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Re-election and political career paths in the Uruguayan Congress, 1985–99

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Given the presumed marginal – or at best the ‘rubber-stamp legitimising' – character of Latin American legislatures, they ‘have escaped careful scrutiny'. Even in cases where legislatures are supposed to play a much more significant role than the continental average, such as Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay, knowledge of legislative politics is still far from conclusive. This article studies re-election patterns of legislators in Uruguay during the four post-authoritarian elections. During these elections in Uruguay, we observed a decreasing but still high rate of turnover of legislators. These high rates of legislative turnover are affected by a significant number of legislators who do not seek re-election. While inter-party electoral volatility strongly influences the rates of incumbent re-election, intra-party volatility does not seem to have an impact on this phenomenon. Lastly, the closed and blocked lists in conjunction with the Uruguayan multiple simultaneous vote, and the fact that a legislator belongs to the Senate, are additional institutional features that help to explain the turnover and incumbent re-election in the legislature.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Instituto de Ciencia Política at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Chile 2: Instituto de Ciencia Política at the Universidad de la República, Uruguay

Publication date: March 1, 2005


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