Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Former presidents in Latin America

Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo is talking openly about about running again in 2011. Next door in Chile, Eduardo Frei is doing the same. Lucio Gutiérrez just tried and failed in Ecuador.

This reminds me of a great quote I recently read by Martín Tanaka, a professor at the Pontificia Universidad Católica in Peru (who also blogs). He was referring to Venezuela, which under the 1961 constitution allowed a re-election bid after 10 years, but the idea has general applicability:

[The constitution] created the figure of the great caudillo waiting for the chance to make a comeback. Thus, former leaders do not disappear, but grow weak and then reappear.

Martín Tanaka, “From Crisis to Collapse of the Party Systems and Dilemmas of Democratic Representation: Peru and Venezuela.” In Scott Mainwaring, Ana María Bejarano, and Eduardo Pizarro Leongómez (eds.). The Crisis of Democratic Representation in the Andes (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006): 56.


boz 11:46 AM  

And of course Garcia and Ortega are already back. Carlos Mesa may run in Bolivia later this year. Nestor Kirchner is running for Congress. Uribe may run in 2014 if he decides against 2010.

I was at an event yesterday where someone was talking about a potential Lula 2014 or 2018 campaign as well.

Greg Weeks 2:03 PM  

The Peruvian case is really bizarre, because not only do you have both Garcia and Toledo, but then Fujimori's daughter essentially running to continue his legacy.

Anonymous,  10:00 PM  

I hear someone's digging up Getulio Vargas . . .

boz 7:30 AM  

Turns out Mesa has said he will not run in Bolivia. Sometime in mid-April he saw some polls and decided he'd back a different opposition candidate rather than run on his own. We'll see if he sticks to it.

Anonymous,  3:58 AM  

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