April 24, 2021
Your weekly roundup of news and analysis of elections in the Americas, usually posted on Saturdays and occasionally updated throughout the week. For a full electoral calendar and interactive map, click here.
Rows of cabbage in Kenscoff, Haiti. Photo credit: USAID/Kendra Helmer (Public Domain)
Peru Presidential Runoff: June 6, 2021
Peru held general elections for April 11, 2021. These elections are coming on the heels of snap legislative elections that took place on January 26, 2020, and in the context of political turmoil – including the impeachment of President Martín Vizcarra and the subsequent “week of three presidents” – and an economic crisis brought on by COVID-19.
The presidential runoff will pit socialist Pedro Castillo against right-wing populist Keiko Fujimori, daughter of former president Alberto Fujimori, who is currently in prison for various crimes (Keiko is also currently facing criminal charges). Castillo came out of nowhere to win the first round. However, none of the 18 candidates received more votes than the number of blank ballots cast – a sign of voters’ deep frustration. More
Alvaro Vargas Llosa, Independent Institute’s The Beacon (April 26, 2021): Peru—between a rock and a hard place
Thompson Reuters (April 25, 2021): Peru socialist stretches lead in presidential race, poll shows
Marco Aquino and Maria Cervantes, Reuters (April 22, 2021): ‘No Chavismo here’: Peru socialist candidate Castillo seeks to calm jittery markets
Maria Iberico Gioia and Marc Joffe, Reason (April 22, 2021): Will Peru Become the Next Venezuela?
Mexico Legislative and Gubernatorial Elections: June 6, 2021
Mexico holds midterm legislative elections on June 6, 2021. These elections will be a key test for left-wing populist firebrand Andrés Manuel López Obrador (frequently called AMLO) ahead of the 2024 presidential election. In addition, 15 of Mexico’s 31 states will hold gubernatorial elections. More
The Economist (April 26, 2021): Mexico’s president is giving the armed forces new powers: They have not held such sway since the 1940s
León Krauze, Washington Post (April 23, 2021): Opinion: Mexico’s president intensifies his attacks against independent institutions
Falko Ernst, The Guardian (April 20, 2021): Violence erupts as Mexico’s deadly gangs aim to cement power in largest ever elections
Haiti Parliamentary Elections: September 19, 2021 and Presidential Election: Due in November 2021 (delays possible)
Haiti plans to hold long-overdue legislative elections on September 19, 2021, and also has a presidential election due later this year. However, the country is currently in a political crisis related to allegations of fraud followed Haiti’s presidential 2015 election. The international community, including the United States government, has called on Haiti’s officials to set a date for elections and end the crisis. More
Mary Louise Kelly, NPR (April 22, 2021 – audio and transcript): Critics Say The U.S. Isn’t Doing Enough To Help Haiti With Its Deteriorating Security
Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald (April 21, 2021): Opposition grows to Haiti constitution referendum — even within president’s own party
AFP (April 20, 2021): 50 years after Papa Doc, Haiti democracy still work in progress
Argentina Midterm Legislative Elections: October 24, 2021 (delay to November 14 possible)
Argentina is due to hold midterm legislative elections on October 24, 2021, but the polls could be postponed to November. Furthermore, although most of Argentina’s 23 provinces hold elections at the same time as the presidential election, a few are due to hold elections in 2021. These elections are happening in the context of an economic crisis, which the leftist government and COVID-19 have exacerbated. More
MercoPress (April 23, 2021): Argentine opposition agrees to postponing primary, general elections
Nicaragua General Elections: November 7, 2021
Nicaragua holds general elections on November 7, 2021. President Daniel Ortega, who has been in power for 20 years, will seek another term, and under his rule, Nicaragua has become increasingly authoritarian, with rule of law and fundamental freedoms under assault.
David Agren, Catholic News Service (April 26, 2021): Three years after crackdown, Nicaraguan church still sees repression
Washington Post (April 25, 2021): Opinion: Nicaragua’s democrats deserve American and regional encouragement and support
Committee to Protect Journalists (April 21, 2021): Nicaraguan police assault journalist Kalúa Salazar, block her from leaving home
Wilfredo Miranda and Lorena Arroyo, El País (April 20, 2021): Nicaragua’s political dynasty: heirs in a golden cage
Colombia Presidential and Legislative Elections: Spring 2022 (due)
Colombia is due to hold presidential and legislative elections in spring 2022. Conservative Ivan Duque, elected president in 2018, is eligible to run for a second term.
Adriaan Alsema, Colombia Reports (April 26, 2021): How a former guerrilla is becoming unbeatable in Colombia’s election race
Brazil Presidential and Legislative Elections: October 2, 2022
Brazil holds general elections in October 2022. Jair Bolsonaro, the right-wing populist firebrand president, is up for re-election. The country remains deeply polarized between right and left. More
Débora Álvares, The Brazilian Report (April 26, 2021): Brazil’s center-right strugglers to unit4e around a “third way” candidate
Reuters (April 23, 2021): Brazil’s Bolsonaro says military would follow his orders to take the streets
Beatriz Della Costa, Foreign Policy (April 21, 2021): Brazil’s Most Popular Politician Might Dial Back Bolsonaro’s Legacy—but Won’t Take the Country Into the Future
Reuters (April 20, 2021): Sao Paulo Governor Doria wants to run for president in Brazil’s 2022 vote
Bloomberg Opinion (April 20, 2021): Bolsonaro Is Putting Brazil’s Democracy in Danger
Canada Parliamentary Elections: By October 16, 2023 (snap elections possible)
Canada is not due to hold federal elections until 2023, but snap elections could happen if the opposition manages to oust PM Justin Trudeau’s Liberal minority government in a vote of no confidence.
David Akin, Global News Canada (April 24, 2021): ANALYSIS: 16 million pencils, 18.8 million masks — Canada prepares for a pandemic election
J.J. McCullough, Washington Post (April 22, 2021): Opinion: Jagmeet Singh is not Justin Trudeau’s worst nightmare after all
Julie Gordon, Reuters (April 19, 2021): Canada rolls out post-pandemic spending plan ahead of likely election
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