Posts Tagged ‘elections’

The consolidation of the Latin American Left

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

[Translation of an article from Carta Maior of São Paulo, Brazil, for October 29, 2014. See original here and related articles here and here.]

by Emir Sader

There has been much talk recently of an eventual end to the cycle of progressive government in Latin America. Real difficulties in countries like Venezuela and Argentina, added to a slowing of the pace of expansion of the region’s economies, have fed these speculations.

This year’s electoral calendar could be a test of the vigor of these governments. The year began with the inauguration of Michele Bachelet in Chile, who defeated Sebastián Piñera. Soon afterward, the Frente Farabundo Martí elected the president of El Salvador. In October Evo Morales was re-elected in the first round of voting. Now Dilma is re-elected and Tabaré Vázquez’s performance in the first round has made him the favorite for continuation of Frente Amplio administrations in Uruguay. (more…)

Colombia: What is the opposition going to do?

Sunday, June 29th, 2014
 ((Álvaro Uribe  -- Semana photo by Diana Acosta))

((Álvaro Uribe — Semana photo by Diana Acosta))

After failing to remove Juan Manuel Santos from the Casa de Nariño, former president Uribe’s opposition will move from Twitter to the Senate

[Translation of an unsigned article from Semana of Bogotá for June 16. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

For two years Álvaro Uribe, the most popular politician in the recent history of Colombia, set for himself the goal of preventing the re-election of his immediate successor and heir, Juan Manuel Santos. He turned his Twitter account, with its more than three million followers, into an anti-administration platform; he created the Centro Democrático party, the main opposition block in the new congress, with him in the lead; and with its backing he carried Óscar Iván Zuluaga to within a few percentage points of the Casa de Nariño [seat of the executive branch].

Beyond defeating the Uribista candidate, Santos defeated his mentor, transformed for more than half his first term into his Nemesis. The main reason the re-election campaign did not turn out to be a leisurely exercise, like other recent experiences in Latin America, was Uribe’s determined opposition. The former president was also responsible for exposing and exploiting the current president’s mistakes, in one of the most intense, litigious and aggressive electoral contests in recent history. The relative weakness with which Santos will begin his second term compared with his first is due almost entirely to the attacks by Uribe and his followers. (more…)

Peace in Latin America at stake in Colombian election

Sunday, June 1st, 2014
((Zuluaga and Uribe -- El Clarín photo))

((Zuluaga and Uribe — El Clarín photo))

[Translation of an article from El Clarín of Santiago, Chile, for May 29, 2014. See original here.]

By Ángel Guerra Cabrera

The runoff in the Colombian presidential elections on June 15 will be of exceptional importance for Latin America and the Caribbean.

If Uribista candidate Óscar Iván Zuluaga, whose dirty war campaign was managed by [former President Álvaro] Uribe, should prevail, the peace process in Havana between the FARC and the Colombian government would cease and the country would fall into a bloody intensification of the hostilities with this guerrilla and with the ELN [Ejército de Liberación Nacional].

Zuluaga based his campaign on an iron fist against the guerrilla and declared the day after his winning the first round that he would suspend the peace talks in Havana provisionally until the FARC, which he describes as the largest drug cartel in the world, agrees to a unilateral ceasefire and other onerous conditions. This is the equivalent of asking the guerrilla to surrender unconditionally, which would put an end to the promising peace process. (more…)

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Haitian rightists prepare for elections

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

Supporters of Duvalier and Martelly form political parties

[Translations of two articles from AlterPresse of Port-au-Prince for April 15 and April 23, 2014. See originals here and here.]

Self-proclaimed former soldiers found pro-Martelly, Macoutist political party

Belladère, April 15 – After the attempted occupation of abandoned barracks in 2012, men claiming to be former members of the Army of Haiti have surfaced again, this time in Belladère, at the heart of a political party that has already aroused concern in the border community, the AlterPresse agency has learned.

On Tuesday, April 8, about 200 men, wearing uniforms of the army dissolved in 1995 and of the Macoute, the Duvalierist militia, met at the office of the Belladère vice-delegate [a local official appointed by the federal government] for the purpose of appointing Lucknel Morette as head of a party known as the Parti de la Rénovation Nationale (PRN). (more…)

Colombia: Gustavo Petro leaves a void in the Colombian Left

Monday, March 24th, 2014

FARC warns that Santos’ ruling may affect peace process

[Translation of an article from El Telégrafo of Guayaquil, Ecuador, for March 21, 2014.  See original here and related article here.]

Political leaders and analysts believe that the removal of the mayor of Bogotá will have repercussions in the presidential elections next May. The former official has announced that he will promote voting for “none of the above.”

The former mayor of Bogotá, Gustavo Petro, a one-time militant with the M-19 guerrilla movement, is the only local official on the left who has managed to hold a high political office in Colombia. His removal from office is without doubt a blow to the left, which saw in him the possibility of governing [the country], analysts stress.

President Juan Manuel Santos removed Petro in compliance with a request by the attorney general, who held that the mayor committed serious errors in the course of transferring the Bogota garbage collection system from the private sector to the public in 2012, and after denying a petition for a preliminary injunction in the case made on Tuesday by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. (more…)

El Salvador: The crisis on the Right

Saturday, February 15th, 2014
((Salvador Sánchez Cerén))

((Salvador Sánchez Cerén))

[Translation of an article from Proceso of Mexico City for February 11, 2014. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

By Juan José Dalton

San Salvador – The Salvadoran Right, joined together as the Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (ARENA), is in a crisis following its disastrous electoral failure in the first round of the presidential election of February 2.

This does not come as a surprise; their arch-enemy since the civil war (1980-1992), the governing leftist Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN), won by ten percentage points, an advantage hard to overcome in the contest scheduled for next March 9.

As of a year ago, the outlook was different for ARENA and its presidential candidate, the current mayor of San Salvador, Norman Quijano, a staunch anti-communist in the McCarthyite tradition. The polls and the analyses were then giving Quijano the leading position as the sure winner in the first or second round over the FMLN, whose candidate was professor and former rebel commander Salvador Sánchez Cerén. (more…)

Venezuela: What is the opposition’s game?

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

 

((A worker walks past opposition graffiti.))

((A worker walks past opposition graffiti.))

[Translation of an article from Opera Mundi of São Paulo, Brazil, for April 19, 2013. See original here.]

by Breno Altman

The script being followed by Henrique Capriles, the defeated candidate in Sunday’s elections, should be watched closely. Beyond revealing the nature of the local Right, the events taking place help to understand the package of efforts already being made against leftist governments in Latin America.

Taking advantage of the narrow margins by which Nicolás Maduro won the contest, the conservative camp yells “Fraud.” So far, no serious evidence of any kind that this actually took place has been offered. On the contrary, the overwhelming majority of international observers attest to the integrity of the electoral process. But the relative weakening of the Chavista base is taken as an opportunity to escalate the confrontation. (more…)

Ecuador: Opposition leader Alberto Acosta interviewed

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for February 22, 2013. See original here.]

by Blanche Petrich

Quito, February 21 – Viewed from other latitudes in Latin America, dominated as they are by backwardness and conflicts, Ecuador these days is a model. And it is better than under any of its previous governments. Opposition leader Alberto Acosta recognizes that. “But if we make an objective review of what is being done and what we set out to do in the original project of the citizen revolution, and what the constitution requires us to do,” he warns, “we have gotten off track.”

This is the implacable criticism of Alberto Acosta, who was Rafael Correa’s mentor in his university days and the days of citizen activism. It was he who convinced him to run for the presidency in 2006. This is how he describes him now: “He is a driver who sets his turn signal for a left turn and then turns right.” (more…)

Ecuador: The parties of the bankers, the banana merchants and the generals are wiped off the electoral map

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for February 19, 2013. See original here.]

By Blanche Petrich

Quito, February 18 – The elections on Sunday buried the old political class that had governed Ecuador during the 20th century. As the official vote count by the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) of the races for members of the national and provincial assemblies goes on, a new map is being drawn: the parties of the bankers, the banana merchants and the portions of the military that shaped the destiny of the country between coups d’état, conspiracies, uprisings and plunder have disappeared from the national geography.

Legislating during the new term of the [unicameral] Assembly, with a total of 137 members, will be the ruling party, the Alianza Patria Altiva y Soberana (PAIS), with between 91 and 94 seats. The exact count is not yet certain. As a very diminished second electoral power comes Creando Oportunidades (CREO) with between 20 and 25 seats.

PAIS was only formed as a party in 2006 for Rafael Correa’s first electoral campaign. CREO appeared last year to champion the conservative Guillermo Lasso. (more…)

Paraguay: Lugo declares that Paraguayan Left is more united than ever

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

 

((Agencia Brasil photo by Antonio Cruz))

[Translation of an article from Brasil de Fato for August 3, 2012. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

by Tadeu Breda

“The parliamentary coup changed my life completely,” former Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo acknowledged in an interview with Brazilian alternative communications media on Thursday, August 2. “I was thinking that once my term ended in August, 2013, I could surrender power and dedicate myself to other things. Now, however, more than ever, I have to be more politician than bishop.”

It was with these words that Fernando Lugo announced that he will continue his political activities after the lightning impeachment he underwent on June 22. This is also one of the reasons that will keep him in the capital city of São Paulo for the next few days; the other is to continue treatment of a lymphatic cancer that developed in 2010. At the time, the then president sought out the specialists at the Hospital Sírio Libanês and the tumor was removed. (more…)

El Salvador: Vice president accuses Funes of ignoring the interests of the FMLN

Friday, April 20th, 2012

 

((Muricio Funes, Salvador Sánchez Cerén))

[Translation of an article from El Faro of San Salvador for April 16, 2012. See original here.]

by Jimena Aguilar

Shortly before the third anniversary of the first Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional government, Vice President Salvador Sánchez Cerén on Monday made statements concerning the administration to which he was elected in 2009, admitting that the administration has failed to comply with what it offered the voters and holding President Mauricio Funes responsible for this. “The country still believes that change is not possible because it has not seen any,” he told journalists in an impromptu press conference in the Legislative Assembly.

Sánchez Cerén, one of the three top leaders of the leftist party, appeared as an opponent in his first public statements dissenting from Funes, declaring that the failure of the government to comply is because the president has not concerned himself with supporting what suits the party that put him in power. (more…)

Elections in El Salvador: Social aspirin

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

[Translation of a column from ContraPunto of San Salvador for March 8. See original here.]

By Armando Salazar

San Salvador – While capital looks upon the elections as the continuation of its hegemony and its business deals, resulting in the renewal of functionaries who would “improve and perfect” institutions, reality and history have demonstrated that, so far, elections have reproduced an establishment that generates opulence and impunity as well as extensive poverty, exclusion and institutional offense.

The left, inserted into electoral political life since 1992, has little by little taken more institutional positions in mayoralties (96), legislatures (41%) and a contentious presidential election won in alliance with other sectors, which has allowed it to control some government functions. (more…)