Saturday April 20, 2024

Year of global elections

That’s why, China, US and international community are keeping a close eye on upcoming elections

By Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani
January 12, 2024
A female voter casting a ballot at a polling station during bye-elections for LG seats on November 05, 2023.— APP
A female voter casting a ballot at a polling station during bye-elections for LG seats on November 05, 2023.— APP

Pakistani citizens will exercise their right to vote next month on February 8 to send their favourite political representatives to the National Assembly. In March, the Senate elections will also be held.

Interestingly, in this year 2024, elections will not be limited to Pakistan. Other countries including the US, Russia, India, North Korea, Indonesia, Portugal, Mexico, Taiwan, South Africa, and EU member-states will also conduct elections.

Bangladesh has already held its elections; the Awami League – the party of the current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina – has won the national elections for the fourth time. However, all the major opposition parties, including the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, boycotted the elections held on January 7. As per the Bangladesh Election Commission, the Awami League has received more than fifty percent of the total votes.

Now Taiwan is all set to hold its presidential election from January 13. Previous year, the Taiwan conflict on the international scene also made the international community anxious. That’s why, China, the US and the international community are keeping a close eye on the upcoming elections.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, embroiled in the Ukraine war, has once again emerged as the strongest presidential candidate. Putin, who came to power at the beginning of this century, has the honour of ruling for the longest period of time in the history of modern Russia. Although a large number of people have been affected by the war in Ukraine, Putin intends to maintain his grip on power for the next 12 years after winning the presidential elections scheduled on March 17.

Elections will also be held in the world’s largest democracy in April-May this year. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to win for the third time. According to analysts, the BJP’s victory will have far-reaching consequences not only for India but also for the region.

In Indonesia, the world’s largest one-day election will be held in February in which more than 200 million voters will exercise their right to vote. The European parliament’s new elections will also be held in June this year, in which Europeans will elect 705 new members. The new EU parliament will remain active until 2029.

Similarly, many other countries including Mexico, Venezuela, North Korea, Finland, Romania, Portugal, Slovakia, El Salvador and Lithuania, are all set to hold national elections this year.

However, on the international arena, the 60th US presidential elections, to be held in November, are considered the most pivotal, in which incumbent President Joe Biden will once again present himself as the Democratic candidate. Biden’s possible victory at the age of 81 will see him serve as the oldest president in US history.

Regardless of the nature of bilateral relations between Pakistan and India at the state level, Pakistani- and Indian-origin citizens residing in the US have similar socio-political attitudes, as the majority of citizens of both countries are politically inclined towards the Democrats. Interestingly, an Indian-American tech entrepreneur, Vivek Ramaswamy, has also emerged as a rising Republican presidential candidate.

This time, due to the Trump factor, a change in traditional politics is expected in the US, whereas another Indian-American politician, Nikki Haley, is also preparing to run in the upcoming elections. At the end of the year 2024, preparations for the national election in the UK will be finalized.

In my view, the year 2024 will prove to be an extraordinary and pivotal year in history. If the general elections of February 8 in our country will determine the future of Pakistan, then various global elections have the potential to change the fate of the world entirely.

The most important factor, however, to be noticed is whether the governments that come to power this year will struggle to establish world peace or we will be moving towards the third world war.

The writer is a former member of the National Assembly and patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council. He tweets/posts @RVankwani