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COVID will worsen democratic deficit in South America

Monday, March 8, 2021

Significance

Across the region, declining trust in political elites has led to polarisation and the fragmentation of political systems, as traditional parties lose favour. Nevertheless, election processes are proceeding as scheduled, including presidential contests this year in Ecuador, Peru and Chile, despite some fraud claims in Ecuador's first round.

Impacts

  • Citizens’ discontent will continue to focus not just on incumbents, but often the entire political class.
  • With rising debt levels and declining revenues, governments will have limited capacity to address citizens’ demands.
  • Democratic institutions will be under severe pressure, and a new wave of street protests is likely.
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