Colombian Presidential Election Heats Up in Final Weeks

With the first round of Colombia’s presidential elections set to take place on May 29, the stakes are rising as candidates representing vastly different views prepare to face off. Colombia experienced massive protests in 2021, according to BBC News, and this election will demonstrate the strength of opposition movements in the country. The election is currently contested among three major candidates: Gustavo Petro from the left-leaning “El Pacto Historico” coalition, Federico Gutierrez of the right-wing “Coalición Equipo por Colombia,” and an anti-corruption candidate named Rodolfo Hernandez. 

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Ecuador Requests Extradition of Former President Rafael Correa

On April 22, an Ecuadorian high court requested the extradition of former leftist President Rafael Correa from his current residence in Belgium. Correa, who has lived in Belgium since the end of his presidency in 2017, was sentenced in absentia to eight years in prison for the alleged acceptance of bribes to finance his political endeavors between 2012 and 2016 in exchange for state contracts worth around $7 million.

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Viktor Orban Wins Fourth Term as Hungarian PM

On April 6, Viktor Orban, already serving out his third consecutive term, won the Hungarian parliamentary election in a landslide, a victory that will put Hungary on uncertain footing with the EU and other allies, Reuters reports. The mercurial leader of Hungary’s center-right populist party Fidesz, Orban has previously drawn the ire of European heads of state and EU commissioners alike for his abrasive rhetoric on gender and immigration issues.

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Ex-Honduran President Could Face Extradition to U.S.

A Honduran judge authorized the extradition of ex-president Juan Orlando Hernandez,  a month after police arrested him at his house per the request of the United States government, reports The Washington Post. The Associated Press notes that allegations against Hernandez were revealed in the trials of both Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernandez, a former Honduran congressman, and the president’s brother, and Geovanny Fuentes Ramirez. Hernandez will face charges of manufacturing, trafficking, and distribution of drugs and firearms in southern New York. 

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Honduras Swears in First Female President

After losing elections in 2013 and 2017, Xiomara Castro has officially been inaugurated as Honduras’s first female president, reports CNN. Castro first rose to political prominence in 2009, when she led a march through the nation’s capital demanding that her husband, former President Manuel Zelaya, be reinstated as president following a military coup. Castro, a  self-proclaimed democratic socialist brings an end to 12 years of right-wing leadership, BBC News adds. At her inauguration, she emphasized that she seeks to “refound” the nation on “citizen values, ”The New York Times reports. 

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80-Year-Old Italian President Elected to Second Term

Leading up to Italy’s presidential election, President Sergio Mattarella had plans that did not involve serving a second term. The 80-year-old president made this known, posting images of a packed-up presidential palace and making sure to be spotted on house hunting excursions. But after a week of struggles in Parliament to elect his replacement, Mattarella was asked to stay and accepted.

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Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega Re-Elected in Denounced Election

Early results from the Nicaraguan general election on November 7 indicate that incumbent President Daniel Ortega has won by a landslide, BBC News reports. The result was unsurprising to many onlookers across the globe, as President Ortega secured nearly 76 percent of the vote, winning his fourth consecutive term in office. 

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FOCUS on Pariah Leaders: Nicolás Maduro

Nicolás Maduro, the simultaneously reviled and celebrated socialist President of Venezuela, is facing another contested vote in November’s upcoming regional elections, according to CNN. The rise and fall of Maduro’s political legitimacy parallel that of other populist leaders in Latin America, but recent events indicate that Maduro may finally achieve the legitimacy he desires. 

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Czech Prime Minister Andrez Babis loses election in surprise defeat

Czech voters gave Prime Minister Andrej Babiš a narrow surprise defeat on Saturday, October 9 during the country’s general election. Babiš and his party, ANO 2011, lost after the two partner parties in his coalition, the Communist and Social Democratic parties, failed to get elected according to the proportional representation system used to elect the lower chambers.

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