Michelle Bachelet was elected as Chile's president again on Sunday in a landslide victory that hands the center-leftist the mandate she sought to push ahead with wide-reaching reforms. Bachelet won with about 62 percent support, the highest proportion of votes any presidential candidate has obtained since Chile returned to holding democratic elections in 1989.
Egyptians will vote on a new constitution on Jan. 14 and 15, pushing on with the army-backed government's plan for transition back to democracy after its overthrow of elected Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. The new document is designed to replace one passed by Morsi, deposed by the army in July after mass protests against his rule. It should pave the way for new parliamentary and presidential elections to take place next year.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's popularity continued to recover in November thanks to her government's social programs and a slowdown in inflation, a poll showed on Friday, making her the clear favorite in next year's presidential vote. Seventy-five percent of respondents rated Rousseff's government "good/great" or "average" in the latest Ibope/CNI poll. That was up from 72 percent in September and 65 percent in July, when millions of Brazilians took to the streets to protest poor public transportation, corruption and crime.
Throughout the fall, things looked bad for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. His popularity was tanking; most Venezuelans blamed his government for the economic crisis that had been plaguing the country since the end of 2012. In just one year, inflation had soared from 20 percent to more than 50 percent, and shortages of electricity, food, and other essentials had become a part of everyday life. Efforts to control pandemic criminal violence hadn’t yielded significant results, either.
Elections matter. And in the coming year Latin America will see no less than eight scheduled elections for president. From Honduras to Chile, the hemisphere faces a collective referendum on the ability of governments to recharge economic growth while meeting the increasing social demands of the people.
IranWire, a website run by the Canadian-Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari, reports the unsurprising news that some officials in Tehran are not looking forward to seeing Jon Stewart’s new film, “Rosewater,” which was adapted from Mr. Bahari’s memoir about living through Iran’s disputed 2009 presidential election.
Just over two months ago, the Tamils went to the polls for Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council elections with defiance, yet with a cautious sense of festivity. Military harassment of voters and party candidates had been thorough and brutally innovative throughout the campaigning; in addition to the typical battering of election monitors, cash-for-votes and widespread intimidation, government supporters had even printed a fake newspaper.
One hundred days into his first term as Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani offered an upbeat progress report to the country Tuesday, two days after a nuclear deal with world powers gave his young administration a much-needed boost. “We pride ourselves on being accountable to our people,” Rouhani said at the start of a live television question-and-answer session in which he outlined his administration’s handling of Iran’s domestic and foreign affairs since taking power in August.