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Re-election of presidents in Latin America: which countries allow it and what are the risks



the intention of Naive Bukele Re-running for the position has sparked national and international debate. Deutsche Welle analyzed how reelection works in other countries in the region.

“If you want to guarantee strong institutional stability and improved democratic quality, immediate reelection, or no reelection, is most effective,” said Politico Tech Global (PTG) analyst Kenneth Bunker. I think it’s a good rule,” he told DW.

The debate over this mechanism has resurfaced forcefully after the current president El Salvador, Naive Bukele, announced his re-run.

A little more than a year ago, on September 3, 2021, the Constitutional Court of El Salvador’s Supreme Court issued a widely debated ruling granting the country’s president access to successive presidential decrees. I was. – an election that would allow Bukele to run for a second term.

The ruling overturned another Supreme Court decision in 2014. The ruling barred him from being re-elected president within ten years of who came to power.

“Personally, I think the political history of El Salvador has ample examples of how a head of state’s continuation of multiple periods in power poses serious risks to democracy and the rights of its citizens. democratic president José Marinero said. El Salvador Transparency and Justice Foundation (DTJ).

“Evidence shows that this mostly concentrates power in the presidential figure, reduces transparency and accountability, and tends to perpetuate power indefinitely,” he explained. is doing.

Likewise, he repeatedly stated that consecutive re-elections in his country were “prohibited” and that “according to the current constitution and constitutional jurisprudence, Bukele cannot be re-elected until 2034.” There is

Two countries with unlimited re-election

In Latin America, there are five countries whose constitutions prohibit re-election of the president. Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay.

With the exception of El Salvador, no country allows immediate re-election Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Bolivia As for the latter country, former President Evo Morales tried to change its rules through the Constitutional Court in 2019. Bolivians denied the possibility of the then-president serving another term in public consultations.

About the Bolivian panorama in this sense, DW spoke with Carlos Hacanson, PhD in Constitutional Law at the University of Navarre.

Bolivia maintains a system of immediate re-election, which is stated in Article 168 of the constitution, which states that the president “may be re-elected once or continuously,” the lawyer said.

In addition, it takes into account a 2020 report from the Bolivian Attorney General’s Office that adamantly rejects the possibility of indefinite re-election.

On the other hand, Latin American countries that allow deferred re-election, meaning that the incumbent president can be re-elected only after one or more terms after the end of his term in office: Chile, Uruguay, Panama, Peru, Costa Rica.

Only two states currently allow indefinite reelection. Venezuela and Nicaragua.

Advantages and disadvantages of re-election

“This mechanism works only if the re-election is for only one period, because it gives the ruler an opportunity to better develop the public management plan. is already exhausted and at risk of failing,” Venezuelan political scientist Jesús Castillo Moreda tells DW.

Analyzing his country’s case of indefinite re-election, the expert notes: In Venezuela, rulers who run the government well are rarely re-elected.

PTG analyst Kenneth Bunker favors continuity of ideas over continuity of people.

“There aren’t many cases where this works,” he says. And he adds that another problem in Latin America is the “informality of how power succession works.”

In this sense he affirms: Happened in Argentina with the Kirchners. ”

Source: Biobiochile

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