International IDEA, the Woodrow Wilson Center, El País from Spain and Channel NTN 24 held the “Latin America's Electoral Cycle 2014-15” Forum, at the Wilson Center (Washington D.C.) on February 10, 2015. The forum’s objective was to analyze the region’s 2014 ‘electoral super-cycle’, and to discuss the upcoming presidential elections in Argentina and Guatemala, and parliamentary elections in Venezuela.
Three different panels analyzed the main political and economic challenges the region has faced and will be facing through an overview of elections in Central America (Panamá, Costa Rica, Guatemala and El Salvador), South America (Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil) and The Andes (Venezuela, Bolivia and Colombia).
Some of the main topics that were discussed were:
- Change of power in Central America
- Continuity shown in South America
- Consecutive and alternate reelections in Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay and Chile
Panelists agreed, while there are situations such as an electorate which has a widespread dissatisfaction with the political class, violence, social exclusion, poverty, institutional and economic crisis that demand a pressing need in shifting development models; democracy and democratic institutions are viewed as valuable and that political processes should and will remain under democracy’s framework.
The Forum was moderated by Daniel Zovatto, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of International IDEA, Muni Jensen from NTN24, and Vicente Jiménez from El País. The forum also featured a series of regional experts for individual analysis of each country.