Americas This Week: May 7, 2022

May 7, 2022

A weekly review 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.

Medellín, Colombia. Photo credit: Wikimedia/David Peña (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Upcoming Americas Elections

Colombia Presidential Election: May 29, 2022

Colombia holds a presidential election on May 29, following legislative elections and presidential primaries on March 13. Leftist former guerrilla Gustavo Petro won his primary in a landslide. For a while, he was seen as the favorite to win in May, but more recent polls show a statistical dead heat between Petro and conservative Federico Gutiérrez.

No party won a majority in the legislative elections and centrists did not perform well, exacerbating the country’s polarization.

If Petro wins in May, he will be Colombia’s first leftist president. This election follows recent leftist victories in Honduras, Chile, Peru, and Bolivia and comes ahead of Brazil’s highly polarized election, which leftist former president Lula da Silva is the favorite to win. Some have warned that Russia has been sowing disinformation in support of Petro’s candidacy, hoping that he would be hostile to the United States.

Joseph Bouchard, City Paper Bogota (May 7, 2022): The Kremlin’s interference in Colombia’s presidential election

Stratfor (May 6, 2022): Colombia: Presidential Candidate Cancels Events Due to Assassination Plan

AFP (May 6, 2022): Colombia military bristles at rise of leftist presidential hopeful

Matthew Bristow, Bloomberg (May 5, 2022): Colombian Presidential Hopeful Bets Voters Are Tired of Being Robbed: Federico Gutierrez is focusing his campaign on law and order, and closing on Gustavo Petro ahead of May 29 elections

Theresa Bachmann, Global Risk Insights (May 2, 2022): Colombia’s Democracy Under Threat? Legislative Elections End in Chaos

Canada, Ontario Provincial Elections: June 2, 2022, followed by other provincial and local elections this year

Canada holds several sets of provincial and local elections this year. Next up: Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, holds provincial elections on June 2, 2022. Ontario last held provincial elections on June 17, 2018, and will hold the next elections on or before June 22, 2022. The Progressive Conservatives, under populist leader Doug Ford, won in a landslide, ending 15 years of Liberal rule. In addition, Ontario’s local elections are due by October 2022.

These follow last September’s snap federal elections, which took place two years early. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hoped to win a majority for his Liberals. He ended up remaining in power, but once again helming a minority government. His gamble did not pay off. However, Trudeau subsequently reached a confidence-and-supply deal with the leftist New Democratic Party (NDP), which could bring stability until 2025, when the next elections are due.

Nick Taylor-Vaisey, Politico (May 6, 2022): Canada’s first Conservative leadership debate in one word: Nasty

Saint Kitts and Nevis Snap Elections: By August 2022

Saint Kitts and Nevis will hold snap elections this year following the dissolution of parliament on May 11. The country is currently a member of the Commonwealth, with the British monarch serving as head of state, but this could change soon. (May 3, 2022): SKN to seek Republican status following Elections

Aaron Humes, Breaking Belize News (May 3, 2022): How ‘Caribbean Six’ can follow through on republican departure

Chile Constitutional Referendum: September 4, 2022

Chile will hold a constitutional referendum on September 4, 2022, following over a year of meetings of the Constitutional Convention, which was elected in May 2021. The constitutional process began in response to a series of violent protests and riots in 2019.

The referendum follows last year’s presidential and legislative elections. Far-left socialist former student leader Gabriel Boric defeated Jose Antonio Kast, a far-right legislator, in the runoff. Although results of the July 18 presidential primaries seemed to indicate that voters seem to want a return to moderation, the center-right candidate from former president Sebastián Pińera’s coalition did not even make the runoff.

However, the legislative elections were a bit more complicated. Piñera’s Chile Podemos Más coalition won the most seats in the Senate, and the Chamber of Deputies is split nearly evenly between right and left-leaning members. These results will potentially constrain Boric’s ability to pursue a far-left agenda. All newly-elected officials took office in March 2022.

The 2021 elections took 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. The Constitutional Convention consists overwhelmingly of left-wing members and could potentially be out of step with the broader Chilean electorate. Because voting in the referendum is mandatory, the new constitution may not be approved.

Reuters (May 7, 2022): Chile constitutional assembly does not okay expanded state mining rights

Stratfor (May 6, 2022): Chile: Constitutional Convention Approved Article for Indigenous Land Reparations

BN Americas (May 2, 2022): Why changing Chile’s mining concessions model would be ‘unfortunate’

Brazil General Elections (Presidential, Legislative, State, and Local): October 2, 2022

Brazil holds general elections in October 2022. Jair Bolsonaro, the right-wing populist firebrand president, is up for re-election. Former president Lula da Silva, himself a populist firebrand of the left-wing variety, will run against him. The country remains deeply polarized between right and left, although some third-way candidates plan to challenge both Bolsonaro and Lula. 

As Latin America’s biggest economy, Brazil’s politics have an impact on the entire region and – increasingly – on the world stage. More

Mariana Durao, Bloomberg (May 5, 2022): Petrobras’s Profits Slammed by Bolsonaro in Election Year

Tom Phillips, The Guardian (May 5, 2022): CIA director urged Bolsonaro to stop doubting Brazil’s voting system – report

Robert Muggah, Foreign Policy (May 4, 2022): Bolsonaro Is Already Undermining Brazil’s Upcoming Election

AFP (May 4, 2022): Will Brazil’s Bolsonaro stage a comeback election win?

Antigua and Barbuda General Elections: By 2023

Santana Salmon, CMC (May 4, 2022): No to Snap Poll: Antigua PM Says General Elections “Months Away”

Past Americas Elections

Bolivia General Election Re-Run: October 18, 2020

Bolivia held a rerun of the 2019 annulled general elections that took place on October 18, 2020 in which socialist Luis Arce won the presidency. Leftist firebrand Evo Morales has returned to the country to lead his party, although apparently not every member of his party loves him.

Subsequently, Bolivia held local and regional elections in March and April, 2021. Opposition candidates won the mayoral elections in 8 out of 10 of Bolivia’s biggest cities. These elections happened amid political tension over the arrest of former interim president Jeanine Anez. More

Thomas Graham, The Guardian (May 5, 2022): Accidental president or coup-plotter? Trial lays bare Bolivia’s polarisation

Regional Analysis

Christopher Sabatini, Foreign Policy (May 4, 2022): Biden Is Setting Himself Up for Embarrassment in Los Angeles: The upcoming Summit of the Americas could be the gravestone on U.S. influence in the region.

Americas Elections Coming Up in 2022 and 2023

Colombia Presidential Election: May 29, 2022

Canada, Ontario Provincial Elections: June 2, 2022

Mexico State and Local Elections in Some States: June 5, 2022

Canada, Resort Village Elections in Manitoba: July 22, 2022

Chile Constitutional Referendum: September 4, 2022

Brazil General Elections (Presidential, Legislative, State, and Local): October 2, 2022

Peru Local and Regional Elections: October 2, 2022

Canada: Local Elections in Ontario: October 24, 2022

Canada: Local Elections in Manitoba: October 26, 2022

Canada: Local Elections in Prince Edward Island: November 7, 2022

Canada: Local Elections in Saskatchewan: November 9, 2022 (Rural Municipalities – even number divisions)

Canada: Local Elections in Northwest Territories: December 12, 2022

Guyana Local Elections: Overdue (date not set yet – preparations being made)

Ecuador Regional Elections: February 5, 2023

Jamaica Local Elections: By February 2023

Grenada General Elections: By March 2023 (due)

Paraguay Presidential and Legislative Elections: April 2023

Guatemala General Elections: June 2023 (expected)

Guatemala General Election Runoffs: August 2023 (expected)

Argentina Presidential and Legislative Elections: October or November 2023 (due)

Antigua and Barbuda General Elections: By 2023

Haiti Presidential and Legislative Elections: Delayed from November 7, 2021, no new date set

21votes does not necessarily agree with all of the opinions expressed in the linked articles; rather, our goal is to curate a wide range of voices. Furthermore, none of the individuals or organizations referenced have reviewed 21votes’ content. That is to say, their inclusion should not be taken to imply that they endorse us in any way. More on our approach here.


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