April 22, 2023

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

Argentina’s Neuquen River. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Andarin2 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Upcoming Americas Elections

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

Paraguay’s election could result in yet another country switching its diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to the PRC. Incumbent president Mario Abdo from the conservative Colorado Party is ineligible to run for another term. Opposition candidate Efrain Alegre from the liberal PRLA has said that if he wins, he’ll recognize Beijing, while Colorado’s candidate, Santiago Pena, has said he will maintain relations with Taiwan.

Colorado has been in power most of the time since the 1950s.

Paraguay returned to democracy in 1989, following the collapse of the 35-year dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner, but a number of issues remain. These elections took place in the context of political violence and attacks on candidates. As a result, it is rated Partly Free by Freedom House.

Jacob Kessler, Al Jazeera (April 17, 2023): Taiwan in the hot seat during Paraguay presidential elections: Paraguay’s presidential election features opposing views about whether to maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

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, particularly with a package of electoral reforms he is trying to enact.

Christopher Sherman and E. Eduardo Castillo, AP (April 16, 2023): He’s been Mexico’s voice abroad. Now he wants the presidency

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.

There are more than 20 candidates in the 2023 elections.

Guatemala still recognizes Taiwan, but some opposition candidates have said they would switch recognition to Beijing.

Reuters (April 21, 2023): Guatemala’s Giammattei to visit Taiwan April 24-26

Americas Quarterly (April 19, 2023 – podcast): AQ Podcast: Guatemala’s Suspiciously Status Quo Election

Argentina Presidential and Legislative Elections: October 22, 2023

Lucila Sigal, Reuters (April 21, 2023): Argentine President Fernandez pulls out of 2023 election

Mark P. Jones, Forbes (April 17, 2023): A Political Earthquake In Argentina’s Vaca Muerta: The 2023 Neuquén Gubernatorial Election

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.

Tony Frangie-Mawad, Foreign Policy (April 20, 2023): Why Maduro Is Courting Evangelicals Ahead of the 2024 Election

Argus Media (April 20, 2023): Venezuela’s government, opposition to restart talks

Past Americas Elections

Cuba Indirect Presidential Election (by legislature – neither free nor fair): April 29, 2023

Al Jazeera (April 20, 2023): Cuban lawmakers vote in new five-year term for current president

Ecuador Regional and Local Elections: February 5, 2023

Ecuador held local and regional elections on February 5, as well as a referendum on constitutional amendments backed by President Guillermo Lasso. Lasso, who is center-right, was elected in a close runoff in 2021 in one of the handful of Latin American elections that resisted the “pink tide.” He is up for re-election in 2025.

The elections dealt a blow to Lasso, with the leftist opposition winning most major cities, including the port of Guayaquil, the country’s biggest city, which the right had controlled since the 90s. Now, some are calling for Lasso’s impeachment and/or early elections.

Stephen Kueffner, Bloomberg (April 20, 2023): What’s at Stake as Ecuador’s President Faces Impeachment

Michael Stott, Financial Times (April 18, 2023): Ecuador’s president vows to dissolve congress if it tries to impeach him

Regional Analysis

Carin Zissis, Americas Quarterly (April 19, 2023 – podcast): The China-Taiwan Tussle in the Americas

Americas Elections Coming Up in 2023

British Virgin Islands Assembly Elections: April 24, 2023

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

Argentina, Provincial Elections in Jujuy, Misiones and La Rioja: May 7, 2023

Chile Constitutional Council Elections: May 7, 2023

Argentina, Provincial Elections in La Pampa, San Juan, Salta, Tucumán and Tierra del Fuego: May 14, 2023

Canada, Alberta Provincial Elections: May 29, 2023

Mexico, Some Gubernatorial Elections: June 4, 2023

Argentina, Provincial Legislative Elections in Corrientes: June 4, 2023

Argentina, Provincial Elections in San Luis: June 11, 2023

Guyana Local Elections: June 12, 2023

Argentina, Provincial Elections in Córdoba: June 18, 2023

Guatemala General Elections: June 25, 2023

Argentina Presidential Primary: August 13, 2023

Guatemala General Election Runoffs: August 27, 2023

Argentina, Provincial Elections in Mendoza and Entre Ríos: September 24, 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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