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Cabinet Duration in Latin American Presidential Democracies
Unformatted Document Text:  instance, 66.4% of the cabinets are formed along with at least one coalition partner, and 37.9% of the coalition cabinets are dissolved by the breakdown of the coalitions. 1 Moreover, the cabinet is sometimes terminated because the president steps down early. 2 Table 1 summarizes the reasons behind the dissolution of Latin American cabinets. 36.7% of the cabinets fail to survive to the next election. 32.1% are terminated before the election by the change of coalition partners or resignation of ministers. 3 4.6% are dissolved because the president steps down prior to the next scheduled election. TABLE 1. Reasons for Cabinet Dissolution in Latin American Presidential Democracies Reasons for dissolution % N Survive(63.3%) Constitutionally scheduled election a 41.2 54 Cabinet reshuffle b 22.1 29 Fail to survive(36.7%) Change in the party composition of the cabinet 21.4 28 Cabinet resignation c 10.7 14 Step down of the president d 4.6 6 Total 100.0 131 Note: a) Both presidential and parliamentary elections are included. b) Ministers are replaced without changing party composition of the cabinet.c) All ministers in the cabinet resign.d) The president steps down early due to an impeachment by the parliament, military coup or people’s uprising. Source: Acir Almeida’s dataset about cabinet coalitions in Latin America Second, and more importantly, cabinet dissolutions have significant political effects in presidential regimes as well. Firstly, when a cabinet is dissolved due to the resignation of the president, the dissolution ends the government. Secondly, even though a cabinet resignation does not lead to the end of government in presidentialism, it undermines the president’s capacity to 1 Only 44 out of 131 governments in my dataset about cabinet coalitions in ten Latin American countries are one- party cabinets 2 The president leaves office prior to the next election due to an impeachment of the president by the parliament, a people’s uprising, or a military coup . 3 Most cabinet duration literature considers any change in the party composition of the cabinet as its dissolution . 3

Authors: Shin, Jae Hyeok.
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instance, 66.4% of the cabinets are formed along with at least one coalition partner, and 37.9% of
the coalition cabinets are dissolved by the breakdown of the coalitions.
Moreover, the cabinet is
sometimes terminated because the president steps down early.
Table 1 summarizes the reasons
behind the dissolution of Latin American cabinets. 36.7% of the cabinets fail to survive to the
next election. 32.1% are terminated before the election by the change of coalition partners or
resignation of ministers.
4.6% are dissolved because the president steps down prior to the next
scheduled election.
TABLE 1. Reasons for Cabinet Dissolution in Latin American Presidential Democracies
Reasons for dissolution
%
N
Survive
(63.3%)
Constitutionally scheduled election
a
41.2
54
Cabinet reshuffle
b
22.1
29
Fail to survive
(36.7%)
Change in the party composition of the cabinet
21.4
28
Cabinet resignation
c
10.7
14
Step down of the president
d
4.6
6
Total
100.0
131
Note: a) Both presidential and parliamentary elections are included.
b) Ministers are replaced without changing party composition of the cabinet.
c) All ministers in the cabinet resign.
d) The president steps down early due to an impeachment by the parliament, military coup or people’s
uprising.
Source: Acir Almeida’s dataset about cabinet coalitions in Latin America
Second, and more importantly, cabinet dissolutions have significant political effects in
presidential regimes as well. Firstly, when a cabinet is dissolved due to the resignation of the
president, the dissolution ends the government. Secondly, even though a cabinet resignation does
not lead to the end of government in presidentialism, it undermines the president’s capacity to
1
Only 44 out of 131 governments in my dataset about cabinet coalitions in ten Latin American countries are one-
party cabinets
2
The president leaves office prior to the next election due to an impeachment of the president by the parliament, a
people’s uprising, or a military coup .
3
Most cabinet duration literature considers any change in the party composition of the cabinet as its dissolution .
3


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