Americas This Week: February 25, 2023

February 25, 2023

A weekly review of news and analysis of elections in the Americas, usually posted on Saturdays and occasionally updated throughout the week.

The skyline of Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Lidia Lopez (CC BY 2.0)

Upcoming Americas Elections

Guatemala General Elections: June 25, 2023

Guatemala’s last elections, in 2019, took place in a climate of chaos and uncertainty. Incumbent president Jimmy Morales, a comedian and political outsider, ran on an anti-corruption platform in 2015 but since being elected has repeatedly attacked the UN’s anti-corruption body CICIG after it started investigating his family members.

AP (February 21, 2023): Guatemalans protest ban on leftist presidential candidate

Mexico, Some Gubernatorial Elections: June 4, 2023, followed by General Elections: July 2024

Some Mexican states are holding gubernatorial elections this year, but the country’s politicos are all gearing up for the big presidential election in 2024. Populist firebrand Andrés Manuel López Obrador (often called AMLO) stormed to election in 2018, but he is barred from seeking another term. There had been some talk of him potentially trying to run again anyway, but he now says he will not. But concerns about growing authoritarianism remain.

Vanessa Buschschlüter, BBC (February 24, 2023): Mexico passes controversial reform of election watchdog

David From, The Atlantic (February 21, 2023): The autocrat next door

Emilie Sweigart, Americas Quarterly (February 21, 2023): Mexico’s “Other” Huge Election Is Heating Up: Running Mexico City is “like being a head of state,” and the race to be the capital’s next mayor may provide a revealing window into the opposition’s future.

Venezuela Opposition Presidential Primary: October 22, 2023 (presidential election due in 2024)

Venezuela’s politicalconstitutional, and humanitarian crises have been going on for years. The country became an authoritarian state under the now-deceased Hugo Chavez, who was elected in 1998 and completely transformed the country from a prosperous democracy to a leftist dictatorship. His successor, Nicolás Maduro, has continued on that path. Socialist economic policies have destroyed the economy. Although Venezuela is a major oil producer, 90 percent of Venezuelans cannot afford sufficient food and many have fled. Moreover, the capital, Caracas, has become one of the most violent cities in the world.

Nonetheless, Venezuela’s opposition is active and occasionally makes gains.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions, U.S. officials have begun to court the Venezuelan regime. Venezuela held regional and local elections on November 21, 2021. These followed the December 2020 legislative elections, which most of the opposition boycotted (opposition parties did participate in the 2021 local elections).

Patricia Laya and Andreina Itriago Acosta, Bloomberg (February 22, 2023): Venezuela Lawmaker Mocked by Chavez Seeks to Oust His Successor: Steel heir María Corina Machado wants to lead the opposition after Guaidó’s flop.

Colombia Regional Elections: October 29, 2023

In 2022, Colombia elected its first-ever leftist president, Gustavo Petro. In concurrent legislative elections, however, no party won a majority and centrists did not perform well. Ironically given his name, Petro pledged to end oil exploration.

Colombian politics are polarized and the climate is tense.

Will Freeman, Council on Foreign Relations (February 21, 2023): Colombia Tries a Transformative Left Turn

Jamaica Local Elections: February 2024 (long overdue – postponed several times)

CMC News (February 23, 2023): Jamaica’s Local Gov’t Elections Postponed until February 2024

Canada Federal Elections: Due by October 2025 – snap elections possible (various provincial and local elections due between now and then)

Rachel Gilmore, Global News Canada (February 25, 2023): Canada needs an inquiry into Chinese election interference: ex-spymaster

Campbell Clark, Globe and Mail (February 22, 2023): CSIS found specific Chinese interference in Canada’s election. What happened next?

Past Americas Elections

Brazil General Elections: October 2, 2022

Financial Times (February 19, 2023): Brazil rules out amnesty for rioters who stormed centres of power

Peru General Elections: April 11, 2021 (early elections could be set for April or December 2024)

Marcelo Rochanrun, Bloomberg (February 21, 2023): Peru’s Economic Outlook Brightens as Mass Protests Wane

Regional Analysis

AFP (February 23, 2023): Nicaragua a political headache for Latin American left

Americas Elections Coming Up in 2023

Guyana Local Elections: March 13, 2023

Argentina, Gubernatorial Elections in Corrientes and Neuquen: March 26, 2023

Paraguay Presidential, Legislative, and Gubernatorial Elections: April 30, 2023

Chile Constitutional Council Elections: May 7, 2023

Canada, Alberta Provincial Elections: May 29, 2023

British Virgin Islands Assembly Election: May 2023 (due)

Mexico, Some Gubernatorial Elections: June 4, 2023

Guatemala General Elections: June 25, 2023

Argentina Presidential Primary: August 13, 2023

Guatemala General Election Runoffs: August 27, 2023

Canada, Prince Edward Island Provincial Elections: October 2, 2023

Canada, Manitoba Provincial Elections and Northwest Territories Territorial Elections: October 3, 2023

Argentina Presidential and Legislative Elections: October 22, 2023

Venezuela Opposition Presidential Primary: October 22, 2023

Colombia Regional Elections: October 29, 2023

Argentina Presidential Runoff: November 19, 2023

Dominica Indirect Presidential Election (by parliament): October 2023 (due)

Chile Constitutional Referendum: November/December 2023 (expected)

Trinidad and Tobago Local Elections: December 20, 2023

Haiti Presidential and Legislative Elections: Long overdue, but could happen in 2023 (delayed from November 7, 2021, no new date set)

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