In this edition of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems’ (IFES) Dialogues on Democracy, Editorial and Communications Manager Adam Gallagher talks with Vice President of Programs Michael Svetlik about the busy slate of elections in Latin America in the year ahead. In his role at IFES, Svetlik provides policy and programming guidance to IFES’ international operations that currently include electoral assistance and democratic institution building in over 30 countries.
In recent years, Latin American countries have made considerable progress in consolidating democracy and holding credible elections. Yet, challenges remain, as citizens are increasingly demanding higher quality elections that uphold transparency, social inclusion and accountability. Svetlik discusses why 2018 will be an important year for democracy in Latin America, the potential for democratic backsliding, Mexico and Venezuela's upcoming elections, and the role of professional independent election management in meeting challenges to democracy.
For more on Latin America’s 2018 elections, please see Svetlik’s testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere.