Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections




Latin America and the Caribbean:
Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections

Updated November 22, 2021
Congressional Research Service
https://crsreports.congress.gov
98-684




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his report provides the results of recent presidential elections in Latin America and the
Caribbean. Below are three tables, organized by region, that include the date of each
T country’s independence, the name of the most recently elected president or prime minister,
and the projected date of the next presidential election. Information in this report was gathered
from numerous sources, including the U.S. State Department, Central Intel igence Agency’s
(CIA’s) World Fact Book, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) Election Guide,
Economist Intel igence Unit (EIU), and other news sources.
Table 1. South America: Heads of State and Election Schedules
Last
Independence
Head of
Election/
Next
Country
Date
Government
Runoff
Election/Runoff
Argentina
July 9, 1816
FERNÁNDEZ, Alberto
Oct. 27, 2019
Oct. 2023
Bolivia
Aug. 6, 1825
ARCE, Luisa
Oct. 18, 2020b
2025
Brazil
Sept. 7, 1822
BOLSONARO, Jair
Oct. 7, 2018/
Oct. 2022
Oct. 28, 2018
Chile
Sept. 18, 1810
PIÑERA, Sebastián
Nov. 19, 2017/
Nov. 21, 2021/
Dec. 17, 2017
Dec. 19, 2021c
Colombia
July 20, 1810
DUQUE, Iván
May 27, 2018/
May 2022
June 17, 2018
Ecuador
May 24, 1822
LASSO, Guil ermo
Feb. 7, 2021/
Feb. 2025
Apr. 11, 2021
Paraguay
May 14, 1811
ABDO BENITEZ, Mario
Apr. 22, 2018
Apr. 2023
Peru
July 28, 1821
CASTILLO, Pedro
Apr. 11, 2021
Apr. 2026
/June 6, 2021
Uruguay
Aug. 25, 1825
LACALLE POU, Luis
Oct. 27, 2019/
Oct. 2024
Nov. 24, 2019
Venezuela
July 5, 1811
MADURO, Nicolás
May 20, 2018d
May 2024
Source: Compiled by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).
Notes: For information on Guyana and Suriname, see Table 3.
a. Evo Morales stepped down from office on November 10, 2019, due to concerns of fraud in his October
2019 reelection bid. Second Vice President of the Senate Jeanine Áñez became interim president on
November 12, 2019. Fol owing elections on October 18, 2020, with the victory for the political party MAS,
Luis Arce became president on November 8, 2020.
b. Elections were held on October 18, after the November 2019 results were annul ed, and then delayed in
March 2020 due to the spread of COVID-19. See CRS In Focus IF11325, Bolivia: An Overview, by Clare
Ribando Seelke.
c. The first round of Chile’s presidential election did not produce a majority winner and a runoff election is
scheduled between front runners José Antonio Kast and Gabriel Boric, who received 27.9% of the vote and
25.8%, respectively.
d. In a controversial move, Venezuela’s presidential election was moved earlier from December 2018 to May
20, 2018. Most Venezuelans and much of the international community considered the May 2018 election, in
which then-President Nicolás Maduro won reelection, as il egitimate (CRS In Focus IF10230, Venezuela:
Political Crisis and U.S. Policy
, by Clare Ribando Seelke). The United States and over 50 other countries have
recognized Juan Guaidó, elected president of Venezuela’s National Assembly in January 2019, a s interim
president of Venezuela, yet Maduro remains in power.
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Table 2. Mexico and Central America: Heads of State and Election Schedules
Last
Independence
Head of
Election/
Next
Country
Date
Government
Runoff
Election/Runoff
Mexico
Sept. 16, 1810
LÓPEZ OBRADOR, Andrés Manuel
July 1, 2018
July 1, 2024
Costa Rica
Sept. 15, 1821
ALVARADO, Carlos
Feb. 4, 2018/
Feb. 2022
Apr. 1, 2018
El Salvador
Sept. 15, 1821
BUKELE, Nayib
Feb. 3, 2019
Feb. 2024
Guatemala
Sept. 15, 1821
GIAMMATTEI, Alejandro
June 16, 2019/
2023
Aug. 11, 2019
Honduras
Sept. 15, 1821
HERNÁNDEZ, Juan Orlando
Nov. 26, 2017
Nov. 28, 2021
Nicaragua
Sept. 15, 1821
ORTEGA, Daniel
Nov. 7, 2021a
Nov. 2025
Panama
Nov. 3, 1903
CORTIZO, Laurentino
May 5, 2019
May 2024
Source: Compiled by CRS.
Notes: For information on Belize, see Table 3.
a. Prior to the elections, the Ortega government arrested eight people who sought to chal enge Ortega in the
elections and dozens of political and civil society leaders. The White House declared it “a pantomime
election that was neither free nor fair, and most certainly not democratic.” See The White House,
“Statement by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on Nicaragua’s Sham Elections,” November 7, 2021. See CRS
Report R46860, Nicaragua in Brief: Political Developments in 2021, U.S. Policy, and Issues for Congress, by
Maureen Taft-Morales.
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Table 3. Caribbean: Heads of State and Election Schedules
Last
Next
Independence
Head of
Election/
Election/
Country
Date
Government
Runoff
Runoff
Antigua and Barbuda
Nov. 1, 1981
BROWNE, Gaston
Mar. 21, 2018
by Mar. 2023
Bahamas
July 10, 1973
DAVIS, Philip
Sept. 16, 2021
by Sept. 2026
Barbados
Nov. 30, 1966
MOTTLEY, Mia
May 25, 2018
by May 2023
Belize
Sept. 21, 1981
BRICEŇO, Johnny
Nov. 11, 2020
by 2025
Cubaa
May 20, 1902
DÍAZ-CANEL, Miguel
Apr. 2018
Apr. 2023
Dominica
Nov. 3, 1978
SKERRIT, Roosevelt
Dec. 6, 2019
by Mar. 2025
Dominican Republicb
Feb. 27, 1844
ABINADER, Luis
July 5, 2020
May 2024
Grenada
Feb. 7, 1974
MITCHELL, Keith
Mar. 13, 2018
by Mar. 2023
Guyana
May 26, 1966
ALI, Irfaan
Mar. 2, 2020c
by 2025
Haiti
Jan. 1, 1804
HENRY, Arield
Nov. 20, 2016e
Postponed until
2022a
Jamaica
Aug. 6, 1962
HOLNESS, Andrew
Sept. 3, 2020
by 2025
St. Kitts and Nevis
Sept. 19, 1983
HARRIS, Timothy
June 5, 2020
by 2025
St. Lucia
Feb. 22, 1979
PIERRE, Philip
July 26, 2021
by June 2026
St. Vincent and the
Oct. 27, 1979
GONSALVES, Ralph E.
Nov. 5, 2020
by 2025
Grenadines
Suriname
Nov. 25, 1975
SANTOKHI,
May 25, 2020
2025
Chandrikapersadg
Trinidad and Tobago
Aug. 31, 1962
ROWLEY, Keith
Aug. 10, 2020
by 2025
Source: Compiled by CRS.
Notes: Although Belize is located in Central America and Guyana and Suriname are located in South America,
al three are members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
a. Cuba does not have direct elections for its head of government. Instead, Cuba’s legislature selects the
members of the 31-member Council of State, with the president of that body serving as Cuba’s head of
government and head of state. In April 2019, Cuba’s legislature selected Miguel Diaz-Canel for a five-year
term. In October 2019, Cuba’s legislature appointed Diaz-Canel as president of the republic under Cuba’s
new constitution.
b. The Dominican Republic moved elections from May to July 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
c. Irfaan Ali was sworn into office on August 2, 2020, five months after elections were held on March, 2, 2020.
Al egations of fraud and vote tampering delayed the election results as legal chal enges were pursued by
supporters of the ruling government led by President David Granger. See CRS In Focus IF11381, Guyana: An
Overview
, by Mark P. Sul ivan.
d. President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated on July 7, 2021. Haitian Acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph was
in charge in the immediate aftermath. Moïse had named Ariel Henry as prime minister, but not sworn him in
the day before his death. Henry was sworn in as de facto prime minister on July 20, 2021. Under the Haitian
Constitution, either the Council of Ministers under the Prime Minister should govern or, in the last year of
a presidential term, the legislature should elect a provisional president. Currently, there is no functioning
legislature, as most of the legislators’ terms have expired. See CRS Insight IN11699, Haiti: Concerns After the
Presidential Assassination
, by Maureen Taft-Morales.
e. Haiti held controversial national elections on October 25, 2015. After postponing runoff elections several
times, the Provisional Electoral Council announced new presidential elections would take place instead in
October 2016; these were delayed for a month due to Hurricane Matthew.
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Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections

f.
There is a dispute over whether Moïse’s five-year term began the February after an anul ed election process
in fal 2015, or upon his inauguration in 2017. On January 13, 2020, most of the national legislature’s terms
expired without the body having passed an elections law to elect new legislators. From that date until his
death, President Moïse ruled by decree. Moïse appointed a new Provisional Electoral Council by decree,
which announced a constitutional referendum that may change electoral laws, and parliamentary and
presidential elections as indicated. Some argue the moves could be unconstitutional. See CRS Report
R45034, Haiti’s Political and Economic Conditions, by Maureen Taft-Morales. In August 2021, Haiti’s Provisional
Electoral Council announced November 7 for the first round of elections for president, the legislature, and
a constitutional referendum with a runoff election, if necessary, on January 23, 2022. On September 27,
2021, de facto Prime Minister Henry dissolved the Provisional Electoral Council and later said he plans to
hold a constitutional referendum by February 2022 and elections soon after. See Dánica Coto, Joshua
Goodman and Pierre-Richard Luxama, “The AP Interview: Haiti PM plans to hold elections next year,”
Associated Press, September 28, 2021.
g. A coalition of four opposition parties won the most legislative seats in May 2020, On July 13, 2020, the
newly elected National Assembly elected Chandrikapersad “Chan” Santokhi as president, who was sworn in
on July 16, 2020, succeeding Dési Bouterse who served as president since 2010.



Author Information

Carla Y. Davis-Castro

Research Librarian




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Congressional Research Service
98-684 · VERSION 148 · UPDATED
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