Asia This Week – December 1, 2018

Each day, 21votes gathers election and political news from a different region of the world. We explore Asia and the Pacific. Click the map pins.

December 7, 2018 - Rajasthan (India) State Elections

Bloomberg reports: “Key Indian states are voting in polls that may be a preview of next year’s national election, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi trumpeting populist welfare schemes to retain power while the opposition works to build alliances that can oust the ruling party.”

December 30, 2018 - Bangladesh Parliamentary

American groups will observe Bangladesh’s elections, despite concerns about the political climate.

In Asia Unbound, a blog from the Council on Foreign Relations: “Regardless of who wins in December, this election is an opportunity for Bangladesh’s political and governing elite to stem the tide of public disaffection and rejuvenate the country’s democracy with free and fair elections and vibrant, nonviolent competition.”

January 5, 2019 - Sri Lanka Snap Parliamentary (likely postponed)

Taylor Dibbert writes in Foreign Policy: “Following an attempted coup, Sri Lanka remains mired in crisis. President Maithripala Sirisena is still trying to ensure that Mahinda Rajapaksa, his newly—and illegally—appointed prime minister, secures his position. But Ranil Wickremesinghe, the legitimate prime minister, says that the job is his. The coalition that ruled since 2015 is a thing of the past. A new cabinet has been created, though it’s fundamentally illegitimate. The coup appears to be failing—and yet the crisis is deepening. That puts Asia’s longest-lasting democracy in real danger….Sirisena already unconstitutionally dissolved Parliament on Nov. 9 and called for a snap parliamentary election in January. The Supreme Court recently put a stay on the dissolution of Parliament, though the case is due to be taken up again on Dec. 7, when the court is unlikely to rule in Sirisena’s favor. Plans for a January election have been put on hold.”

April 17, 2019 - Indonesia Legislative and Presidential

The Economist reports: “Ma’ruf Amin cuts a demure figure. Short and smiling, he dresses in sandals, sarong and skullcap. The 75-year-old Muslim cleric is likely to be Indonesia’s next vice-president. He and his running-mate, Joko Widodo, Indonesia’s president, who is usually known as Jokowi, have a 20-percentage-point lead in the polls ahead of the election in April.”

April 20, 2019 - Afghanistan Presidential and Local

The schedule for Afghanistan’s planned April elections remains up in the air. The New York Times reports: “The four elections scheduled for April 20 include the presidential vote, elections for provincial councils from the country’s 34 provinces, and inaugural elections for councils in the country’s 400 districts. In addition, the parliamentary elections that took place across the country on Oct. 20 were postponed in Ghazni Province until April 20 because of poor security.”

No results yet

DW writes: “On October 20, more than four million Afghans ignored Taliban and ‘Islamic State’ (IS) threats and cast their ballots in the parliamentary elections. But Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) is yet to announce election results — more than a month after the polls. Out of 33 Afghan provinces, the IEC has announced results for only 13 that have the least number of seats in parliament. Election authorities are yet to announce results for bigger provinces, including Kabul.”

Partly free

Devpolicy Blog, from Australian National University, outlines the winners and losers from Fiji’s November elections. Political space has opened up since Fiji’s 2006 coup, but Freedom House reports that “the ruling party frequently interferes with opposition activities, the judiciary is subject to political influence, and military and police brutality is a significant problem.”

Still counting

India’s Madhya Pradesh held state elections on November 28. Vote counting continues. Bloomberg wrote last week (before voting began): “The central state of Madhya Pradesh may be most emblematic of the national vote out of the five states holding elections. The incumbent administration led by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party must overcome a lack of job creation and farmers’ discontent to retain power, while the opposition is struggling to forge a coalition and raise enough funds to campaign.”

Taiwan

The governing Democratic Progressive Party lost ground in local elections on November 24. Taiwanese voters also rejected same-sex marriage. A leading cyber security firm posits that China likely interfered in the election.

Blockchain

Thailand’s opposition Democratic Party used blockchain-based voting to choose its new leaders. This marks the first time a political party has ever used the technology for leadership elections.

Blockchain

South Korea may use blockchain-based voting in the future.

Upcoming Elections in the News

December 7, 2018 – Rajasthan (India) State Elections
Bloomberg reports: “Key Indian states are voting in polls that may be a preview of next year’s national election, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi trumpeting populist welfare schemes to retain power while the opposition works to build alliances that can oust the ruling party.”

December 30, 2018 – Bangladesh Parliamentary
American groups will observe Bangladesh’s elections, despite concerns about the political climate.

In Asia Unbound, a blog from the Council on Foreign Relations: “Regardless of who wins in December, this election is an opportunity for Bangladesh’s political and governing elite to stem the tide of public disaffection and rejuvenate the country’s democracy with free and fair elections and vibrant, nonviolent competition.”

January 5, 2019 – Sri Lanka Snap Parliamentary (likely postponed)
Taylor Dibbert writes in Foreign Policy: “Following an attempted coup, Sri Lanka remains mired in crisis. President Maithripala Sirisena is still trying to ensure that Mahinda Rajapaksa, his newly—and illegally—appointed prime minister, secures his position. But Ranil Wickremesinghe, the legitimate prime minister, says that the job is his. The coalition that ruled since 2015 is a thing of the past. A new cabinet has been created, though it’s fundamentally illegitimate. The coup appears to be failing—and yet the crisis is deepening. That puts Asia’s longest-lasting democracy in real danger….Sirisena already unconstitutionally dissolved Parliamenton Nov. 9 and called for a snap parliamentary election in January. The Supreme Court recently put a stay on the dissolution of Parliament, though the case is due to be taken up again on Dec. 7, when the court is unlikely to rule in Sirisena’s favor. Plans for a January election have been put on hold.

April 17, 2019 – Indonesia Legislative and Presidential
The Economist reports: “Ma’ruf Amin cuts a demure figure. Short and smiling, he dresses in sandals, sarong and skullcap. The 75-year-old Muslim cleric is likely to be Indonesia’s next vice-president. He and his running-mate, Joko Widodo, Indonesia’s president, who is usually known as Jokowi, have a 20-percentage-point lead in the polls ahead of the election in April.”

April 20, 2019 – Afghanistan Presidential and Local
The schedule for Afghanistan’s planned April elections remains up in the air. The New York Times reports: “The four elections scheduled for April 20 include the presidential vote, elections for provincial councils from the country’s 34 provinces, and inaugural elections for councils in the country’s 400 districts. In addition, the parliamentary elections that took place across the country on Oct. 20 were postponed in Ghazni Province until April 20 because of poor security.”

Recent Elections in the News

DW writes: “On October 20, more than four million Afghans ignored Taliban and ‘Islamic State’ (IS) threats and cast their ballots in the parliamentary elections. But Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) is yet to announce election results — more than a month after the polls. Out of 33 Afghan provinces, the IEC has announced results for only 13 that have the least number of seats in parliament. Election authorities are yet to announce results for bigger provinces, including Kabul.”

Devpolicy Blog, from Australian National University, outlines the winners and losers from Fiji’s November elections. Political space has opened up since Fiji’s 2006 coup, but Freedom House reports that “the ruling party frequently interferes with opposition activities, the judiciary is subject to political influence, and military and police brutality is a significant problem.”

India’s Madhya Pradesh held state elections on November 28. Vote counting continues. Bloomberg wrote last week (before voting began): “The central state of Madhya Pradesh may be most emblematic of the national vote out of the five states holding elections. The incumbent administration led by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party must overcome a lack of job creation and farmers’ discontent to retain power, while the opposition is struggling to forge a coalition and raise enough funds to campaign.”

The governing Democratic Progressive Party lost ground in local elections on November 24. Taiwanese voters also rejected same-sex marriage. A leading cyber security firm posits that China likely interfered in the election.

Other Regional News and Views

Thailand’s opposition Democratic Party used blockchain-based voting to choose its new leaders. This marks the first time a political party has ever used the technology for leadership elections.

South Korea may use blockchain-based voting in the future.

21votes does not necessarily endorse all of the views in all of the linked articles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Share This