Asia/Pacific Elections Weekly News Review: May 13, 2022

May 13, 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. For a full electoral calendar and interactive map, click here.

Night in Manila, Philippines. The notorious Marcos family has returned to power following elections on May 9. Photo credit: Wikimedia/jopetsy (CC BY 2.0)

Upcoming Asia/Pacific Elections

Nepal Local Elections: May 13, 2022, followed by General Elections

Several sets of elections could take place in Nepal within the next year. Local elections have been set for May 13.

Nepal’s politics remain turbulent following the 1996-2006 civil war waged by Maoists. Nepal had planned to hold snap elections for the lower house in November 2021, following a protracted political crisis, but now the snap elections have been cancelled, and the current thinking is that the parliamentary elections will take place when they are due in 2023. For background: in December 2020, Nepal’s prime minister decided to dissolve parliament and call for new elections. However, on February 23, the Supreme Court overturned the decision, cancelling the snap elections. The government subsequently lost a confidence vote, sparking snap polls. However, the courts reversed the decision.

Nepal sits in the strategically-important Himalayas, and is a focus of competition between India and China. Although former prime minister KP Sharma Oli brought Nepal closer to China, his replacement, Sher Bahadur Deuba, who assumed office in July 2021, is seen as favoring closer ties to India. More

Hari Bansh Jha, Observer Research Foundation (May 10, 2022): Local elections to decide the future of Nepal

IFES (May 5, 2022): Election FAQs: Nepal 2022 Local Election

Australia Parliamentary Elections: May 21, 2022

Australia is holding federal parliamentary elections on May 21, 2022. Meanwhile, several states hold elections in 2021. In the last general elections, in 2019, Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Liberal Party won in a surprise result, after trailing in pre-election polls.

This year, Labor, under the leadership of Anthony Albanese, hopes to come back into power after nine years in opposition. More

Shahar Hamieri, Unherd (May 13, 2022): Will China save Australian Labor? The superpower’s Pacific expansion is spooking voters

Renju Jose, Reuters (May 10, 2022): Early voting begins in Australia election with opposition ahead in polls

Sarah Martin, The Guardian (May 5, 2022): Path to victory: the seats that will decide the 2022 federal election: Labor needs to gain seven seats to form majority government while the Coalition must offset any losses with gains elsewhere

Cambodia Local Elections: June 5, 2022 and Parliamentary Elections: July 2023 (due)

Cambodia is due to hold local elections in 2022 and general elections in 2023. Although Cambodia has held elections in the past that have had some element of competition, the 2018 elections – neither free nor fair – signified the closing of Cambodia’s political space. They have been called “the death of democracy.”

The main pro-democracy opposition, Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP), was dissolved and banned from fielding candidates, and its leader, Sam Rainsy, was sent into exile, so its supporters boycotted the polls, resulting in the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) taking 58 out of 62 seats in parliament, and allowing Prime Minister Hun Sen to consolidate even more power while extending his three decades in power.

Sebastian Strangio, The Diplomat (May 10, 2022): Cambodia Polls Unlikely to be Credible and Transparent, Says Watchdog

UCA News (May 10, 2022): EU condemns political persecution in Cambodia

Radio Free Asia (May 9, 2022): Detained former opposition chief meets with Cambodia’s Hun Sen: The meeting comes as opposition candidates face harassment from ruling Cambodian People’s Party officials

Sopheng Cheang, AP (May 3, 2022): Cambodian dissident dresses up as ‘Lady Justice’ for trial

Thailand, Local Elections in Bangkok and Pattaya: May 22, 2022, and General Elections: By March 23, 2023 (snap elections possible)

Thailand is due to hold general elections by March 23, 2023, but early elections are possible. In addition, various types of local elections are taking place at various times. These elections are taking place in the context of unprecedented protests against the monarchy, and calls for unprecedented types of reforms. These protests have been going on for months. 

Next up: Bangkok holds its first gubernatorial election in nine years on May 22 (Pattaya also holds local elections that day). In addition, snap general elections are possible. 

Thailand is a long-standing United States ally. During the Cold War, each saw the other as an important bulwark against Chinese and Vietnamese aggression. However, the two countries are growing father apart as each country’s view of existential threats evolves. More

Termsak Chalermpalanupap, Fulcrum Singapore (May 11, 2022): More Political Implications Than Meet the Eye in Upcoming Election for Bangkok Governor

Thai PBS World (May 10, 2022): Battle for Bangkok raging online and offline as governor election looms

Thai PBS World (May 10, 2022): 5 decades of governor elections that have shaped modern Bangkok

Tara Abkasakun, The Thaiger (May 8, 2022): Upcoming campaign to urge Bangkok to vote in governor election

Bangkok Post (May 8, 2022): Most Thais outside Bangkok want direct elections for governor: poll

Papua New Guinea Parliamentary and Local Elections: Beginning July 16, 2022 (delayed following death of deputy prime minister)

Papua New Guinea holds parliamentary and local elections June 25 – July 8, 2022.

Papua New Guinea’s politics are chaotic, and no single party has ever commanded a majority in parliament. Coalitions shift frequently. Current prime minister James Marape came into power in May 2018 when former prime minister Peter O’Neill lost a no-confidence vote after being in power for eight years.

Papua New Guinea’s parliament currently has no women – it is one of only three all-male parliaments in the world. However, efforts are being made to elect women this year.

Nick Fogarty and Belinda Kora, ABC News Australia (May 11, 2022): Papua New Guinea’s Deputy Prime Minister Sam Basil dies, delaying general election

Melvin Levongo, The Guardian (May 11, 2022): Car crash kills Papua New Guinea’s deputy PM, Sam Basil

India, Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Elections: 2022 (expected)

India’s state and territorial elections are serving as a key test for the national parties – and PM Narendra Modi – as well as the opposition ahead of national elections in 2024. In the last national elections, in 2019, Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party won a “thumping victory, securing a second term in office in an increasingly polarized political climate. The main opposition social democratic Congress Party – India’s oldest party – has done well some subsequent state elections.

In a surprise geopolitical development, on August 5, 2019, the Modi government made a unilateral decision to strip the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir of its autonomy. The region, which is majority Muslim, is claimed by both India and Pakistan and has sparked three wars. For 70 years, the Indian-controlled part – established as the state of Jammu and Kashmir – enjoyed a high degree of autonomy, but Modi announced that the state would be downgraded into two union territories, effectively centralizing control. The area was on virtual lockdown for a long time, and many were detained, including prominent political leaders. However, Modi began outreach to Kashmir stakeholders, and elections are expected in 2022 – the first since 2014.

Samaan Lateef, DW (May 12, 2022): India redraws Kashmir political constituencies ahead of elections

Maldives Presidential Election: September 2023 (due)

Maldives is due to hold a presidential election in September 2023. The idyllic archipelago was under a brutal dictatorship for decades, but began a remarkable transition to democracy in 2008. The road to democracy has been somewhat rocky, but Maldivian democrats persevere.

The country, in the strategically-important Indian Ocean, has been part of geopolitical competition between India and the democratic world on the one hand and China on the other hand.

Sudha Ramachandran, The Diplomat (May 11, 2022): Decree Banning ‘India Out’ Campaign in Maldives Fuels Protests

Sri Lanka Presidential Election: September 2024 and Parliamentary Elections: August 2025 (snap elections possible)

Sri Lanka is due to hold elections in 2024 and 2025, but snap elections could happen due to the current political and economic crisis. The current president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, won the 2019 election, which took place in a tense political climate following the 2019 Easter bombings.

Former president Maithripala Sirisena, who had surprisingly defeated Gotabaya’s brother Mahinda Rajapaksa in the 2015 presidential elections, spearheaded a reform program to reverse many of the autocratic powers Mahinda Rajapaksa had built up. However, since Gotabaya took office, he has systematically dismantled those reforms. As a result, Sri Lanka’s democracy sits on the precipice.

The current political crisis began with a series of street protests over daily power cuts and food shortages. The opposition has called for fresh elections. In an attempt to stabilize the country, Rajapaksa installed his former rival Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister and called for a unity government. Wickremesinghe has served as prime minister several times before, and is broadly liberal and pro-democracy. He has called for greater ties with India, in contrast to Rajapaksa’s moves toward China.

Sri Lanka’s government, dominated by the Sinhalese ethnic group, fought a decades-long civil war with the rebel Tamil Tigers. The war ended in 2009, but tensions reignited in 2019 following the 2019 Easter bombings. Sri Lanka is located strategically in the Indian Ocean. Chinese involvement has raised concerns – Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port has become a textbook example of Chinese debt-trap diplomacy

AFP (May 13, 2022): Sri Lanka’s new PM struggles to form unity government

Sowmiya Ashok The Print India (May 12, 2022): Sri Lanka turns to 5-time PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to steady island, secure IMF bailout

R.K. Radhakrishnan, The Hindu (May 12, 2022): Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka for the sixth time

Niluksi Koswanage, Bloomberg (May 10, 2022): How Sri Lanka Landed in a Political and Economic Crisis and What It Means

Past Asia/Pacific Elections

Philippines General Elections (Presidential, Legislative, and Local): May 9, 2022

Philippines held general elections on May 9, 2022. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., son of the notorious late former dictator, won in a landslide, raising concerns about the future of democracy in the country. Although liberal forces, led by Vice President Leni Robredo, put in a valiant effort, Marcos prevailed, returning his family to power.

This follows the 2016 victory of populist firebrand Rodrigo Duterte, who subsequently governed with an iron fist. Though Philippines presidents cannot run for a second term, critics feared that he would seek to consolidate illiberalism. His daughter, Sara Duterte, won the 2022 vice presidential election.

The Marcos family ruled the country for 21 years (including 14 years under martial law), and fell in the 1986 People Power Revolution. Nonetheless, since then, political dynasties have remained a potent force in Philippines politics.

While the Philippines lacks significant hard power, it is located in a geopolitically crucial area. The country has been a key U.S. ally since World War II, but Duterte has flirted with moves to bring the Philippines closer to China and away from the United States during his tenure in office. However, the country has ultimately kept the defense pact with the U.S. in tact.

Daniel Moss, Bloomberg (May 14, 2022): The Powerful Machine That Brought Bongbong to Victory: He rode cultural and geographic divides — and social media — to a landslide win. In retrospect, his opponent barely stood a chance

Mely Caballero-Anthony, Brookings Institution (May 13, 2022): A Marcos returns to power in the Philippines

AFP (May 12, 2022): US, China congratulate Marcos for Philippine election win

Vittoria Elliott, Wired (May 10, 2022): How YouTube Can Rewrite the Past and Shape an Election: Philippine researcher Fatima Gaw says the platform has become a hub for pro-Marcos historical revisionism

Joshua Kurlantsick, Council on Foreign Relations (May 9, 2022): Ferdinand Marcos Jr Appears to Have Won Convincingly: Here’s What That Means for the Philippines

Simone McCarthy, CNN (May 9, 2022): Why the Philippines election could be a win for China

Sheila Coronel, Financial Times (May 3, 2022): The ghost of Marcos looms over a pivotal Philippine election: A ‘golden age’ narrative is taking hold among a generation with no memory of the deposed dictator

Hong Kong Chief Executive Election: May 8, 2022 (indirect)

On May 8, 2022 (delayed from March), an Election Committee consisting of 1463 people – primarily pro-Beijing politicians and business figures – chose Hong Kong’s Chief Executive. Incumbent Carrie Lam did not run for a second term, and former security chief John Lee was the only candidate to replace her. Overall, the process has been characterized by a lack of transparency and a heavy hand from Beijing. 

This follows the flawed December 2021 legislative elections, which took place after more than a year’s delay. Only candidates deemed “patriotic” were permitted, and as a result, the legislature is now overwhelmingly pro-Beijing.

These last few elections represent the final stage of Beijing’s plan to gut Hong Kong’s democracy, despite promises of “one country, two systems” for 50 years following the 1997 handover from British rule to Beijing rule. The draconian new national security law has led to the imprisonment of pro-democracy candidates, activists, and journalists. Hong Kong has a history of vigorous debate and democratic politics, but discourse has chilled. As a result, over 89,000 residents left Hong Kong in the year after the national security law took effect. More

Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal (May 9, 2022): China’s New Boss in Hong Kong: John Lee becomes Xi Jinping’s enforcer with 99% of the vote

AP (May 9, 2022): Lam says Hong Kong now has China patriots firmly in charge

Ellen Ioanes, Vox (May 8, 2022): Hong Kong ushers in a new era of restriction under John Lee

Ken Moritsugu, AP (May 6, 2022): China installing former security chief as Hong Kong leader

Asia/Pacific Elections Coming Up in 2022 and 2023

Nepal Local Elections: May 13, 2022

Australia Parliamentary Elections: By May 21, 2022 (due – could take place earlier)

Thailand, Local Elections in Bangkok and Pattaya: May 22, 2022

South Korea Local Elections: June 1, 2022

Papua New Guinea Parliamentary and Local Elections: Beginning July 16, 2022 (delayed following death of deputy prime minister)

Cambodia Local Elections: June 5, 2022

Japan House of Councillors Elections: July 25, 2022 (half of upper house at stake)

Vanuatu Presidential Election: July 2022 (due – indirect election, largely ceremonial role)

Australia, Tasmania State Elections: By Mid-2022

Nauru Parliamentary Elections: August 2022 (due)

Japan, Gubernatorial Election in Okinawa: September 2022 (due)

New Zealand 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 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)

21votes does not necessarily agree with all of the opinions expressed in the linked articles; rather, our goal is to curate a wide range of voices. Furthermore, none of the individuals or organizations referenced have reviewed 21votes’ content. That is to say, their inclusion should not be taken to imply that they endorse us in any way. More on our approach here.


Eurasia Elections Weekly News Review: May 12, 2022 - 21votes

May 12, 2022

A weekly review of news and analysis of elections in Eurasia, usually posted on Thursdays and occasionally updated throughout the week. For a full electoral calendar and interactive map, click here.

Downtown Nur-Sultan (formerly known as Astana), capital of Kazakhstan. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Ninaras (CC BY 4.0)

Upcoming Eurasia Elections

Kazakhstan Constitutional Referendum: June 5, 2022

Kazakhstan will hold a constitutional referendum on June 5, 2022. This comes in response to a series of protests in January 2022 that rocked the country and left as many as 225 people dead, as well as a reported 12,000 people in detention. Russia briefly sent personnel under the auspices of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), its military alliance of several post-Soviet states.

On June 5, voters will adopt or reject a package of 33 reforms to the constitution (about one-third of the current constitution). President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev (who called the protesters “terrorists”), claims that the reforms will transform Kazakhstsan from a super-presidential system to a “presidential system with a strong parliament.”

Central Asia expert Colleen Wood writes: “The proposed reforms are important steps toward real representative government in Kazakhstan; however, they do not necessarily constitute forward movement. Many of the amendments are simply reinstating mechanisms of checks on presidential power that previously existed, rather than materially changing the relationship between state and society, as Tokayev claims.”

Kazakhstan is an authoritarian state. Elections take place in the context of an authoritarian system in which critics of the government face harassment and arrest. As such, no genuine opposition has representation in the legislature. More

Colleen Wood, The Diplomat (May 9, 2022): What’s in Kazakhstan’s Constitutional Referendum?

RFE/RL (May 5, 2022): Kazakh President Signs Decree For June 5 Referendum On Constitutional Changes

Almaz Kumenov, Eurasianet (May 4, 2022): Kazakhstan’s Second Republic: Plus ça change? President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has promised a new democratic order following unrest in January. But promises of reform come cheap in Kazakhstan.

Russia Regional Elections (some regions): September 11, 2022 (due)

Russia is due to hold regional and gubernatorial elections in some regions in September 2022. Because Russia staggers its regional elections, each year has some scheduled. However, the Kremlin has indicated that the elections due this year may not take place.

Russian elections are neither free nor fair. Nonetheless, the opposition has been making some gains in recent regional elections, helped by opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s “Smart Vote,” a campaign of tactical voting, in which they developed a list of candidates the best chance of beating Vladimir Putin’s United Russia.

Consequently, the Kremlin is waging a brutal crackdown on the opposition, including imprisoning Navalny. Candidates who have worked with Navalny or supported him were banned from the election. Only one genuine opposition party – the liberal Yabloko – was able to field candidates in last year’s Duma elections. Navalny himself is in prison and recently received an additional nine years on top of his prior two and a half year sentence. More

Reuters (May 10, 2022): Four Russian governors resign as sanctions bite

Ukraine Parliamentary Elections: By October 2023 and Presidential Election: By March 2024

Ukraine is due to hold parliamentary elections in 2023 and a presidential election in 2024.

In the last presidential vote, in 2019, actor and comedian Volodymyr Zelenskyy beat incumbent Petro Poroshenko running on an anti-establishment platform. However, since then, the country’s traditional pro-Europe and pro-Moscow political forces have regained ground. Since the invasion, Ukrainians have rallied around Zelenskyy, but the United Kingdom and others have warned that Russia seeks to topple his government and install a pro-Moscow puppet regime.

Russia’s military aggression, which began in 2014, continues. Russia began a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. While Russia had perhaps expected that Ukraine’s government would collapse quickly, it has held. Moreover, most of Ukraine’s political factions have rallied behind Zelenskyy, with former rivals Yulia Tymoshenko and Petro Poroshenko (recently released from prison) posing for photos with him. Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) has met in its chamber, with members singing the national anthem. Most if not all members of the Rada have remained in Ukraine, either to continue to carry out their legislative duties or to fight with the military.

Lincoln Mitchell, Foreign Affairs (May 6, 2022): Putin’s Orange Obsession: How a Twenty-Year Fixation With Color Revolutions Drove a Disastrous War

Georgia Parliamentary Elections: October 2024 (due – snap elections possible)

Georgia is due to hold parliamentary elections in October 2024, but snap elections could happen. The October 2021 local elections took place in a tense political climate, exacerbated by the arrest of former president Mikheil Saakashvili upon his return to the country on the eve of the vote. Runoffs took place on October 30, including for the important role of mayor of Tbilisi, which the ruling Georgian Dream party failed to win in the first round. Ultimately, Georgian Dream did win the second round amid criticism from the opposition. The opposition has been calling for new elections since October 2020’s parliamentary polls, due to claims of fraud. International observers noted significant flaws in the elections, and observed that there were issues with public confidence in the polls.

Georgian Dream, a coalition founded by eccentric and Kremlin-connected oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili, came to power during the 2012 parliamentary elections, ousting Saakasvili’s pro-European, pro-NATO United National Movement. Despite Ivanishvili’s Kremlin ties, Georgian Dream has continued some of Georgia’s steps toward Euro-Atlantic integration, including applying for EU membership.

RFE/RL (May 10, 2022): Jailed Georgian Ex-President Transferred To Clinic For Treatment (May 10, 2022): Georgia Submits Part Two of EU Questionnaire

Nini Gabritchidze, Eurasianet (May 10, 2022): Calls for Georgia to open a “second front” against Russia fall flat: Many outsiders have been calling on Georgia to take advantage of Russian weakness to reclaim its lost territories. But Georgians themselves aren’t having it

South Ossetia De-Facto Presidential Runoff: May 8, 2022

Following Russia’s 2008 invasion of Georgia, Russia has occupied two breakaway territories, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Both territories have declared independence, but the vast majority of the world considers them to be part of Georgia. On March 30, South Ossetia’s then-de facto president, Anatoly Bibilov, announced that he will take steps to make South Ossetia part of Russia. However, Bibilov subsequently lost re-election to opposition Alan Gagloyev. Gagloyev, like most South Ossetia political actors, is also very pro-Moscow. The vote was widely condemned as illegitimate within Georgia and by the international community as South Ossetia is considered part of Georgia by almost everyone apart from Russia. More (May 10, 2022): US Senator condemns illegal elections in Russian-occupied Tskhinvali, vows support to Georgia’s sovereignty

Shota Kincha and Tata Shoshiashvili, OC Media (May 9, 2022): Opposition leader wins South Ossetia presidential election

Jerusalem Post (May 8, 2022): South Ossetia to hold second round of presidential elections – report: Alan Gagloyev, leader of the Nykhas Party, emerged with 38.55% of the vote in the first round. The vote is significant as it ties into the overall political climate in the region.

Past Eurasia Elections

Armenia Snap Elections: June 21, 2022

Armenia held snap parliamentary elections on June 20, 2021 in an effort to defuse a political crisis following a defeat in the recent Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Pre-election polls suggested a close contest between acting prime minister Nikol Pashinyan and former president Robert Kocharyan; however, Pashinyan ended up winning by a significant margin. Political tensions remain.

Pashinyan, a former MP and journalist, was originally elected prime minister in December 2018 in snap elections. The snap elections followed a series of protests that led to the resignation of Serzh Sargsyan, Armenia’s former president who became prime minister in an attempt to remain in power when faced with term limits. This became known as Armenia’s “Velvet Revolution.” The Economist named Armenia country of the year for 2018.

Some had hoped that these steps toward greater democracy would convince Armenia to move away from its historical alignment with Russia and toward the west, but that has not largely happened, for a variety of reasons.

Tony Wesolowsky, RFE/RL (May 6, 2022): Facing Mass Protests Calling For Him To Resign, Armenia’s Prime Minister Is Running Out Of Options

Regional Analysis

Erica Marat and Johan Engvall, Foreign Policy (May 10, 2022): Former Soviet States Are Distancing Themselves From Their Old Imperial Master: The war in Ukraine is prompting countries from Kazakhstan to Moldova to reexamine their colonial past and seek diplomatic allies beyond the Kremlin

Eurasia Elections Coming Up in 2022 and 2023

Kazakhstan Constitutional Referendum: June 5, 2022

Russia Regional Elections (some regions): September 11, 2022 (due)

Turkmenistan Parliamentary and Local Elections: March 2023 (due)

Moldova Local Elections: October 2023 (due)

Ukraine Parliamentary Elections: By October 29, 2023 (due)

21votes does not necessarily agree with all of the opinions expressed in the linked articles; rather, our goal is to curate a wide range of voices. Furthermore, none of the individuals or organizations referenced have reviewed 21votes’ content. That is to say, their inclusion should not be taken to imply that they endorse us in any way. More on our approach here.


Europe Elections Weekly News Review: May 11, 2022

May 11, 2022

A weekly review of news and analysis of elections in Europe, usually posted on Wednesdays and occasionally updated throughout the week. For a full electoral calendar and interactive map, click here.

Kiel, capital of Germany’s Schleswig-Holstein state. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Nordenfan (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Upcoming Europe Elections

Germany Schleswig-Holstein State Elections: May 8, 2022, North Rhine-Westphalia State Elections: May 15, 2022, and Lower Saxony State Elections: October 8, 2022

Germany holds several sets of state elections in 2022, following the “Superwahljahr” (Super Election Year) of 2021, which saw the defeat of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and a new “traffic light coalition” government consisting of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP), and the Greens.

Most recently, CDU won big in Schleswig-Holstein. The incumbent premier, CDU’s Daniel Günther, who heads  a “Jamaica coalition” of CDU, FDP, and the Greens, will remain in office. CDU won 43 percent of the vote, an 11 percent gain over its 2017 results in the state. The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) did not clear the 5 percent threshold to win seats.

Next up is North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state, currently governed by a CDU-FDP coalition. NRW is seen as the bigger test for Scholz.

In March, Saarland held state elections. The incumbent government, a grand coalition of CDU and SPD, fell as SPD won a historic landslide.

Ben Knight, DW (May 10, 2022): German populism takes a blow: Both the far-right AfD and the socialist Left Party were punished by German voters in recent state elections. German populism has struggled in the wake of the Ukraine war.

Hans von der Burchard, Politico (May 8, 2022): Scholz’s Social Democrats suffer crushing defeat in northern German state vote

France Legislative Elections: June 12 and 19, 2022

France holds presidential and legislative elections in spring 2022. These follow the June 2021 regional elections, in which the far-right failed to make gains that had been predicted by pre-election polls. The regional elections put the center-right Republicans in a stronger position to challenge President Emmanuel Macron.

In total, 12 candidates qualified for the first round of the presidential election (by obtaining 500 signatures of elected officials). Pre-election polls were all over the place, but the runoff was a rematch between Macron and the far-right Marine Le Pen, whom Macron defeated in 2017. Macron once again won. However, the upcoming legislative elections could create challenges for his agenda if his allies do not win a majority.

Aude Mazque, France24 (May 11, 2022): Explainer: How do France’s legislative elections work?

John Lichfield, Unherd (May 11, 2022): Can Mélenchon unite the French Left?

Romain Brunet, France24 (May 10, 2022): Historic coalition marks changing of the guard for French left ahead of legislative elections

Célia Belin and Agneska Bloch, Brookings Institution (May 6, 2022): Macron survives, but how long can the center hold in France?

The Local (May 5, 2022): Macron’s party announces name change and centrist alliance: French President Emmanuel Macron’s party has announced a name change and an alliance with two other centrist groups ahead of the parliamentary elections in June.

Victor Jack, Politico (May 4, 2022): French Socialists, far left unite to fight Macron in parliament election: The deal will mark the first electoral pact for France’s left-wing parties in 20 years

Bosnia and Herzegovina General Elections: October 2, 2022

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) holds general elections on October 2, 2022. The 2020 local elections, which took place in the context of gridlock and ethno-nationalism, delivered a blow to the three main ethnic-based political parties, with opposition forces winning in Sarajevo and other key cities. However, BiH faces a number of problems, including poor economic prospects, incompetent governance, and bitter political fights. 

BiH consists of two entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, populated mostly by Muslim Bosniaks and Catholic Croats, and the Republika Srpska, with mostly Orthodox Serbs. Recently, tensions have flared as Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik has used increasingly inflammatory rhetoric and taken actions that some analysts see as moving toward secession. According to Reuters, “The Balkan country is going through its worst political crisis since the end of a war in the 1990s after Bosnian Serbs blocked decision-making in national institutions and launched a process to withdraw from the state armed forces, tax system and judiciary.”

Both Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Croats have threatened to boycott the upcoming elections. The tensions have gone Europe-wide as Croatia’s president has threatened to veto NATO membership for Finland and Sweden unless Bosnia changes its electoral code.

Giorgio Cafiero, TRT News (May 10, 2022): Russia’s divisive role in the Western Balkans: The view from Sarajevo

Maida Salkanovic, Balkan Insight (May 6, 2022): ‘It’s All Very Real’: Bosnian Women Politicians Unprotected against Online Abuse

Italy General Elections: By June 1, 2023

Italy is due to hold general elections by June 1, 2023, but as is ever the case with Italy, snap elections are possible. In January 2021, the then-government collapsed after former prime minister Matteo Renzi withdrew his support. Former European Central Bank chief Mario “Super Mario” Draghi formed a government in February 2021, and a fragile stability has prevailed since then.

AP (May 10, 2022): Italian Leader Urges Ukraine Ceasefire in Visit With Biden: President Joe Biden has hosted Italian Premier Mario Draghi at the White House as the U.S. works to maintain trans-Atlantic unity over the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Chiara Albanese and Alessandro Speciale, Bloomberg (May 9, 2022): Draghi Has Started Unpicking Decades of Italian Ties to Russia: The Italian prime minister heads to Washington resolutely backing sanctions despite his country’s reliance on Russian energy

North Macedonia General Elections: 2024 (snap elections possible)

North Macedonia is due to hold general elections in 2024, but snap elections are possible. The opposition is calling for snap elections due to the results of the October 2021 local elections, which delivered a landslide victory for the conservative/nationalist opposition VMRO-DPMNE and resulted in the resignation of PM Zoran Zaev of the Social Democratic Union (SDSM).The last general elections were in July 2020 and SDSM won a second term. 

Following a historic agreement with Greece, and a name change, North Macedonia joined NATO in 2020 and is currently in talks to join the EU (although now Bulgaria is trying to hold that up).

The country’s politics remain fragmented and fractious.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic, Balkan Insight (May 10, 2022): Seeking Snap Polls, North Macedonia Opposition Aims to Paralyse Parliament

Past Europe Elections

United Kingdom Local Elections, including Northern Ireland Assembly: May 5, 2022

The United Kingdom held local elections for some local councils, as well as the Northern Ireland Assembly, on May 5.

Northern Ireland’s nationalist Sinn Féin became the biggest party in the Assembly following these elections. Although its candidates ran on bread and butter issues, the win could accelerate calls for a referendum on Northern Ireland’s status.

In England, the Liberal Democrats were the big winner, and the Conservatives lost several London councils that they had controlled for decades. Nonetheless, there were very few calls for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign.

London School of Economics (May 11, 2022): Much more than meh: The 2022 Northern Ireland Assembly Elections

AP (May 7, 2022): Sinn Fein celebrates an historic election win in Northern Ireland

Europe Elections Coming Up in 2022 and 2023

Iceland Local Elections: May 14, 2022

Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia State Elections: May 15, 2022

France Legislative Elections: June 12 and 19, 2022

Austria Presidential Election: Fall 2022 (due)

Sweden Parliamentary and Local Elections: September 11, 2022

Latvia Parliamentary Elections: October 1, 2022

Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidential and Legislative Elections: October 2, 2022

Germany, Lower Saxony State Elections: October 9, 2022

Czech Republic Local and Partial Senate Election: October 2022

Spain, Andalusia Regional Elections: Between June and October 2022 (due)

Slovenia Presidential and Local Elections: October/November 2022 (due)

Slovakia Local Elections: November 2022 (due)

Czech Republic Presidential Election: By January 2023

Austria, Lower Austria State Elections: January 2023 (due)

Cyprus Presidential Election: February 2023 (due)

Monaco Parliamentary Elections: February 2023 (due)

Austria, Tyrol State Elections: February 2023 (due)

Estonia General Elections: By March 5, 2023

Netherlands Provincial Council and Water Authority Elections: March 2023 (due)

Austria, Carinthia State Elections: March 2023 (due)

Finland Parliamentary Elections: By April 2023

Montenegro Presidential Election: April 2023 (due)

Austria, Salzburg State Elections: April 2023 (due)

Spain Local Elections and Various Regional Elections: May 28, 2023

Germany, Bremen State Elections: May 2023 (due)

Greece Local Elections: May 2023 (due)

Latvia Indirect Presidential Election: May 2023 (due)

Italy General Elections: By June 1, 2023

Denmark General Elections: By June 4, 2023

Greece Parliamentary Elections: By August 6, 2023

Norway Local Elections: September 2023

Switzerland Federal Parliamentary Elections: October 2023 (due)

Luxembourg General Elections: October 2023

Bulgaria Local Elections: October 2023

Germany, Hesse and Bavaria State Elections: October 2023 (due)

Finland, Åland Elections: By October 2023

Poland Parliamentary and Local Elections: By November 11, 2023

Spain General Elections: By December 10, 2023 (snap elections possible

21votes does not necessarily agree with all of the opinions expressed in the linked articles; rather, our goal is to curate a wide range of voices. Furthermore, none of the individuals or organizations referenced have reviewed 21votes’ content. That is to say, their inclusion should not be taken to imply that they endorse us in any way. More on our approach here.


Middle East

Middle East Elections Weekly News Review: May 10, 2022

May 10, 2022

A weekly review of news and analysis of elections in the greater Middle East and North Africa, usually posted on Tuesdays and occasionally updated throughout the week. For a full electoral calendar and interactive map, click here.

Beirut, Lebanon. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Vyacheslav Argenberg (CC BY 4.0)

Upcoming Middle East Elections

Lebanon Parliamentary Elections: May 15, 2022

Lebanon has set parliamentary elections for May 15, 2022. The country has been in a political crisis and without a government since the port explosion in Beirut, in which 215 people died, 7,500 were injured, and 300,000 were left homeless. Moreover, Lebanon is in an economic crisis, with its currency hitting record lows and crippling inflation.

Many Lebanese people are in a state of despair, but some have hope that the upcoming elections could bring a hint of change.

Sunniva Rose, The National UAE (May 10, 2022): Hezbollah supporters defiant ahead of Lebanese election

Raya Jalabi, Financial Times (May 9, 2022): Patronage and threats favour Lebanon’s Hizbollah in key election: Absence of an alternative means Iran-backed group set to dominate in upcoming vote, say experts

AP (May 8, 2022): Lebanese in 48 countries voting in parliamentary elections

Libya Parliamentary and Presidential Elections: Delayed from December 2021 – date TBD (possibly by June 2022)

Libya’s national elections are overdue and have been postponed due to the political crisis and civil war. Most recently, the country missed the scheduled date of December 24, 2021 for the polls, and it is unclear when they will happen. Following the election delay, the political crisis deepened, and there are currently two rival governments.

The UN has urged elections by June 2022. Libya’s parliament had said elections would not take place this year, but the new interim prime minister, Abdelhamid Dbeibah, later said that the elections would happen by June.

Since the collapse of Muammar Qaddafi’s dictatorship in 2011, Libya has been in crisis. The country is important because of its oil resources, as well as its ports, which have become a springboard for migrants to Europe. As such, foreign powers remain heavily involved. More

Andalou Agency (May 10, 2022): US urges Libyans to agree on constitutional basis for elections

Ferhat Polat, The Africa Report (May 4, 2022): Libya: Why political stability remains elusive

Tunisia Constitutional Referendum: July 15, 2022 and Early Legislative Elections: December 17, 2022

Tunisia will hold a constitutional referendum and early elections in 2022, following protests sparked by President Kais Saied’s dismissal of the government, a move some deemed a coup.

Tunisia began transitioning to democracy in 2011, amid the Arab Spring protests, and in 2019, held the third national elections since the fall of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.  Political outsider and populist Kais Saied won the presidency. The results indicated a rejection of the main political parties and post-Ben Ali political ideologies (Islamism and secular liberalism). However, some concerns lingered about the democratic process.

Political and civil society actors hope that the early elections can return Tunisia to a democratic path.

Tarek Amara, Reuters (May 10, 2022): Tunisian president names new election commission members

Pakistan General Elections: By October 12, 2023

Pakistan is due to hold its next general elections by October 12, 2023. However, Prime Minister Imran Khan has surprisingly called for early elections after surviving a no-confidence vote. However, it is unclear when – or whether – the snap elections will take place.

Khan, a former cricket star, came to power following the turbulent 2018 elections, and his time in office has not been calm. In 2020, his party took a major political hit when it failed to win a majority in the Senate, and he has faced several no-confidence threats. Instability has been a characteristic of Pakistan’s politics since its founding. In fact, no prime minister has completed a full term since the country’s founding in 1947.

Pakistan is a geopolitical hotspot, between the conflict in Kashmir and continued heavy military presence and China’s increased presence through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Umair Jamal, The Diplomat (May 10, 2022): Imran Khan’s Political Career Far From Over: Within a month of his ouster, the former Pakistani PM has been able to revive his support base substantially, prompting many to believe that he could win an election today.

Sabena Siddiqui, The New Arab (May 3, 2022): Will Pakistan tilt towards Saudi Arabia?

Past Middle East Elections

Iraq Early Parliamentary Elections: October 10, 2021

Iraq held early elections on October 10 (postponed from the original proposal of holding them on June 6, 2021, one year early) as a result of the pro-democracy protests that began in 2019. The country is also due to hold provincial (sometimes called governorate) elections.

The elections took place in the context of widespread protest and political instability. The political climate is violent and chaotic, with over 600 people killed since the start of the protests. Moreover, a number of political parties have announced plans to boycott the polls.

The Shi’ite firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, one of Iraq’s most influential politicians, had announced a boycott, but ultimately reversed course and urged his followers to support the elections. He subsequently proceeded to win the elections. However, other parties – specifically, pro-Iran Shi’ite parties – challenged the election results. The Supreme Court rejected the challenge.

Sadr, who opposes both Iranian and American influence in Iraqi politics – was thought to be the likely be the kingmaker in the new government. But he is currently refusing to conduct talks with his rivals, resulting in deadlock. More

Thanassis Cambanis, World Politics Review (May 10, 2022): Despite the Stalemate in Baghdad, Iraq’s Political Winds Are Shifting

Stratfor (May 5, 2022): Iraq: Deadline for Independents to Form Government Approaches

Julian Bechocha, Rudaw (May 4, 2022): Sadr calls on independent MPs to form government

Middle East Elections Coming Up in 2022 and 2023

Lebanon Parliamentary Elections: May 15, 2022

Libya Presidential and Parliamentary Elections: Overdue (delayed from December 24, 2021 – no date set but some have proposed to hold the elections by June 2022)

Tunisia Constitutional Referendum: July 25, 2022

Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Parliamentary Elections: October 1, 2022

Bahrain Parliamentary Elections: November 2022 (due)

Tunisia Early Legislative Elections: December 17, 2022

Turkey Presidential and Legislative Elections: By June 18, 2023

Pakistan General Elections: By October 12, 2023

Israel Local Elections: October 2023

Oman Consultative Assembly Elections: October 2023

United Arab Emirates Federal National Council Elections: October 2023 (indirect elections, advisory body with limited powers)

Egypt Local Elections: Due and discussed, but not scheduled

Oman Local Elections: Due, but postponed due to COVID-19

Palestinian Authority Presidential and Legislative Elections: Long overdue, postponed yet again, no date set

21votes does not necessarily agree with all of the opinions expressed in the linked articles; rather, our goal is to curate a wide range of voices. Furthermore, none of the individuals or organizations referenced have reviewed 21votes’ content, and their inclusion should not be taken to imply that they endorse us in any way. More on our approach here


May 9, 2022

A weekly review of news and analysis of elections in Africa, usually posted on Mondays and occasionally updated throughout the week. For a full electoral calendar and interactive map, click here.

Sunset in Mogadishu, Somalia. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Mohamed Bashir Osman (CC0 1.0)

Upcoming Africa Elections

Somalia, Indirect Presidential Election: May 15, 2022

Somalia has finally scheduled its long-delayed presidential election for May 15, 2022. The Horn of Africa country does not hold direct elections, but rather holds indirect elections in a clan-based system. Currently, parties have agreed to complete the process by February 25, 2022, delayed from February 8, 2021, but are unlikely to meet the deadline. The term of President Mohamed “Farmaajo” has expired, leaving Somalia in a political and constitutional crisis. In April 2021, Farmaajo sought to extend his term for two years, but parliament voted to reject the extension.

An ongoing conflict between Farmaajo and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble and continual election delays are exacerbating the country’s instability. Legislative elections have finally concluded after a slow, delay-ridden process, with the new lawmakers sworn in April. A new date has not been set for the presidential election, but the International Monetary Fund has set May 17 as the deadline, or else Somalia will stop receiving budget support.

Somalia’s strategic location means that instability has impact beyond its borders. More

Abdulkadir Khalif and Hellen Githaiga, The East African (May 9, 2022): Somalia election: First 10 list to vie for presidency

Reuters (May 7, 2022): Somalia seeks three-month extension of its IMF support programme

AFP (May 5, 2022): Somalia to hold presidential election on May 15

France24 (May 4, 2022): Al Shabaab militants mount deadly attack on African Union base in Somalia

Abdi Sheikh and Feisal Omar, Reuters (May 3, 2022): Islamist militants overrun African Union camp in Somalia

Republic of the Congo Legislative and Local Elections: July 10, 2022

The Republic of the Congo (sometimes called Congo-Brazzaville) will hold legislative and local elections on July 10, 2022. These follow last year’s presidential election. Denis Sassou Nguesso, who has been president almost continuously since 1979 and rules with an iron fist, won re-election. Elections have not been free or fair. More

Loïcia Martial, RFI (May 9, 2022 – in French): Congo-Brazzaville: Legislative and local elections set for July 10

Kenya General Elections: August 9, 2022

Kenya holds general elections on August 9, 2022. The last elections, in August 2017, were disputed, and the presidential poll was re-run in October 2017. President Uhuru Kenyatta won re-election after opposition leader Raila Odinga encouraged his supporters to boycott the re-run. Ironically, Kenyatta has endorsed Odinga for this year’s election, against William Ruto, who was formerly his anointed successor.

Kenyan politics is highly polarized with a strong ethnic component.

Because of the ongoing crises in neighboring Ethiopia and Somalia, Kenya plays an important role in the region. In addition, Kenya has been an important partner to the United States and other countries on counterterrorism.

Patrick Smith, The Africa Report (May 9, 2022): Kenya election 2022: How the Odinga and Kenyatta dynasties set aside their differences

Onyango K’Onyango, Vincent Owino, and Aggrey Mutambo, The East African (May 6, 2022): Polls body on the spot as Kenyans prepare for region’s ‘most expensive’ election

Africanews with AFP (May 5, 2022): Social media Influencers cash in as presidential election approaches in Kenya

Victor Abuso, The Africa Report (May 3, 2022): Kenya election 2022: A record 47 independents vie for the presidency

Angola Presidential and Legislative Elections: August 2022

Angola holds presidential and legislative elections in August 2022. The country has not to date held free elections. The People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), a former armed group, has been in power since since independence in 1975. For 38 years, the MPLA’s José Eduardo Dos Santos ruled Angola with an iron fist. His regime engaged in rampant corruption and kleptocracy. Dos Santos’s successor, João Lourenço, has enacted some reforms and sought to curtail corruption, but many issues remain. Moreover, local elections (the country’s first) have been delayed repeatedly, at times sparking protests. The political climate remains tense.

MPLA’s vote share has been steadily decreasing with each successive election: it received 81 percent of the vote in 2008, 72 percent in 2012, and 61 percent in 2017. For the upcoming elections, the three main opposition parties will back a single presidential candidate: Adalberto Costa Junior, leader of UNITA, the main opposition party.

Angola is one of the biggest oil producers in Africa. More

Henrique Almeida, Bloomberg (May 9, 2022): Angolan Ruling Party’s Lead Narrows Ahead of Vote, Poll Shows

France24 (May 6, 2022 – video): The painful legacy of Angola’s civil war

Somaliland Presidential Election: November 13, 2022

Somaliland plans to hold a presidential election on November 13, 2022, following long-delayed parliamentary and local elections that finally took place on May 31, 2021. In those elections, the two main opposition parties, Waddani and UCID, together won more seats in parliament than the governing Kulmiye party. Waddani and UCID will team up to choose a parliament speaker and on local councils (where they also won). Somaliland is a presidential system, so there’s no PM. But it is significant for democracy that the opposition won the “midterms.”

President Muse Bihi Abdi from Kulmiye is eligible to seek a second term in 2022.

Somaliland has de facto but not internationally-recognized independence from Somalia, and has a much more developed democracy, with direct elections. It is located on the Bab el-Mandeb, a strait through which most oil and gas from the Persian Gulf – and a lot of other international commerce – transits. Thus the geopolitical stakes are high. More

Joshua Meservey, Heritage Foundation (May 9, 2022): Somalilanders’ Quest for Independence Isn’t “Neocolonial” Plot. It’s Self-Determination.

MENAFM-SomTribune (May 9, 2022): Somaliland: President Bihi Reiterates Elections Will Be Held On Time In State Address

Chad Elections: By December 2022 (tentative, post-coup)

Chad held a presidential election on April 11, 2021. President Idriss Déby, who seized power in a rebellion in 1990, won a sixth term. However, on April 20, 2021, he was killed by rebels while fighting on the front lines. His son, 37-year-old General Mahamat Déby, declared himself interim leader, backed by the military. He dissolved parliament and promised elections within 18 months, by December 2022. However, it is unclear when the elections will actually happen.

Although the country holds elections, there has never been a change in power by a free or fair vote, and elections are riven by lengthy delays, violence, and fraud. More

Cameron Hudson, Newlines Institute (May 9, 2022): A Year After a Dictator’s Death, There is Still Time to Support Democracy in Chad

Africanews with AFP (May 2, 2022): Chad: Junta postpones reconciliation dialogue to a “later” date

Al Jazeera (May 2, 2022): Why has Chad delayed a national peace dialogue? Scheduled talks between the military government, opposition and rebels are postponed for a second time.

Nigeria General Elections: February 18, 2023

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, holds general elections on February 18, 2023, but some states are due to hold gubernatorial elections before that, including Ekiti and Osun states in 2022.

In addition, potential 2023 candidates have already begun jockeying for position. Since the return to civilian rule, vote-rigging and violence have plagued elections. While the 2015 polls – which handed the opposition its first-ever victory – were considered credible, international and Nigerian observers found that the 2019 polls fell short. The country is in the midst of several security crises.

Neil Munshi and Anthony Osae-Brown, Bloomberg (May 9, 2022): Central Banker’s Nigerian Presidency Bid Caps Unorthodox Tenure

Dr Omololu Fagbadebo, IOL (May 8, 2022): What hope is there for Nigeria post-2023 elections?

Ruth Olurounbi, Al Jazeera (May 6, 2022): Nigeria’s central bank chief to run for presidency in 2023: There has been a multitude of interest from heavyweights and has-beens in the governing party and the opposition to succeed Muhammadu Buhari as Nigerian president.

Sudan General Elections: By 2024 (due – unclear following coup)

Sudan plans to hold general elections by 2024, the culmination of a five-year transition to democracy that began with the July 2019 removal of dictator Omar al-Bashir following several months of protests. Al-Bashir was removed in a military coup, and a junta ruled briefly, but entered into an agreement with the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC), a wide-ranging coalition of opposition groups, to transition the country to democracy. Civil servant and diplomat Abdalla Hamdok became prime minister.

However, another coup in October 2021 returned Sudan to military rule. Hamdok resigned. Protests continue and the country’s political future remains uncertain.

Mat Nashed, The New Arab (May 6, 2022): Sudan’s intensifying crackdown on pro-democracy protests

Justin Lynch, Foreign Policy (May 4, 2022): How the U.N. and the West Failed Sudan: Self-delusion and negligence stopped governments and aid agencies from facilitating a genuine and lasting transition to democracy

Michael Atit, Voice of America (May 3, 2022): Sudanese Families Urge Military Leaders to Free Detainees

Mali Presidential and Legislative Elections: Delayed to December 2025

Mali had set presidential and legislative elections for February 27, 2022, following the August 2020 coup, but the interim government has proposed a delay to December 2025, sparking a backlash from neighboring countries and the international community.

In the coup, soldiers removed President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (who has since died at age 76, having been in poor health for years), dissolved parliament (which had just been elected in April, in elections marred by fraud and intimidation) and established a transitional government.

Africanews (May 5, 2022): Togo’s president agrees to mediate Mali crisis

AFP (May 3, 2022): Mali: Military government breaks defence accords with France: Vast swaths of Mali lie beyond government control because of armed group activity, which began in 2012.

Burkina Faso Elections: TBD, following coup

Burkina Faso is set to hold elections at some point in the future following the recent coup.

On January 24, 2022, a group of soldiers detained President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, dissolved the legislature, and declared that a military junta would control the country moving forward. Subsequently, coup leader Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba was sworn in as president.

This coup (which follows coups in nearby Guinea, Chad, and Mali) plunges the country’s political future into even greater uncertainty. Burkina Faso avoided an earlier coup attempt, and some analysts believed that a successful coup was only a matter of time given simmering discontent with Kabore’s handling of the jihadist threat and other issues.

Captain Sidsore Kaber Ouedraogo of the Patriotic Movement for Safeguarding and Restoration (the name the junta has given itself) says new elections will take place in the future, but has not specified a date. More

Carlota Ahrens Teixeira, GIS (May 3, 2022): Burkina Faso after the coup: If the junta does not stabilize the security situation soon, Burkina Faso could become a gateway to West Africa for jihadist groups.

Guinea Elections: TBD, following coup

On September 5, 2021, Guinea’s president, Alpha Condé, fell in a military coup. Guinea’s political future remains uncertain, but regional and international bodies, as well as Guinean civil society and political groups, have urged elections.

Condé was re-elected in October 2020 amid violence. He sought and won a controversial third term, and for the third time, faced off against opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo. Both candidates claimed they won, but election officials declared Condé the winner. However, Diallo challenged the results, alleging fraud and prompting street protests leading to at least 10 deaths. The government arrested a number of opposition members following the election. More

Chad Williams, IOL (May 8, 2022): Guinea Coup: You can be free, but you will have to wait three years

Boubacar Diallo, AP (May 5, 2022): Guinea prosecutor orders trial against ex-President Conde

Reuters (May 2, 2022): Guinea’s coup leader proposes 3-year transition back to civilian rule

Past Africa Elections

Democratic Republic of the Congo Gubernatorial Elections: May 6, 2022, to be followed by General Elections: December 2023 (due)

The DRC is due to hold general elections in 2023. These follow gubernatorial elections, which took place on May 6, 2022.

The December 2018 presidential and legislative elections, which took place after multiple delays, were mired in controversy and dispute. The election commission declared opposition leader Félix Tshisekedi the winner of the presidential poll, but the Catholic Church, which deployed 40,000 election observers and is a highly trusted institution in the country, said that their data indicated a victory for another opposition leader, Martin Fayulu.

When Kabila’s chosen successor, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, was polling too poorly for Kabila to credibly rig the election for him, Kabila cut a deal with Tshisekedi. The legislative elections – also highly disputed – produced a majority for Kabila’s coalition. Major opposition figures Moïse Katumbi and Jean-Pierre Bemba were barred from the polls and spent the election cycle outside the country, but both have returned.

The DRC faces several political and security crises.

Stanis Bujakera Tshiamala, The Africa Report (May 9, 2022): DRC: Governorship elections were a challenge for Tshisekedi ahead of the 2023 poll


Antonio Cascais, DW (May 5, 2022): ECOWAS criticized over West African coups

Benita van Eyssen, DW (May 3, 2022): Where in sub-Saharan Africa are media outlets curtailed?

Africa Elections Coming Up in 2022 and 2023

Somalia Indirect Presidential Election: May 15, 2022

Nigeria, Gubernatorial Election in Ekiti State: June 18, 2022

Nigeria, Gubernatorial Election in Osun State: July 16, 2022

Republic of Congo Legislative Elections: July 2022 (due)

Senegal Legislative Elections: July 2022 (due)

Kenya Presidential and Legislative Elections: August 9, 2022

Angola Presidential and Legislative Elections: August 2022

Lesotho Parliamentary Elections: September 2022

Central African Republic Local Elections: September 2022 (delayed – no new date set)

Sao Tome and Principe Legislative Elections: October 2022 (due)

Somaliland Presidential Election: November 13, 2022

Equatorial Guinea Legislative and Local Elections: November 2022 (due)

Chad General Elections: By December 2022 (tentative, post-coup)

Nigeria General Elections: February 18, 2023

Djibouti Legislative Elections: February 2023

Nigeria Gubernatorial Elections in Most States: March 2023 (due)

South Sudan General Elections: By March 2023 (tentative)

Sierra Leone Presidential Election: June 24, 2023

Zimbabwe General Elections: July 2023

Eswatini Parliamentary Elections: August 2023 (due)

Gabon Presidential Election: August 2023 (due)

Mauritania Parliamentary Elections: September 2023 (due)

Gabon Legislative Elections: October 2023 (due)

Liberia Presidential and Legislative Elections: October 2023 (due)

Nigeria, Gubernatorial Elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States: November 2023 (due)

Madagascar Presidential Election: November 2023 (due)

Democratic Republic of the Congo Presidential and Legislative Elections: December 2023 (due)

Togo Legislative and Regional Elections: December 2023 (due)

Côte d’Ivoire Local Elections: 2023

Mali Presidential and Legislative Elections: TBD, following coup

Burkina Faso Elections: TBD, following coup

Guinea Elections: TBD, following coup

21votes does not necessarily agree with all of the opinions expressed in the linked articles; rather, our goal is to curate a wide range of voices. Furthermore, none of the individuals or organizations referenced have reviewed 21votes’ content. That is to say, their inclusion should not be taken to imply that they endorse us in any way. More on our approach here.