May 1, 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.
City Hall in Moncton, the largest city in Canada’s New Brunswick province. New Brunswick holds local elections on May 10. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Stu pendousmat (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Upcoming Americas Elections
Canada, Local Elections in New Brunswick: May 10, 2021, and possible snap federal elections
Canada provincial and local elections at various times. The next ones due are New Brunswick’s local elections on May 10, following Yukon territorial elections in April and a rather tumultuous provincial election in Newfoundland and Labrador earlier this year.
While Canada is not due to hold federal elections until 2023, snap elections could happen if the opposition manages to oust PM Justin Trudeau’s Liberal minority government in a vote of no confidence.
Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press (April 29, 2021): Conservative party looks ahead to possible election with fundraising record
The Canadian Press (April 27, 2021): Municipal elections to proceed in northwest New Brunswick after COVID lockdown lifts
CNBC (April 28, 2021): Yukon Liberals, reduced to minority, embrace the NDP
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
First presidential debate between #PedroCastillo & #KeikoFujimori just started in #Peru. It takes place in Chota, Cajamarca, home turf of Castillo. Now Fujimori claims she will increase number of teachers, referring to the experience of her father. 1/n https://t.co/limaAPLity
— Teivo Teivainen (@TeivoTeivainen) May 1, 2021
Rio Times (May 1, 2021): Castillo and Fujimori compete in populism in their first face to face in Peru
Oscar Medina, Bloomberg (May 1, 2021): Peru Leftist Candidate Pledges to Seize Foreign Company Profits
James Bosworth and Francisco Toro, Washington Post (April 28, 2021): Opinion: Peru’s democracy has gone off the rails, leaving voters trapped between extremes
Viral pro-Castillo video in Peru election — “Why worry about defending freedom of press or the economy if I can’t say what I want — or have a job anyway?” Classic “burn it all down” argument. Sharing b/c it reflects debate, not b/c I agree 🙃 pic.twitter.com/RhmxANCLwi
— Brian Winter (@BrazilBrian) April 24, 2021
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
Jorge G. Castañeda, New York Times (April 30, 2021): Biden Should Not Ignore Mexico’s Turn to Authoritarianism
Michael O’Boyle, Bloomberg (April 29, 2021): Mexico’s AMLO Affirms Power With Legislative Blitz Ahead of Vote
Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald (April 28, 2021): López Obrador looks like a wannabe autocrat — and he’s putting Mexico’s democracy at risk | Opinion
AP (April 27, 2021): Mexican court orders 2 state candidates off the ballots
Chile Local and Regional Elections: May 15 and 16, 2021 and Presidential and Legislative Elections: November 21, 2021
Chile has delayed its local and regional elections, originally scheduled for April 11, 2021, to May. In addition, voters will elect all 155 members of a Constitutional Assembly, after a referendum in which Chileans voted to write a new constitution.
Chile is also due to hold presidential and legislative elections in November (with presidential primaries on July 4). These elections are taking place in the context of a year of protests and riots, including violent looting, arson, and vandalism. Furthermore, an intense debate over the new constitution continues. Incumbent president Sebastian Pinera, from the center-right Chile Vamos coalition, is not running for another term. He currently has low approval ratings, posing a challenge for his party’s candidate (who will be chosen in the July primary election). More
Reuters (April 29, 2021): Popularity of Chile’s Pinera in the doldrums following pensions fiasco
Rocío Montes, El País (April 27, 2021): Chile, the story of a fractured country
Michael Stott, Financial Times (April 26, 2021): Dogged by adversity, Sebastián Piñera eyes his legacy
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.
Haiti plans to hold a constitutional referendum on June 27, although the United States has raised concerns that it would just cause more political turmoil while helping President Jovenel Moise consolidate power. More
AFP (April 29, 2021): US backs Haiti elections but not referendum amid call for rethink
Reuters (April 29, 2021): U.S. will not provide financial support for constitutional referendum in Haiti
Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald (April 26, 2021): Congress: U.S. insistence on ‘elections at all costs’ in Haiti risks deeper crisis
Saint Lucia Parliamentary Elections: By October 21, 2021
Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia, a democracy with competitive elections and regular transfers of power, is constitutionally required to hold parliamentary elections by October 12, 2021, although snap elections are possible. Traditionally, elections are held on the fifth anniversary of the previous elections, which in this case would have been June 6, 2021. However, the prime minister has not yet set a date due to concerns about COVID-19. More
Sharefil Gaillard, Loop Cayman Islands (May 1, 2021): PM ‘can’t focus on elections’ due to concerns of COVID outbreak
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.
Inés San Martín, Crux (April 27, 2021): Nicaraguan bishops call for political reforms, better governance
Washington Post (April 26, 2021): Opinion: Nicaragua’s democrats deserve American and regional encouragement and support
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
Jack Detsch and Augusta Saraiva, Foreign Policy (April 27, 2021): Coronavirus Crisis Drives Bolsonaro to Play Politics With the Military
Past Americas Elections
El Salvador Legislative and Local Elections: February 28, 2021
El Salvador held legislative and local elections on February 28, 2021. Allies of populist president Nayib Bukele won in a landslide, allowing him to consolidate his hold on the country with a legislative majority. Critics note growing authoritarianism. More
Democracy under attack in El Salvador, where the newly-seated Legislature, on its first day in office, moves to remove all the justices of the Constitutional chamber of the country’s Supreme Court. This would consolidate all three branches under the president’s total control. https://t.co/kLJZjTY04B
— Angelina Godoy (@angelinasgodoy) May 2, 2021
AP (May 2, 2021): El Salvador’s new assembly votes to oust high chamber judges
#ElSalvador | #Breaking: On day 1 of the new Legislative Assembly, controlled by Bukele's party, Nuevas Ideas, began the process of dismissing the magistrates of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court. Experts warn of a possible technical coup d'etat. pic.twitter.com/9ERe1ZTIAy
— El Faro English (@ElFaroEnglish) May 2, 2021
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