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Luis Salgado

How long does the presidency last in Latin America?

- On average, a president in Latin America holds office for 4.6 years.

How long does the presidency last in Latin America?

The default Head of Government in Latin America is the president, with the sole exception of Belize, where such power rests with the figure of the prime minister. However, despite the existence of what might seem to be a common denominator in the region, that is to say, a strong presidentialism, in reality we find strong differences between the executives of each country – the duration of the position is one of them.

In the entire region we will find only three possible scenarios: 4, 5 and 6 years as periods in which the presidency can be held. On average, a president in Latin America holds office for 4.6 years.

Mexico and Venezuela are the only places where the mandate lasts 6 years. In Cuba, Bolivia, El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, the presidency lasts 5 years. While in the remaining 10 countries only 4 years. However, in this last group it is common to find that re-election is allowed, being only Guatemala and Belize where it is unconstitutional.

Within the 5-year group, re-election also turns out to be a concurrent phenomenon, Paraguay being the only exception since a former president is not allowed to run for office again. Of the countries whose presidency lasts 6 years, it is only Venezuela where it is possible for a president to hold office on more than one occasion.

Despite the relatively short mandates, in Latin America there are certain figures who have exercised the executive power of their respective countries for long periods. Such is the case of Nicaraguan Daniel Ortega, who currently holds the region's record with 18 years in government. Evo Morales was located until a couple of years ago in second place, since he had been occupying the head of Government of Bolivia for just over 13 years.

Duration of the presidency in Latin America

Country Duration Years
Mexico 6
Venezuela 6
Bolivian 5
Cuba 5
El Salvador 5
Haiti 5
Nicaraguan 5
Panama 5
Paraguayan 5
Peru 5
Uruguay 5
Argentinian 4
Belize 4
Brazil 4
Chile 4
Colombia 4
Costa Rica 4
Ecuador 4
Guatemala 4
Honduras 4
Dominican Republic 4

Mexico and Venezuela are the countries where the president exercises his mandate for the longest time.


    Georgetown University (2019). Political Database of the Americas. Consultado el 27 de enero de 2021 en

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Salgado, Luis. “¿Cuánto dura la presidencia en América Latina?.” CEMERI, 23 sept. 2022,