Conservatism and Socialist governments divide Central America

Corruption scandals may define the next presidential elections in many countries in the region.


Lee en Español: Gobiernos conservadores y socialistas dividen a Centroamérica


The country is going through their worst political crisis in recent history. In 2015, president Otto Perez Molina, from the Patriotic Party, a conservative movement, resigned after a corruption scandal known as “La Línea”. According to the National Attorney, Pérez Molina committed fraud through the Superintendence of Tax Administration.

Recently, the current president Jimmy Morales, from the National Convergence Front, a conservative party, is at the hurricane’s eye. The Guatemalan Supreme Court authorized a preliminary trial against Morales for alleged illegal electoral financing.

Morales could face the removal of his presidential immunity and submit to a formal investigation and, probably, jail. It could results IGNORE INTO the third presidential election in less than 3 years.


The only constitutional monarchy in Central America is one of the most stable democracies in the region. The General Governor of Belize, Colville Young, and Belize’s Prime Minister Dean Barrow, are members of the United Democratic Party, a conservative and center-right party. The UDP controls 6 out of 13 seats in Senate, 19 out of 31 places in the House of Representatives, and 62 of 67 local governments.

The next elections are programmed on 13th February 2021. The socialist People’s United Party , the opposition party, needs 4 more seats in the House to win.


Juan Carlos Varela, the ruling president, is member of the Panameñista party, a nationalist and center-right movement. Despite the actual political stability, the former president and member of the Democratic Change party is accused of corruption and espionage.

Over the course of the next year, Panama will choose their new president. According to the Panamanian laws, the president can’t be elected again immediately. Despite there not being an official candidature, and the corruption scandal of the Democratic Change party, the presidential race will be between the Panameñista, the Democratic Revolutionary Party (social-democrat), and Broad Front for Democracy  (socialist).


The Honduras’ National Party (liberal ideology) has been in power since 2010.  Right now, the party controls the Honduran Congress and the presidency. Juan Orlando Hernández, the current president, has a favorable acceptance in the population.

The country will have presidential elections on November 26th of the current year. JOH is leading the polls with 36% against Luís Zelaya (18%) of the Liberal Party and the Xiomara Castro 12% of the socialist LIBRE Party.

Costa Rica:

The Ticos may have the most stable and strong democracy in the region. However, the current president, Luís Guillermo Solís (social-democrat), doesn’t have positive approval numbers.

The country will hold presidential elections in May 2018. The candidates that will compete are: Carlos Alvarada Quesada, Citizen Action Party (the ruling party); Rodolfo Piza Rocafort, Social Christian Unity Party (Center-right ideology); Otto Guevara Guth, Libertarian Movement (right), and Antonio Álvarez Desanti, National Liberation Party (Center-right ideology). According to the most recent polls, Desanti is the front-runner candidate.

El Salvador:

Salvador Sánchez Cerén is the second socialist president after Carlos Mauricio Funes. Cerén was a member of the Popular Forces of Liberation and is the first former “guerrillero” president in the country’s history.

Nowadays, the National Republican Alliance (ARENA), the opposition party, rules the National Assembly. For the next presidential elections, ARENA (conservative party) will try to win the absolute majority and gain access to the presidency.


Daniel Ortega, probably the most controversial leader in the region. Ortega was elected president, for the first time, in 1984 but lost in 1990. However, since 2007 the “Sandinista” leader controls the country until 2021. The Nicaraguan law allows the indefinite reelection.

The opposition accused him of dictatorship, persecution, and destroying the separation of powers. They accused him of becoming what he once said be against, dictatorships.


Latin American Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

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