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An Assortment of Choices: Unraveling the Impactful Elections of 2024




In the year 2024, electoral passion has swept across the globe, shaping the future of nations and influencing geopolitical landscapes. As citizens exercise their democratic rights, the outcomes of these elections will undoubtedly impact not only domestic policies but also international relations. From Asia to Europe and the US, there are around 64 countries along with the EU that will be going to polls this year, playing a pivotal role in determining the trajectory of nations and international relations. 


 

United States: A Historic Rematch? / President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump

The 60th quadrennial United States presidential election on November 5th is poised to be historic, potentially featuring a rematch between incumbent President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. With possible candidates from various parties; such as Robert F Kennedy Jr, Cornel West and Jill Stein, the election will shape the trajectory of U.S. policies on domestic and international fronts.


 

A population of 332 million awaits the outcome, recognizing the significance of leadership choices in navigating contemporary challenges. If Joe Biden and Donald Trump are indeed nominated by their parties, it will set the first presidential rematch since the 1956 elections between Dwight D. Eisenhower (Republican Party) and Adlai Stevenson (Democratic Party). However, Donald Trump's current trial on federal charges could possibly interfere, putting him under further scrutiny. 


A few other candidates:

Ryan Binkley / Nikki Haley / Dean Phillips / Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
 

India: The Battle for democracy


India, the world's most populous nation, is gearing up for national elections in April and May. Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the incumbent Prime Minister, is seeking a third consecutive five-year term. Despite facing opposition from the 26-party bloc, the Indian National Development Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), with prominent leaders such as Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, Arvind Kejriwal, and Mamata Banerjee, Modi remains popular amongst the vast Hindu majority.


The BJP prepares for the electoral days by engaging in a “Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra,” with the intention of appealing to the voter population. Similar to the Congress Party’s “Bharat Jodo Yatra,” numerous government officers and representatives take to the streets as part of their election campaign.

The I.N.D.I.A Alliance vs The NDA Coalition

 

Indonesia: A Generational Shift

Indonesia, the third-largest democratic state and an archipelago nation with a population of 279 million, geared up for presidential elections on February 14th. Joko Widodo, the current President, could not run for a third term due to term limits, allowing for the possibility of a new leader to emerge.


The primary contenders, namely Prabowo Subianto, Ganjar Pranowo, and Anies Baswedan, had all selected their respective running mates: Gibran Rakabuming Raka, Mahfud MD, and Muhaimin Iskandar.


Prabowo Subianto, incumbent Defence Minister accused of human rights abuses and third-time presidential candidate, has claimed victory based on unofficial "quick counts" by independent pollsters declaring he had secured 58% of votes while a preliminary tally by the election commission also shows the candidate was more favoured. A calculation of votes is currently underway, with an official result expected in the coming weeks. 

The election underscored power struggles among entrenched elites, with tensions arising from both generational shifts and the influence of established political forces. Conflicts for control within established elite circles, particularly the septuagenarian power brokers supporting new and old presidential hopefuls, accentuate the political tension in the country.


The primary candidates for Indonesia's presidential elections along with their running mates:




 

Taiwan: A Defining Moment


In Taiwan, the January 13th election took center stage, marking a crucial moment in the longstanding tensions between the island and China.

Lai Ching-te of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) emerged victorious, securing a third consecutive Presidential term for this party. He competed with Hou Yu-in of the main opposition, Kuomintang or the KMT, and Ko Wen-je of Taiwan's People's Party. 


Beijing cut off its communications with DPP, when Lai Ching-te’s predecessor won the elections in 2016, due to their belief that DPP is a threat to its "One China Policy.'' Accusations of separatist views against President-elect Lai Ching-te and Vice President-elect Hsiao Bi-Khim by the Kuomintang, former allies of the Taiwan's People's Party, have heightened tensions.


This is further exacerbated by the Democratic Progressive Party's push to bolster Taiwan's defense forces and foster closer ties with the United States.  Lai Ching-te, despite past pro-independence remarks, has emphasized maintaining the status quo and stability in the Taiwan Strait. The election reflects the evolving dynamics in cross-strait relations.


 


Pakistan: Political Landscape in Flux

On February 8th, Pakistan was set to elect members of its 16th National Assembly, amid severe economic challenges, raging climate disasters, and political unrest.


The elections were originally supposed to be held 90 days after the dissolution of the government on 10th August 2023, but taking the advice of the Election Committee of Pakistan (ECP) and Supreme Court, it was delayed to 8th February 2024. The leading contenders included Nawaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).


The imprisoned Imran Khan of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) sought public sympathy to regain political power, despite the party being barred from using their electoral symbol on ballots, inhibiting their recognition and resulting in various PTI politicians running as independent candidates.  


The Pakistani elections have been plagued by various irregularities including concerns over their credibility amidst allegations of rigging votes and delays in the declaration of results that add to the instability in Pakistan's polity. Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and candidates supported by ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan both claimed victory.


Independent PTI-affiliated candidates have taken the lead, securing 93 seats, while 133 seats were needed for a majority out of 265 lower house seats contested. On Tuesday, the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) disclosed intentions to forge a coalition government that would secure a majority with four other parties to thwart the PTI and end the election deadlock.



 

European Parliament: The First Post-Brexit Elections

In the heart of European politics, the upcoming European Parliament Elections from June 6th to 9th, 2024, mark a pivotal moment as the bloc charts its course post-Brexit. With 720 available seats and a requirement of 361 for a majority, the faction securing the majority will pledge to influence the trajectory of the European Union moving forward. 


The Party of European Socialists has thrown its weight behind Nicolas Schmit, a European commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, while the European Green Party boasts a formidable lineup of candidates. The European Free Alliance has already chosen Maylis Roßberg and Raül Romeva as its presidential hopefuls, with Volt Europa yet to unveil its top candidates. 


The elected EU leader will have a multifaceted agenda, navigating energy transition, geopolitical relations, and the expansion of the EU. Additionally, they will be addressing concerns such as competitiveness, security, defense, cybersecurity, data protection, and economic considerations. Europe prepares to elect its guiding force into a future filled with challenges and opportunities.



Major Parties:


Major Parties of the European Parliament


 


In Russia, the upcoming presidential election from the 15th to the 17th of March features Vladimir Putin seeking a fifth term. Due to constitutional reforms proposed by Putin and ratified in recent years, his term is set back to zero allowing him to seek reelection this year and in 2030, if he desires. Unofficial independent polls currently indicate a strong approval of around 80% in Russia. The election comes amid international scrutiny, with concerns over the political landscape and the fate of opposition figures.


His previous opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, from the Russia of the Future party, reportedly died on 16th February 2024, with the reasons still being uncovered and declared, while he was still imprisoned with his sentence extended by 19 years for organizing major anti-government protests in the country back in 2018.

Some other key opposition leaders include Leonid Slutsky, of the Liberal Democratic Party, Nikolai Kharitonov from the Communist Party, and Vladislav Davankov of New People, all opposed to Putin’s policies and Russia’s war in Ukraine. Putin's continued dominance raises questions about the future trajectory of Russian politics and its impact on global affairs. Ukraine remains unclear on dates for the presidential elections, as the country is currently under martial law. 


Alexei Navalny / Leonid Slutsky


 


In the vast landscape of global elections, each nation's democratic exercise holds unique implications. Whether addressing regional tensions, economic uncertainties, or generational shifts, the outcomes will echo beyond borders, shaping the world's political landscape in the years to come. As citizens cast their votes, the collective decisions will carve the path toward a future defined by the leaders chosen to navigate the complexities of our interconnected world.



 

Written by Dhriti Pasrija

Designed by Adi Roy

Edited by Veda Rodewald, Thenthamizh SS and Nandini Sarin


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