5 Latin American countries do not have a second round of elections

Why do these nations only have one round of voting to elect their presidents and what are the advantages and consequences?

5 Latin American countries do not have a second round of elections

The second electoral round aims to legitimize the elected, reach a clear majority, and negotiate alliances between defeated parties and wholesalers. Although this scenario is the common denominator in almost all of Latin America, there are five countries where there is no second round of elections: Mexico, Honduras, Panama, Venezuela, and Paraguay.

Leer en español: Estos 5 países latinoamericanos no tienen segunda vuelta electoral


In the case of the Aztec nation, the leaders elected by electoral elections are considered winners by obtaining the majority of votes, regardless of the number of participating voters. That is, who wins the most votes has reached even if the percentage is less than half of the voting population.

Mexico has tried for more than a decade to establish a second round of voting, but none of the proposals has been taken into account, and this could be due, according to analysts, to the security of the country's political forces that benefit from the current electoral system .

As the researcher at the Harvard Academy for ​​international studies, Mariano Sánchez Talanquer, explains for the BBC, "The big parties calculate that they have the possibility of winning under the current rule of relative majority, but the implications of a second round are not clear for any of them".


Venezuela has one of the most technologically advanced electoral systems in Latin America, which is at the same time the most manipulated and transgressed. According to Pedro Pablo Vanegas, an expert on electoral systems at the Universidad Externado de Colombia, an electronic voting system in a regime like that of Venezuela allows those who are in power to perpetuate themselves, because it allows them to claim that the results are valid. The Bolivarian country has seven instances of verification of votes, among which is the use of fingerprints, but its figures are maneuvered at the convenience of the Nicolás Maduro regime. Although the establishment of a second round in the Bolivarian nation would only be an extra step in its system of electoral manipulation, Vanegas indicates that the lack of a party system is why this figure doesn't exist.


In January 2018 a member of the Liberal Party presented a bill in the first session of the National Congress to implement the second round of elections. Liberal deputy Yury Sabas stated for La Prensa de Honduras that "the second round becomes a necessity in fragmented scenarios like ours, when there is a plurality of parties, but not necessarily a diversity of ideological political approaches."

Paraguay and Panama are also part of the nations that do not admit the double electoral round. Those who defend this ballot, as the second round is also known, affirm that it is the effective way to strengthen democracy and legitimize the president-elect. On the contrary, its detractors argue that it is a way to favor the most powerful political machineries and indirectly promote problems of governance instead of solving them.

LatinAmerican Post | Krishna Jaramillo

Translated from "5 países latinoamericanos no tienen segunda vuelta electoral"

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