Latin America Update: an eventful Sunday
This Sunday March 11th was a busy day in Latin America. Cubans and Colombians went to the polls to elect their new Parliaments. In Cuba the successor of Raúl Castro will be selected from this new Parliament in April; a historical change on the socialist island. Whereas in Colombia it was the first time that former FARC guerrillas appeared on the voting cards.
In Chile the conservative Sebastián Piñera was inaugurated President for the second time and the new Chilean Parliament was constituted. Piñera promised to accelerate economic growth, but does not have absolute majority in a strongly fragmented Parliament. On a gender equality note, the presence of women in the Chilean Parliament is the largest in the history of the Latin American country.
Last Sunday, March 4th, El Salvador had legislative and municipal elections. The opposition right wing party, Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) obtained the majority followed by the governing party, Farabundo Martí for National Liberation (FMLN).
April will continue the electoral calendar in Latin America: with presidential elections in Costa Rica, Paraguay and Cuba. On April 1, Resurrection Sunday, will be the second round for Costa Rica. The mainly Catholic country, but with a growing Evangelical population, is debating the approach towards same sex rights between two “Alvarado”; Fabricio Alvarado from the National Restoration Party (PAC), who is an evangelic leader against homosexual marriage, and Carlos Alvarado from the governing party Citizen Action Party (PAC), who supports same-sex marriage.
The historic event of the relay of Raúl Castro will take place on the 19th when the new Parliament will select the President. Miguel Díaz Canel, the first Cuban vice-president is a possible presidential candidate. Paraguayan presidential elections will be held on the 22nd in which the ruling Colorado Party (PC) and the Liberal Party (PL) will fight for the presidential seat.
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Author: Miroslawa Alunowska, Member of APQ Global Research Fellowship