Asia This Week: September 9, 2022

September 9, 2022

A weekly review of key news and analysis of elections in Asia and the Indo-Pacific, usually posted on Fridays and occasionally updated throughout the week.

Eretoka Island, Vanuatu. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Phillip Capper (CC BY 2.0)

Upcoming Asia/Pacific Elections

Japan, Gubernatorial Election in Okinawa: September 11, 2022

Jiji (September 9, 2022): Okinawa governor race lacks steam as U.S. base issue fades

Gearoid Reidy, Bloomberg (September 6, 2022): Japan’s Play-It-Safe Prime Minister Is Living Dangerously

Vanuatu Snap Elections: October 13, 2022

Vanuatu is holding snap elections on October 13, 2022 – two years early.

ABC News Australia (September 9, 2022): Vanuatu to have snap election after opposition’s Supreme Court challenge dismissed

Nepal General and Provincial Elections: November 20, 2022

Anil Giri, Kathmandu Post (September 9, 2022): Many sides to Nepal visit of China’s top legislator: The Chinese appear interested in strengthening ties with Nepali MPs following the passage of the MCC compact.

Rishi Gupta, National Interest (September 4, 2022): Can China Make Inroads With Nepal Again? Securing Tibet’s loose ends in Nepal is increasingly complicated for China.

Taiwan Local Elections: November 26, 2022

Hsia Hsiao-hwa and Chen Meihua, Radio Free Asia (September 6, 2022): Candidates in Taiwan’s local elections could pledge to defend the democratic island: Calls grow for would-be municipal, regional and village councilors to sign a pledge of ‘no surrender’ to China.

Fiji General Elections: November 2022 (due)

Sadhana Sen and Stephen Howes, The Guardian (September 5, 2022): Coup leader v coup leader: strongman election shows cracks in Fiji’s democracy

India, State Elections in Himachal Pradesh: November 2022 (due)

Voice of America (September 9, 2022): India’s Congress Party Leader, Rahul Gandhi, Leads Long March to Revive Support

Bibhudatta Pradhan, Bloomberg (September 7, 2022): Congress Party to March For Months, Battling Modi’s Popularity

Thailand General Elections: By March 23, 2023 (earlier elections possible)

Ken Mathis Lohatepanont, Allen Hicken and Joel Selway, Washington Post (September 9, 2022): Has time run out for Thailand’s prime minister? Prayuth helped engineer a new constitution. Its term limits now complicate his political future.

Patpicha Tanakasempipat, Bloomberg (September 6, 2022): Thai Parliament Rejects Bid to Strip Senate of Powers to Pick PM

Malaysia General Elections and State Elections: May 2023 (due – general elections likely to be called earlier)

William Case, East Asia Forum (September 7, 2022): Malaysia’s institutional uncertainty

Sebastian Strangio, The Diplomat (September 6, 2022): Imprisoned Former Malaysian PM Files Request for Royal Pardon: Najib Razak’s campaign for a royal pardon will provide a compelling political B-plot in the run-up to the country’s next general election.

Straits Times (September 4, 2022): Eyeing PM post by 2050, Malaysia’s PAS to focus on bagging 40 seats in general election

Bangladesh Parliamentary Elections: December 2023 (due)

Tahmina Rahman, Carnegie Endowment (September 6, 2022): From Revolutionaries to Visionless Parties: Leftist Politics in Bangladesh

Solomon Islands General Elections: April 2024 (delayed)

Michael E. Miller, Washington Post (September 8, 2022): Solomon Islands’ pro-China leader wins bid to delay elections

Patricia O’Brien, The Diplomat (September 8, 2022): The Domestic Politics of Sogavare’s China-Solomons Tryst: The prime minister’s latest moves clarify his ultimate objective: augmenting and retaining power, which also stands to benefit Beijing.

Brian Harding and Camilla Pohle-Anderson, United States Institute of Peace (September 7, 2022): Solomon Islands: Election Delay Would Threaten Peace and Democracy: Prime Minister Sogavare may crack down on protests — with China’s help.

Ben Westcott, Bloomberg (September 6, 2022): Solomons Accuses Australia of Influencing MPs Over Elections

DW (September 6, 2022): Solomon Islands rejects Australian offer to pay for election

Past Asia/Pacific Elections

Papua New Guinea General Elections: July 4-22, 2022

Patrick Kaiku, Trisha Yangawi, Bernard Yegiora, Lowy Institute (September 8, 2022): The missing foreign policy debate in PNG’s 2022 elections

Ronald May, East Asia Forum (September 7, 2022): Marape returns for another term

Mongolia Presidential Election: June 9, 2021

Mongolia, a free though imperfect democracy, held its presidential election on June 9, 2021, following parliamentary elections in June 2020 and local elections in October 2020. Former PM Ukhnaa Khurelsukh won in a landslide, further consolidating the power of the Mongolian People’s Party (which was the ruling party during the communist era). MPP also has a majority in the legislature.

It was a nasty campaign in a polarized environment. Incumbent Khaltmaagiin Battulga from the center-right Democratic Party was not able to seek another term following a controversial rule change pushed by MPP. Now that MPP has both the presidency and the legislature, there are concerns about democratic backsliding.

Amar Adiya, The Diplomat (September 7, 2022): Mongolia Unveils New Pro-Business Cabinet: The quick Cabinet reshuffle is intended to strengthen PM Oyun-Erdene’s position and give him legislative support to push his liberalization and privatization agenda forward.

Regional Analysis

Joshua Kurlantzick, Council on Foreign Relations (September 9, 2022): Why Democracy in Southeast Asia Will Worsen in 2023

Asia/Pacific Elections Coming Up in 2022 and 2023

Japan, Gubernatorial Election in Okinawa: September 11, 2022

Nauru Parliamentary Elections: September 24, 2022

New Zealand Local Elections: October 8, 2022

Vanuatu Snap Elections: October 13, 2022

Australia, Tasmania Local Elections: October 25, 2022

Timor-Leste Local Elections: October 2022 (due)

Fiji Parliamentary Elections: November 2022 (due)

Taiwan Local Elections: November 26, 2022

India, State Elections in Himachal Pradesh: November 2022 (due)

Australia, South Australia Local Elections; November 11, 2022

Australia, Victoria State Elections: November 26, 2022

India, State Elections in Gujarat: December 2022 (due)

India, State Elections in Tripura, Meghalaya, and Nagaland: February 2023 (due)

Thailand General Elections: By March 23, 2023 (earlier elections possible)

Australia, New South Wales State Elections: March 25, 2023

Micronesia Parliamentary Elections: March 7, 2023

Malaysia General Elections and State Elections: May 2023 (due – general elections likely to be called earlier)

India, State Elections in Karnataka: May 2023 (due)

Cambodia Parliamentary Elections: July 30, 2023 (due)

Burma Parliamentary Elections: By August 2023 (proposed – tentative, post-coup)

Maldives Presidential Election: September 2023 (due)

Tuvalu General Elections: September 2023 (due)

Singapore Presidential Election: September 2023 (expected – largely ceremonial role)

New Zealand General Elections: October 2023 (expected – due by January 2024)

Bhutan Parliamentary Elections: October 2023 (due)

India, State Elections in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Mizoram: November 2023 (due)

Bangladesh Parliamentary Elections: December 2023 (due)

India, State Elections in Rajasthan and Telangana: December 2023 (due)

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