IN A YEAR FULL OF electoral events, continuity is great news for the region.

BRAZILIANS LOATHE THE CORRUPT politicians from the Workers Party, which governed from 2003 through last year, but the former president and party founder-

Inacio Lula da Silva is leading in the polls for next year's vote, - if allowed to run despite serious corruption charges, he may be elected for a third term.

In a pre-election perspective and publishing, although Nicolas Maduro would almost certainly to lose a presidential contest in Venezuela in 2018, if one were to be held, his party was able to win or steal a large number of state governorships just last month.

[Nicolas Maduro, by the way, won the elections in May and got re-elected for the second six-year term].

He has clearly withered the storm created by mass protests and egregious human rights violations.

Finally, a tight race in Honduras has left a popular incumbent in limbo. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal announced that a special count gave President Juan Orlando Hernendez a L59 percent lead over the opposition candidate, Salvador Nasralla.

But uncertainty still clouds the final result : widespread fraud is suspected, a recall is being demanded by Mr. Nasralla, and his final outcome remains in doubt with the possibility that his challenger may yet achieve an unexpected victory, after having run on an anticorruption plank.

In Colombia, the vote could be transformed into a referendum on Juan Manuel Santos's agreement with a guerrilla organization that destabilized the country for more than half a century.

If so, supporters of the agreement in his own party and on the left could be swamped by supporters of former President Alvaro Uribe, who has ferociously fought against the peace deal.

His successors could be swept back into office. but aside from the war-or-peace issue - admittedly not a minor one - on many other issues Mr. Santos's candidates and Mr. Uribe's differ mostly in tone.

The former FARC gueriilas will be on the ballot as the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force party; that is a novelty. They are expected to receive such a tiny percentage of the vote that they will make into Congress only because the peace agreement gurantees them seats.

Only in Mexico and Brazil - granted. of enormous in the region - is there a founded fear of outsider incursions.

Five years of widespread corruption; 10 years of bloody, exorbitantly expensive and useless war on drugs; and 25 years of mediocre economic growth might finally lead Mexican voters to despair and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the former left-wing mayor of Mexico city will be-

Competing against lackluster candidates from the P.R.I and the P.A.N whose recent administrations have disappointed everyone.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Operational Perspectives and Research on Latin America, Politics and Leaders continues to Part 3. !WOW! thanks author and researcher Jorge G. Castaneda 


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