Fiddling With Constitutions In Latin America
August 30, 1998
Observers report that the process fills the average citizen with apathy and cynicism.
- The Dominican Republic has had 32 different constitutions in just over 150 years, and Haiti has had 24 since 1804.
- Venezuela is South America's champion, with 25 separate charters in 187 years.
- In Central America, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua have each had 14 constitutions since splitting with Spain early in the 19th Century.
- Colombia appears to have been the most stable -- but it still changed the rules 12 times since 1810, last adopting a new constitution in 1991.
Panamanians will go to the polls today to vote on a measure that would allow their president to seek a second consecutive term next year. That country's current constitution has 322 articles.
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