 there will be a mega-election, in which the president, vice president, new representatives in the national Congress, state governors and vice-governors, the State Legislative Assemblies and the Legislative Chamber of the Federal District will be elected.
To win the Presidency in the first round, it is necessary to get half plus one of the valid votes; if no candidate reaches it, there will be a second ballot on October 30.
Until August 15, political parties have the possibility to register their candidates. At the moment, the most popular candidates are President Jair Bolsonaro, who will seek reelection and for this he joined the right-wing Partido Liberal (PL – Liberal Party ); and former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2003-2010), from the Partido de los Trabajadores (PT – Workers’ Party), who has not yet confirmed his candidacy.
There are also Sergio Moro, who was Bolsonaro’s Minister of Justice and Public Security and the former judge of ‘Lava Jato’, the largest anti-corruption operation in the history of Brazil, which would be presented by the right-wing Podemos party; João Doria, from the Social Democracy Party (PSDB) and current governor of São Paulo; Rodrigo Pacheco, from the Social Democracy Party (PSD) and senator for Minas Gerais; former deputy Ciro Gomes, from the Democratic Labor Party (PDT); the senator for Sergipe Alessandro Vieira (Citizenship); Senator from Mato Grosso do Sul Simone Tebet (Brazilian Democratic Movement); the deputy for Minas Gerais André Janones (Avante); Luiz Felipe D’Ávila (Novo); and Leonardo Péricles (Popular Unity).
According to an electoral poll, published in mid-December by the Institute of Intelligence in Research and Consulting (IPEC, for its acronym in Portuguese), Lula would obtain 48% of the intention to vote, compared to 21% granted to the current president and 6% to Moro.
Will Haiti hold elections?
Haiti, plunged into a political and social crisis for several years, which deepened with the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse on July 7, plans to go to the polls in 2022, after, once again, the elections were postponed. .
After having drawn up several electoral calendars, the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) had set the date of November 7 for the organization of the first round of the presidential and legislative elections, as well as a constitutional referendum.
The second rounds of the elections were scheduled for January 23, 2022, along with municipal and local elections.
However, Prime Minister Ariel Henry decided to dismiss the nine members of the CEP and postpone the holding of the elections. The date of its completion is not yet known, but the official announced that they will be held in the first months of 2022.
Ordinary elections are scheduled for June 5, 2022 in the states of Aguascalientes, Durango, Hidalgo, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo and Tamaulipas.
In these six states there will be gubernatorial elections. But, in Durango, in addition, municipal presidencies, ‘sindicaturas’ and ‘regidurías’ will be elected; and in Quintana Roo local councils.
On October 2, Peru will hold regional and municipal elections. The authorities that are elected will occupy the position for the period 2023-2026.
Since 2018, regional mayors and governors can no longer stand for reelection in consecutive terms.
It is expected that in the second half of the year a plebiscite will be held in Chile in order to determine whether or not the Chilean people agree with the new Constitution, drawn up by the Constitutional Convention.
The convention was installed last July and has a period of nine months, extendable for three more, to draft the new constitution. Once the text is available, the Chilean people will be called to a plebiscite, which will be held within 60 days after the proposal is made public.
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