The turnaround to the left marked the Latin American elections in 2021, while some governments, such as those of Argentina and Mexico, maintained power with stumbling blocks in voting. Also, there were international questions about the democratic nature of the elections in Nicaragua and Venezuela.
The Latin American political scene this year experienced the “classic pendulum”, with voters leaning “from one extreme to the other,” explained international relations specialist Félix Arellano to Voice of america.
In his opinion, Structural situations in each country influenced the elections, such as the exclusion of historically marginalized sectors and poverty.
Estimate that the most surprising case was Chile, of which there was a perception of alleged prosperity and progress on egalitarian issues.
“That was not so true,” Arellano pointed out, after the recent triumph of the leftist Gabriel Boric.
In countries like Argentina and Mexico, he stresses, they came into play the usual questioning of official policies and the mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Juan Francisco Contreras, president of the guild of experts in international relations of Venezuela, highlights the demotivation of the electorate in countries such as Peru, Honduras and Chile, whose hopeful candidates were involved in allegations of corruption or a troubled political past.
“There is deep concern for democracy in Latin America”, He told the FLY.
Nicaragua and Venezuela are different cases, because, in his opinion, their November electoral processes did not have democratic overtones.s, he said, and warned that there are countries, such as Peru or Argentina, where the current rulers do not have a parliamentary majority. That, he predicts, will bring instability in the region.
Eric Farnsworth, Vice President of the Americas Society / Council of the Americas and former White House and US State Department official, valued that the Latin American countries voted against the the status quo.
Farnsworth said on Twitter that it is being observed in several Latin American countries “An anti-tide the status quo“, Without any president aspiring to re-election in this year’s elections. This is not the case of Nicaragua or Venezuela, because, he considered, “those with control [del país] they would not allow it ”.
Here is a recount of the results of the elections held in 2021 in seven countries of the American continent:
Mexico carried out in June of this year what are considered the largest elections in its historya: the country voted to select 500 congressional deputies, 15 governors and at least 20,000 municipal offices.
Brunette, the party of the leftist president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, lost, along with other allied movements, the majority qualified in the Chamber of Deputies, but it was ratified as the first political force in the country.
Nationally, the ruling party triumphed in 11 of the 15 governorates at stake. Morena, however, reduced his number of deputies from 256 to 197, so he needs political alliances to continue governing.
Argentina: center-right opposition blows the ruling party
Argentina held midterm elections on Sunday, November 14. The center-right opposition prevailed in the voting to renew half of the Chamber of Deputiess and a third of the Senate with nine points ahead of the ruling Frente de Todos movement.
It was a notorious defeat for the ruling party, who had beaten his detractors, also by nine points, in the presidential elections two years ago.
Peronism lost control of the Senate, where it enjoyed its own quorum.
President Alberto Fernández considered as “a triumph ”having obtained a better result than that achieved in the September primaries.
Peru: change of course to the left
Peru turned politically to the left in its presidential elections this year. On Sunday, June 6, 18.8 million Peruvian voters voted in the second round of elections where leftist Pedro Castillo triumphed over his rival, Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori.
The election was so close that the electoral power of Peru it took nine days to announce official results. Castillo, a teacher and union leader, defeated his opponent by just 44,000 votes difference. He took office in July.
His triumph followed a turbulent political period in that nation. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski resigned from the presidency in 2018 due to a corruption scandal, while his replacement, First Vice President Martín Vizcarra, was removed from office in 2020 by Congress for moral incapacity. Then, the leader of Congress assumed the presidential sash for five days until Francisco Sagasti was appointed as president of that legislative body and of the nation.
Although Pedro Castillo won the presidency, the opposition won the majority of congressional seats in the April 2021 elections, when the first round of the presidential elections was also held. The alliance of right and far right parties in Peru usually has, on average, 80 legislators in favor, while the ruling coalition has about 50 seats for itself.
The leftist Gabriel Boric broke three decades of alternation in power of the two great political blocs of Chile, the center right and the center left, by winning in the presidential elections on December 19 with a margin of nine points over their rival, the right-wing candidate José Antonio Kast.
Boric, who will turn 36 in February, will be the youngest Chilean president in history when he was sworn into office in March 2022. No other presidential candidate had achieved 4.6 million votes in his favor.
Honduras: the Zelaya back
Xiomara Castro, wife of former leftist president Manuel Zelaya, won the elections to the first magistracy of Honduras last November.
According to the results announced by the electoral power of the Central American country, Castro obtained 51.12% of the votes against Nasry Asfur’s 36.93%a, presidential candidate of the ruling National Party.
Castro’s partner, former President Zelaya, ruled Honduras between 2006 and 2009 with greater proximity to Cuba and Venezuela than with the United States. His mandate culminated in a coup that involved actions and decisions of the Armed Forces, which expanded him, the Supreme Court and Congress.
Zelaya that his wife and president-elect is part of “the new left” and he guaranteed that he sees the United States as “the best ally of Honduras in all fields.”
Zelaya had accused the Honduran opposition of fraud in the 2017 elections with the support of former US President Donald Trump.
Venezuela: dominance of the “minority”
The governing party in Venezuela won 19 of the 23 disputed governorates in the regional elections in November, as well as most of the 335 mayors in the country. The opposition to President Nicolás Maduro achieved 120 municipalities (its best record since 1999) and three governorships.
Political scientists and election specialists pointed out, however, that the Venezuelan opposition had outnumbered the ruling party in total votes and they stressed that the Great Patriotic Pole, loyal to Maduro, had won only five of his governorships by more than 50% of the votes in those states.
The divisions and the multiplicity of opposition candidates prevented him from winning between 10 and 20 governorships to those who retracted Maduro, according to projections of political leaders, analysts and even the so-called critical Chavismo.
A group of former Hugo Chávez ministers warned this week that the United Socialist Party of Venezuela was confirmed as “the first minority.”
Between complaints of pro-government advantageousness and surgical disqualifications, a judicial ruling annulled the victory of the opposition candidate in Barinas, where Chávez was born, ordering a repeat of the election. According to the opposition and spokesmen for the international community, that case has tarnished the voting with undemocratic colors. Critical Chavismo accused Maduro of “trampling on popular sovereignty.”
The Sandinista leader (left) Daniel Ortega was reelected in Nicaragua in the elections last November, with 75.92 of the total votes.
Ortega secured his fourth consecutive term as president, while the international community, almost in full, questioned the vote due to the arrest, disqualification, forced exile and judicial siege against seven of the main opposition candidates and their political movements.
The United Nations Human Rights Office considered that the deterioration of civil and political rights It excluded Nicaraguans, also assessing that the elections did not take place in an environment conducive to being considered “authentic and free.”
Voice of America (VOA)