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The 4 upcoming elections in Latin America that will define the direction of the region

With a few weeks to go to the end of the year, there are still pending several electoral processes in the region that are defining when it comes to understanding the directionality of their respective societies. Argentina, Chile, Venezuela and Honduras will attend important elections before the end of the year.

Chile elects Piñera’s successor

Of the electoral processes that will take place, probably the most important of all is that of Chile, since the successor of President Sebastián Piñera will be elected, as well as the new senators and deputies of Congress. The first presidential round will be held on November 21 and the second, if necessary, on December 19.

The results from the polls will reveal the degree of impact that the social outbreak of 2019 had on Chilean society, which precipitated a constitutional change that is still brewing in the Constitutional Convention.

The new president will maintain power until 2026 and he will have to brandish a new Constitution if the consensus of the 2/3 necessary to agree on its final wording is achieved.

The result will define if Chile advances towards a more egalitarian and democratic society or if, on the contrary, the conservatism that the military dictatorship proudly rescues will prevail.

Among the candidates to occupy the throne, two stand out, according to published polls.

On the one hand, Jose Antonio Kast, a leader of the extreme right and pro-Pochetista who has taken flight due both to the wear and tear caused by the social mobilizations and to Piñera’s impotence to confront them.

The other favorite candidate is Gabriel boric, a young leftist leader from the student world, who defends the demands of street protests, but with a much more moderate reading than that of the radical sectors whom he defeated in primaries.

The result will define if Chile advances towards a more egalitarian and democratic society or if, on the contrary, the conservatism that the military dictatorship proudly rescues will prevail.

However, before the Chilean elections, the first electoral appointment will take place in Argentina.

Argentina: Peronism in trouble

The Peronist formula that brought Alberto Fernández to power two years ago looks weakened for the next parliamentary elections, which will take place next Sunday and where 127 deputies (of the total of 257) and 24 senators (of the 72 stipulated) will be chosen.

The primaries of September 12 showed a drop in the Peronist vote, which was 10 points below the opposition. If this trend continues on Sunday, it could give the opposition a majority in the Chamber of Deputies and lose the quorum in the Senate.

These elections, called midterm, They are crucial for the Government because they will define its margin of maneuver in the two years that remain.. Therefore, a set of social measures, including salary increases and price controls, have been implemented, trying to turn the trend.

If it loses control of the legislative power, the government will have a large field and will have many obstacles to achieve governance, in the midst of an economic crisis that has been accentuating in recent years and shows no signs of giving way.


On November 21 will be the regional in Venezuela, which have been classified as a ‘mega-election’, since the total of governorships (23) and mayors (335) of the entire country will be disputed, in addition to the 253 state legislators and 2,451 councilors.

This event is crucial especially for the Venezuelan opposition, since the ruling party, which currently holds 19 governorships and 310 mayors, is favored for various reasons.

The first of these is that the opposition has called for abstention in the last three elections – including the most important elections, such as the presidential (2018) and legislative (2020) – and has not managed to position a story that argues why in these elections it is necessary to vote, unlike the previous ones.

The Venezuelan opposition reaches the polls marked by its call for abstention in previous elections and by a huge division in its ranks.

In addition, the opposition has taken a long time to confirm its participation in the event, which prevented it from calling a primary and this has generated a huge division in its ranks. There are still important leaders whose parties are participating but are not enthusiastically pushing their candidates.

In fact, the general secretaries of the major opposition parties Julio Borges (First Justice), Ramos Allup (Democratic Action) and Leopoldo López (Popular Will) have not been involved in the campaign and the second insists that there are no minimum conditions to participate.

One month after the mega-elections in Venezuela: what could happen?One month after the mega-elections in Venezuela: what could happen?

The only one involved has been the leader of Un Nuevo Tiempo, Manuel Rosales, who has chosen the government of Zulia, the main state of the country, and is the favorite in the race.

In all key states there are two or more opposition leaders who if they do not agree, they will divide the opposition vote and they will give a sure victory to the ruling party. This union, however, has already occurred in the state of Miranda, perhaps the most politically important, where a candidate of national projection has resigned to concentrate the vote against the ruling party and the chance to achieve it has increased.

Chavismo also has parallel candidacies, but they do not seem to have enough strength to contest important positions.


Finally, on Sunday, November 28, the presidential elections of Honduras will take place. On this occasion, the electoral event will be more spicy than normal in this country.

On the one hand, the candidate who goes first in the polls is Xiomara Castro, the wife of Manuel Zelaya, the famous president who was overthrown by a military coup led by Roberto Micheletti in 2009.

For the other, Nasry ‘Tito’ Asfura, from the National Party (PN), current mayor of Tegucigalpa and a man close to the current president, Juan Orlando Hernández, whose mandate has been overshadowed due to ties to drug trafficking. His brother, Juan Antonio Hernández, was sentenced in the US to life imprisonment. The judge who issued the sentence justified that his actions were “sponsored by the State”, in addition to having been a mediator in bribes to politicians, including his brother, by drug trafficking.

In the midst of this situation, the PN, a right-wing party, has carried out a ‘McCarthyite’ strategy denouncing and mobilizing against the ‘communism’ represented by Castro and the alliance of parties (left and center right) that support it.

In short, Latin America is preparing for four electoral events (it could be five if Chile requires a second round) that will roughly define the sense that our nations carry at a time when there seems to be no single victorious ideology, but rather progress and setbacks of each one of them.

Ociel Ali Lopez

He is a sociologist, political analyst and professor at the Central University of Venezuela. He has been the winner of the 2015 Municipal Prize for Literature with his book Give him more gasoline and the Clacso / Sida prize for young researchers in 2004. Collaborator in various media in Europe, the United States and Latin America.

The statements and opinions expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of RT.

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