Category: Elections Past

Ambivalence in the Tropics: The 2006 Elections in Costa Rica

After weeks of sitting on the edge of their seats, election junkies learned in early March that 1987 Nobel Laureate Oscar Arias won the 2006 election by a margin of less than 1.12 percent. The election was close enough that the Supreme Tribunal of Elections spent more than 3 weeks manually recounting all of the ballots. That Arias did not trounce his opponents came as a shock. In the weeks before election day, polls indicated that …

Constitutional Reform in Bolivia: The 2005 Presidential Election

In the weeks leading up to the December 18, 2005 presidential elections in Bolivia, most observers in the United States viewed Evo Morales with dread. An Aymara labor leader with coca field roots, Morales’s campaign had accepted money from Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. This may have emboldened Morales’ supporters, but it hurt his image in Washington D.C. Worse, the would-be president spoke openly about nationalizing …

Bachelet’s Election in Chile The 2006 Presidential Contest

Although Michelle Bachelet’s presidential election victory has understandably made news as she has become the first woman president in Chile (and the first woman who is not the widow of an important political leader to be elected in Latin America), the fact that she represents the longest ruling coalition in the country’s history sheds more light into recent political developments in the most successful economy in Latin America. Because …

Consolidating Kirchner’s Control: The 2005 Elections in Argentina

President Néstor Kirchner assumed office on may 25, 2003 in a position of noteworthy weakness. Kirchner had “won” the presidential election only after former president Carlos Menem (1989-99), who on April 27 took the first round with 25 percent of the vote to Kirchner’s 22 percent share, withdrew from the May 18 runoff convinced that Kirchner would eventually defeat him by a substantial margin. To make matters worse, Kirchner …

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