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Year 3 No. 8 May 2010

Hegemonic Presidential System and Crisis in the Political Parties in Latin America

Presidencialismo Hegemónico y Crisis en los Partidos Políticos en América Latina


By: Félix Ulloa

Overcoming the military dictatorships in Latin America, the debate on democratic consolidation has focused one of its axes in political reform.  Hoping to find a safe path towards economic inclusive, participatory and solidary models, which are politically stable, the presidential and parliamentary regimes have been considered.  Knowing that most stable democracies lie in parliamentary systems, Dieter Nohlen proposed a revision and adaptation to the presidential system under the conditions of each country (without reaching the semi-presidential system of the Fifth French Republic), while Juan Linz intended to make the leap to a parliamentary democracy  , breaking chains against the presidential system.

Of course both scenarios, one less empirical than the other, would have to have an institutional base founded on a strong political party system and electoral infrastructure that our countries have not sufficiently developed.

Despite assigning its birth to parliamentarism in England in 1640 and acknowledge good performance in Europe and some former colonies like New Zealand, Canada or Australia-and not very laudable examples especially in Asia and Africa, our continent opted for the presidential regime and as success story par excellence is cited the United States. Read complete article

The Invited Pen / Historical significance and importance of the Cadiz Constitution

La Pluma Invitada / Significado histórico e importancia de la Constitución de Cádiz

By: Rigoberto González


I. Historical significance

When the elaboration, discussion and final adoption of the Constitution of Cadiz, Spain is proposed, the Spanish monarchy was harassed by two critical circumstances in its history.

Indeed, on the one hand, in some American provinces of the Spanish kingdom the emancipatory movements resulting in their final independence to become independent states had already started.  On the other hand, the peninsula was invaded by Napoleon's troops, imposing regulations and a king to rule in the territories invaded by Napoleon's army.

Despite these circumstances and within that context, the courts convened in constitutional functions, approved in March 1812 the Constitution of the Spanish monarchy, historically known as the Constitution of Cadiz, because this Constitution was discussed and approved in this region of Spain.  The Preamble of that Constitution clearly and accurately established the purpose seek by the approval of this legal text which recorded that "general and special courts of the Spanish nation" in enacting or issuing the pertaining Constitution did it "for the good governance and proper administration of the State." Read complete article


La Entrevista

By: Ramón Tejada Aparicio

Public funding to political parties in Panama

The Electoral Tribunal is responsible to regulate, manage, monitor and audit the management of public funding provided for in the Electoral Code to independent candidates and political parties.

Article 179 of the Electoral Code provides that the State will contribute towards the expenditure incurred by political parties and independent candidates in the general election.

The State's contribution towards the costs of political parties and independent candidates is made by the Electoral Tribunal, through pre-election and post-election financing. Read complete article

Electoral reforms, the key to human development in Panama

Reformas electorales, claves del  desarrollo humano en Panamá


By: José Eguren

Last January began the process of electoral reforms, with the installation of the National Commission on Electoral Reforms by the Electoral Court, with the scope of the May 2014 elections and the effort and commitment of the Panamanian society to discuss and update electoral rules.

If we value the National Commission on Electoral Reforms with a human development approach is evident that we have a space that recognizes and at the same time strengthens the capacities of Panamanian citizens to choose the political system in which they wish to live.  Having refined electoral reform processes since 1992 is a very good example of how to build institutions, maintaining a balance between continuity and innovation.

The Commission shows that the best way for the institutions to achieve political legitimacy is to involve citizens in their design.  No one supports anything they do not feel they belong to.  With the periodic installation of the Commission, the Panamanian society confirms its commitment and tradition of dialogue and its ability to reach agreementsRead complete articlele





By: Erasmo Pinilla C.


First of all, a cordial greeting to the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) of Haiti and our solidarity to this people very close to our heart, whom we wish a speedy recovery after the devastating earthquake of 12 January.  Similarly, we sympathize with the Chilean people very close to our hearts who also suffered a violent earthquake, and whom we congratulate for the election of their new President, Sebastian Piñera, in an exemplary and impecable process. Similarly, we are pleased with the close to our heart people of Costa Rica who held their elections in February and elected Dr. Laura Chinchilla, who becomes the first woman to hold the Presidency of that country.  We must also congratulate José Miguel Insulza on his reelection in March as Secretary General of the OAS.

Given this introduction, we turn to review the contents of this Electoral World 8th edition. As for the national aspect, we have the remarks of Magistrate Gerardo Solis during the installation session of the National Commission on Electoral Reforms (CNRE).  Similarly, we have the contributions of Jose Eguren, Resident Representative of the United Nations System in Panama who writes about "Electoral Reforms as a key to human development in Panama"; Norma Nuñez Montoto, from University of the Americas, presents hes views on "Education and Democracy"; Elbia Muñoz of the Electoral Tribunal of Panama writes about the Electronic Vote. Read complete article

From the International Editor - Between Columns / Bicentennial 2010: history of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela and their electoral bodies

Del Editor Internacional / Entre Columnas / Bicentenario 2010: historia de Argentina, Chile, Colombia, México y Venezuela y la de sus organismos electorales

By: Dr. Andrés Sosa Clavel


In 2010 Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela are celebrating their bicentennial (1810-2010).  It is the celebration, on each of these nations, of 200 years since the beginning of these countries as independent of the Spanish Crown, to which they depended since 1492 until well into the nineteenth century.

In 2009 Ecuador and Bolivia celebrated their bicentennial (1809-2009).

Between 1809 and 1810 the first actions towards independence took place.  The common denominator in these countries had to do with the fact that the Spanish situation had changed dramatically.   Just as in Spain raised a crisis of the monarchy, on American lands people also realized that there was a change of era and that these countries had reached the point when they should choose their own government, with or without the king.  Researchers in the field indicate that the word independence could have many meanings, depending on who use it and under what pretext.  These concerns center around 1809 and 1810; the French invade Spain, the king disappears; Carlos IV abdicates in favor of his son, then his son will, too...  For all the societies of the Spanish colony, the head had disappeared and therefore, fell into question the local heads, the viceroys.  They came into question in Mexico, New Granada, Peru and Rio de la Plata. Read complete article

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