Eurasia elections this week October 21 2021

October 21, 2021

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.

A traditional teahouse in Kokand, Uzbekistan, a Silk Road hub. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Albert Herring (CC BY 2.0)

Upcoming Eurasia Elections

Uzbekistan Presidential Election: October 24, 2021

Uzbekistan is holding a presidential election on October 24, 2021. Elections in Uzbekistan are neither free nor fair, and political opposition is not able to operate freely in the country. Although some had hoped that President Shavkat Mirziyoyev would face a serious challenger this year, that looks increasingly unlikely as would-be challengers are either being denied ballot access or dropping outMore

Paul Bartlett, Nikkei Asia (October 22, 2021): Uzbekistan election spotlights economic reforms, static politics

Eurasianet (October 21, 2021): New Uzbekistan holds old-style election: Some voters feel manipulated by being asked to play along in the choice-free election.

Catherine Putz, The Diplomat (October 19, 2021): Quiet Presidential Campaign Nearly Over in Uzbekistan

Georgia Local Election Runoffs: October 30, 2021

Georgia held local elections on October 2, 2021 in a tense political climate, exacerbated by the arrest of former president Mikheil Saakashvili on the eve of the vote. Runoffs will take 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.

A recent uptick in violence against the LGBT community and journalists, perpetrated by far-right and pro-Kremlin forces, has fueled the wider debate about where Georgia is going, both culturally and geopolitically. More

JAMnews (October 19, 2021): Georgian opposition creates multi-party shadow cabinet ahead of second round of elections

David M. Herszenhorn, Politico (October 18, 2021): Dozens of officials call for release of former Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili: An open letter to top EU leaders decries the ‘politically motivated’ jailing of Georgia’s ex-president.

AP (October 14, 2021): Thousands protest for Georgian ex-president’s release

Kyrgyzstan Parliamentary Elections Take 2: November 28, 2021

Kyrgyzstan will hold parliamentary elections on November 28, 2021 – a re-run of the parliamentary elections that took place in October 2020. Those elections and allegations of fraud led to political turmoil, followed by a snap presidential election in January 2021 and a constitutional referendum (alongside local elections) in April 2021. The new constitution, which passed, grants the president vastly expanded powers. Its critics have dubbed it the “Khanstitution.” The political climate was tense heading into the October 2020 parliamentary elections. It subsequently exploded following said elections. More

RFE/RL (October 19, 2021): Kyrgyzstan’s Supreme Court Reinstates Former President Atambaev’s Prison Sentence

Paul Bartlett, Nikkei Asia (October 15, 2021): Kyrgyzstan faces ‘hard winter’ as Japarov marks 1 year at helm: President’s power grows while analysts warn on freedom and living costs

Armenia Partial Local Elections: November 14 and December 5, 2021 (following first set of local elections on October 17)

Armenia is holding a series of partial local elections this fall. These follow the snap parliamentary elections on June 20, which were held in an effort to defuse a political crisis following a defeat in the recent Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Pre-election polls suggested a close contest Pashinyan acting prime minister Nikol Pashinyan and former president Robert Kocharyan; however, Pashinyan ended up winning by a significant margin. Political tensions remain.

Gayane Sargsyan, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (October 19, 2021): Armenian Opposition Protests Electoral Changes

Ani Mejlumyan, Eurasianet (October 18, 2021): Armenian ruling party suffers election setback: Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s Civil Contract party lost local elections in some of the country’s key cities.

Ani Avetisyan, OC Media (October 18, 2021): Armenia’s ruling party faces defeat in limited municipal elections

Past Eurasia Elections

Russia Parliamentary Elections: September 17-19, 2021

Russia held parliamentary elections September 17-19, 2021. 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 launched 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. 

Moreover, international technology companies such as Google and Apple assisted the regime by removing apps associated with Navalny’s Smart Vote. More

AFP (October 21, 2021): Navalny Aide Placed on Russia’s Wanted List

AFP (October 20, 2021): Kremlin critic Navalny wins EU’s Sakharov rights award

Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times (October 18, 2021): Russia Breaks Diplomatic Ties With NATO Moscow’s decision to end its diplomatic mission to the alliance will end a long, post-Cold War experiment in building trust between militaries.

Belarus Presidential Election: August 9, 2020

Belarus held a presidential election on August 9, 2020. In a vote widely deemed not free and not fair, incumbent Alexander Lukashenko declared victory. However, the opposition declared that Svetlana Tikhanovskaya had in fact won. Hundreds of thousands of Belarusians have taken to the streets in protest to demand free and fair elections, even in the face of assault and arrest by security forces. Protests and political defiance continue. More

Gwendolyn Sasse, Carnegie Europe (October 21, 2021): Continuity and Change in Belarusian Societal Attitudes

AFP (October 17, 2021): French Envoy Leaves Belarus at Minsk’s Demand: Embassy

Ilya Yablokov, openDemocracy (October 16, 2021): Belarus’ most famous media outlet wants its title back – and its people freed

RFE/RL (October 15, 2021): Belarus Slaps ‘Extremist’ Label On Opposition Leader’s Telegram Channel

Eurasia Elections Coming Up in 2021 and 2022

Uzbekistan Presidential Election: October 24, 2021

Georgia Local Election Runoffs: October 30, 2021

Armenia Partial Local Elections: November 14 and December 5, 2021

Kyrgyzstan Parliamentary Elections Take 2: November 28, 2021

Belarus Constitutional Referendum: By February 2022 (proposed)

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.



October 20, 2021

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.

Town hall and war memorial in Hódmezővásárhely, Hungary, a small city in the southeast of Hungary. Hódmezővásárhely’s mayor, Peter Marki-Zay, won the opposition primary and will challenge Viktor Orbán in next spring’s elections. Photo credit:
Wikimedia/Joergsam (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Upcoming Europe Elections

Bulgaria Parliamentary Elections, Take 3 and Presidential Election: November 14, 2021

Bulgaria is holding a presidential election on November 14 along with a third set of parliamentary elections since no government was formed following the July 11 elections (themselves the result of no government being formed following the original elections on April 4). In Bulgaria’s parliamentary system, the prime minister holds executive power, while the president is largely ceremonial.

In the April polls, PM Boyko Borissov’s center-right GERB won the most seats, but lost ground and failed to win a majority. New parties running against the establishment did surprisingly well – in fact,  a party called There Is Such a People (ITN), led by TV star Stanislav Trifonov, came in second and ruled out forming a coalition with GERB. Trifonov’s main platform was anti-corruption – indeed, corruption was the biggest issue in the election. 

In the July elections, Trifonov’s ITN surpassed GERB to win the most seats, but not enough for a majority. ITN was not able to form a government, and the Socialists refused. Therefore, Bulgarians will head to the polls for a third time. More

Euractiv (October 20, 2021): Bulgarian elections marked by radicalisation of ethnic Turkish party

Corinne Deloy, Fondation Robert Schuman (October 19, 2021): Bulgarians to vote in dual legislative and presidential elections

Cyprus, Northern Cyprus Snap Elections: TBD

Northern Cyprus, recognized only by Turkey, could hold snap elections soon following the resignation of the government. In last year’s presidential election, Ankara-backed nationalist Ersin Tatar won, exacerbating tensions on the island. More

TRT World (October 13, 2021): Turkish Cypriot PM tenders resignation, calls for early elections

Austria Presidential Election: April 2022 (due)

Austria is due to hold a presidential election in April 2022, although in Austria’s parliamentary system, the role is largely ceremonial. Recently, the resignation of center-right chancellor Sebastian Kurz has shaken politics.

Katrin Bennhold, New York Times (October 17, 2021): Fake Polls and Tabloid Coverage on Demand: The Dark Side of Sebastian Kurz

Hungary Parliamentary Elections: By Spring 2022 (or earlier)

Hungary is due to hold parliamentary elections by Spring 2022, although snap elections are possible. Prime Minster Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party has become increasingly authoritarian, to the concern of many both in Hungary and in the international community. A number of opposition parties plan to hold a primary to field a single candidate for prime minister. Gergely Karácsony, the liberal mayor of Budapest, is seen by many as a leading candidate to challenge Orbán.

Justin Spike, AP (October 17, 2021): Small-town mayor to lead Hungary opposition bloc in election

Lili Bayer, Politico (October 17, 2021): Conservative wins Hungarian opposition race to face Orbán in 2022: A diverse group of six parties has come together in an effort to defeat the PM.

France Presidential Election: April 10 and 24, 2022, followed by 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, although the far-right Marine Le Pen plans to mount a vigorous campaign. 

Alice Tidey with AFP, Euronews (October 20, 2021): French presidential election: Who’s who in the race to replace Macron?

Elizabeth Pineau, Reuters (October 20, 2021): Barnier talks tough on immigration in quest for France’s centre-right presidential ticket

AFP (October 14, 2021): Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo wins French Socialists’ presidential nomination

Bosnia and Herzegovina General Elections: October 2022 (due)

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is due to hold general elections in October 2020. The 202 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. BiH faces a number of problems, including poor economic prospects, incompetent governance, and bitter political fights. More

Reuters (October 14, 2021): Secessionist leader says Serbs will undo Bosnia state institutions

Past Europe Elections

Kosovo Local Elections: October 17, 2021

Kosovo held local elections on October 17, 2021. These follow  snap parliamentary elections that took place in February 2021. In those elections, Kosovo held on February 14. The left-wing nationalist Vetëvendosje won the parliamentary elections, potentially jeopardizing any resolution to a long-standing territorial dispute with Serbia. However, the center-right opposition led the early vote count for the local elections.

Exit Albania (October 20, 2021): Serbia Urges Kosovo Serbs to Boycott Institutions

Philip Andrew Churm and Euronews with AP (October 18, 2021): Kosovo’s municipal election: Centre-right opposition lead after early results 

RFE/RL (October 17, 2021): Kosovo Voting In Municipal Elections Amid Pandemic, Ethnic Tensions

North Macedonia Local Elections: October 17, 2021

North Macedonia held local elections on October 17, 2021. These follow parliamentary elections in July 2020. 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 are fragmented and fractious. The 2020 elections were extremely close, but ultimately PM Zoran Zaev and his Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) were able to once again form a government with the backing of the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI), the main ethnic Albanian party (ethnic Albanians make up about a quarter of the population). SDSM also controls most of the municipalities heading into the local elections, having beaten the nationalist VMRO-DPMNE in a majority of municipalities and ousting the VMRO-DMPNE mayor of Skopje.

Balkan Insight (October 19, 2021): Albania, North Macedonia Ready for EU Accession Talks: European Commission

Sinisa Jakov Marusic, Balkan Insight (October 18, 2021): North Macedonia Opposition Celebrates Comeback in Local Polls

Estonia Local Elections: October 17, 2021 (following an indirect presidential election that began on August 30)

Estonia – a poster child for a successful post-communist transition to democracy – held local elections on October 17, following an indirect presidential election on August 30.

In Estonia’s parliamentary system, the president plays a largely ceremonial and representative role, with no executive power. The Riigikogu (parliament) elects the president. Incumbent Kersti Kaljulaid sought re-election. However, the government nominated Alar Karis, director of the Estonian National Museum, and Karis ended up winning.

Since January 2021, Estonia’s government has been a grand coalition of the center-right Reform Party and the centrist Centre Party, which has historically been supported by Estonia’s Russian community. Following the 2019 elections, Centre shocked the country by forming a government with the far-right EKRE, but PM Juri Ratas was forced to resign in January 2021 following a real estate scandal. Subsequently, Reform – previously in opposition – formed a coalition with Centre as the junior partner, making Reform’s Kaja Kallas Estonia’s first female prime minister. More

Baltic News Network (October 18, 2021): In Estonian local elections, Centre Party wins, losing majority

Samuel Kramer, New Eastern Europe (October 15, 2021): What to watch in Estonia’s upcoming local elections

Italy, Local Election Runoffs in Rome, Milan, Turin, Naples and other cities and regional elections in Calabria: October 17, 2021 (following the October 3-4, 2021 first round)

Italy held regional elections in Calabria in the south, as well as local elections in several major cities, on October 3 and 4, with runoffs on October 17. The next general elections aren’t due until June 2023, but as is ever the case with Italy, snap elections are possible. However, in January 2021, the 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.

Miles Johnson, Financial Times (October 19, 2021): Centre-left takes control of key Italian cities in blow to Five Star: Democratic Party candidate seizes Rome from the former upstart party which also lost Turin

Gavin Jones and Angelo Amante, Reuters (October 18, 2021): Centre-left wins Italian mayoral run-offs as right flounders

Czech Republic Parliamentary Elections: October 8-9, 2021

The Czech Republic held parliamentary elections October 8-9, 2021. The current prime minister, controversial billionaire Andrej Babiš, came to power following the 2017 parliamentary elections. His populist ANO party won a plurality, but not majority, of seats, and he has had a turbulent tenure in office. Ultimately, an opposition coalition of the center-right and the center-left Pirates narrowly defeated Babis and are expected to form the next government. More

Rob Cameron, BBC News (October 19, 2021): Czech turmoil over removing ailing President Zeman’s powers

Siegfried Mortkowitz, Politico (October 18, 2021): Czech president too ill to work, powers to be handed to PM Babiš: Babiš is expected to ask the head of the Together coalition to form a government.

Tomas Etzler and John Mastrini, CNN (October 18, 2021): Czech lawmakers may strip hospitalized president of powers to end deadlock

AP (October 15, 2021): Czech PM Babis heading for opposition after losing election

Mitchell A. Orenstein, The Bulwark (October 15, 2021): Is Central Europe’s Populist Wave Crashing? Voters and leaders in Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Austria may have found populism’s weaknesses.

Peter Tuma, Atlantic Council (October 14, 2021): Is liberalism ending its losing streak in Central Europe?

Marek Rybar and Kevin Deegan-Krause, Washington Post (October 13, 2021): The Czech public voted out their prime minister. Actually getting rid of him may be harder.

Germany Bundestag Elections: September 26, 2021 (plus state elections throughout the year)

Germany held several sets of elections next year, culminating in the September 26, 2021 federal parliamentary elections that will determine who succeeds Angela Merkel as chancellor. The Social Democratic Party (SPD), headed by Olaf Scholz, placed first, with 25.7 percent of the vote. Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), along with its Bavarian partner Christian Social Union (CSU), suffered a historic defeat in these elections, placing second with 24.1 percent of the vote, possibly due to the personal unpopularity of its standard-bearer, Armin Laschet, who made a series of gaffes during the campaign.

A big story during the election was the rise of the Greens, who even topped opinion polls at various points, but ultimately placed third. They portrayed themselves as responsible and mainstream, choosing pragmatist Annalena Baerbock as their standard-bearer. Finally, the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) placed fourth, with 11 percent of the vote, after five years of having no seats in the Bundestag (since FDP failed to meet the 5 percent threshold in the 2017 elections).

Currently, the Greens, FDP, and SPD are in talks to form a “traffic light” coalition government.

DW (October 16, 2021): Germany: CDU chief Laschet shoulders blame for election debacle

Euronews/AFP (October 15, 2021): German election: Traffic light coalition moves closer to forming a government

DW (October 15, 2021): Germany: SPD, Greens and FDP ready to start formal coalition talks

Andrew Hammond, South China Morning Post (October 15, 2021): Why Germany’s coalition talks matter for China, Europe and the world

Norway Parliamentary Elections: September 13, 2021

Norway held parliamentary elections on September 13, 2021. Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who had led a center-right coalition since 2013, suffered a defeat from the left-leaning opposition. The center-left Labour plans to form a minority government. More

Reuters (October 14, 2021): Norway’s Labour-led cabinet takes office in day overshadowed by attack

Romania Parliamentary Elections: December 6, 2020

Romania held parliamentary elections on December 6. Amid low turnout due partly to COVID-19, the scandal-plagued leftist Social Democrats (PSD) unexpectedly came in first place. However, a coalition of parties formed a center-right government, headed by Florin Cîțu from the center-right National Liberal Party (PNL). More

Reuters (October 20, 2021): Romania’s PM-designate fails to win parliament confidence

Europe Elections Coming Up in 2021 and 2022

Bulgaria Presidential Election: November 14, 2021

Denmark Regional and Municipal Elections: November 16, 2021

Finland County Elections: January 23, 2022

Serbia Presidential and Parliamentary Elections: April 3, 2022

France Presidential Election: April 10 and 24, 2022

Austria Presidential Election: April 2022 (due)

Hungary Parliamentary Elections: April 2022 (due)

Slovenia Parliamentary Elections: By June 5, 2022

France Legislative Elections: June 12 and 19, 2022

Malta Parliamentary Elections: June 2022 (due – snap elections possible)

Sweden Parliamentary Elections: September 11, 2022

Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidential and Legislative Elections: October 2022 (due)

Latvia Parliamentary Elections: October 2022 (due)

Slovenia Presidential Election: October/November 2022 (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.

Middle East

Middle East Elections This Week October 19 2021

October 19, 2021

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.

Najaf, Iraq, hometown of Shiite populist firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose allies remain the biggest force in Iraq’s parliament following the October 10 elections. Photo credit: Wikimedia/سید محمود جوادی (CC BY 3.0)

Upcoming Middle East Elections

Algeria Early Local Elections: November 27, 2021

Algeria plans to hold early local elections on November 27, 2021. These follow the snap elections held on June 12, 2021, following more than two years of protests by the Hirak movement. However, the government’s election plan did not actually satisfied the Hirak, who boycotted the elections and continue to protest. The absence of the Hirak, who are mostly secular, from the elections has paved the way for Islamist parties to become the main opposition. Ultimately, the FLN, the country’s long-dominant nationalist secular party, won the elections.

Constant Méheut, New York Times (October 16, 2021): Macron Commemorates 1961 Paris Police Killing of Algerian Protesters

Francisco Serrano, Foreign Policy (October 14, 2021): Algeria Needs a Second Liberation: This time, from its aged rulers

Al Jazeera (October 13, 2021): Algeria court jails brother of deposed President Bouteflika

Libya Parliamentary and Presidential Elections: December 24, 2021 (tentative)

Libya’s national elections are overdue and have been postponed indefinitely due to the political crisis and civil war. However, in November 2020, Libyan stakeholders participating in UN-sponsored talks proposed December 24, 2021 for presidential and parliamentary elections. More

Anas El Gomati, Atlantic Council (October 13, 2021): Libya’s elections are around the corner. But the country needs a hard reset.

Jordan Local Elections: Fall 2021 (due)

Jordan is due to hold local elections in fall 2021. These follow parliamentary elections, which happened on November 10, 2020. Turnout was low, and both women and Islamist candidates saw poor results. Subsequently, King Abdullah II announced a new high-level committee to enact political reforms. This is not the first such effort in Jordan, and past attempts at change have been a disappointment to those who hope for reform, but it could be promising. More

Osama Al Sharif, Al Monitor (October 13, 2021): Jordanians lukewarm on government reform proposal

Lebanon Parliamentary Elections: March 27, 2022

Lebanon has set parliamentary elections for March 27, 2022, over a month early. 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.

Reuters (October 19, 2021): Lebanon confirms March elections amid race to secure IMF rescue

AFP (October 17, 2021): Low turnout as Lebanese mark two years of protests

Tamara Qiblawi, CNN (October 16, 2021): How an investigation into Beirut’s port explosion is rattling Lebanon’s elite, stirring memories of civil war

Asmaa al-Omar and Vivian Yee, New York Times (October 15, 2021): Lebanon Observes Day of Mourning After Deadly Sectarian Clashes: The death toll rose to seven a day after gun battles between Christian and Shiite Muslim militias erupted amid tensions over an investigation into the port explosion last year.

Maha El Dahan and Tom Perry, Reuters (October 14, 2021): Explainer: What’s happening in Lebanon

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 has reversed course and urged his followers to support the elections. He subsequently proceeded to win the elections. More

Al Jazeera (October 19, 2021): Iraqi protesters demand election recount in Baghdad: Hundreds of Iraq’s Hashd al-Shaabi supporters protest against ‘fraud’ and call for a recount of the October 10 vote.

Seth J. Frantzman, Jerusalem Post (October 18, 2021): After Iraqi elections, Iraq’s Kurdistan region is in the spotlight – analysis

Jane Arraf, New York Times (October 16, 2021): After Iraqi Election, a Shiite Leader Emerges as an Unlikely U.S. Ally The U.S. once threatened to kill Muqtada al-Sadr as his militia battled occupying forces. Now, the powerful cleric is helping Washington by keeping Iran at bay.

Fareed Zakaria, Washington Post (October 14, 2021): Opinion: The underappreciated success of Iraqi democracy

Qatar Shura Council Elections: October 2, 2021

Qatar held its first-ever parliamentary elections (Shura Council elections) on October 2, 2021. Qatar is an absolute monarchy in which the emir holds all political power. The only elections that the country had ever previously held were for the Central Municipal Council, an advisory body with no real power. Political parties are not allowed. Moreover, the vast majority of people who live in Qatar are not citizens, and have no political rights. The Shura Council has existed since 1972, but has few real powers. 

Some have criticized these elections as a cosmetic reform undertaken because of increased pressure because Qatar will be hosting the football World Cup in 2022More

Dania Thafer, Washington Post (October 14, 2021): Qatar’s first elected parliament may have more power than other Persian Gulf legislatures. Here’s why.

Reuters (October 14, 2021): Qatar emir appoints two women to advisory council after men sweep polls

Syria Presidential Election: May 26, 2021

Syria held its presidential election for May 26, 2021. The election happened the context of Syria’s ongoing civil war and humanitarian crisis. Elections under the regime of Bashar al-Assad are widely considered to be a sham. More

AP (October 17, 2021): UN: Syria government, opposition to begin drafting charter: The UN’s envoy for Syria has announced that the Syrian government and opposition have agreed to start drafting constitutional reforms for the war-torn country

Tunisia Presidential and Legislative Elections: September/October 2019

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.

In July 2021, Saied dismissed the government, a move that some deemed a coup. The move has sparked protests and condemnations from political and civil society actors in Tunisia.

Mariam Abdel Baky and Olfa Lamloum, openDemocracy (October 19, 2021): Tunisia’s president has given himself unprecedented powers. How will he use them?

Elizia Volkmann, Al-Monitor (October 18, 2021): Activists call Tunisia’s first female prime minister mere distraction

AP (October 14, 2021): Tunisia’s President Saied revokes predecessor’s passport

Sihem Bensedrine, Washington Post (October 13, 2021): Opinion: Why sliding back into autocracy won’t solve Tunisia’s problems

Middle East Elections Coming Up in 2021 and 2022

Algeria Early Local Elections: November 27, 2021

Palestinian Authority Local Elections Stage 1 of 2: December 11, 2021 (tentative)

Libya Presidential and Parliamentary Elections: December 24, 2021

Jordan Local and Gubernatorial Elections: Fall 2021 (due)

Lebanon Early Parliamentary Elections: March 27, 2022

Bahrain Parliamentary Elections: November 2022 (due)

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.


Africa elections this week October 18 2021

October 18, 2021

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.

A beach in Calhau, Cabo Verde. The opposition won Cabo Verde’s presidential election on October 17. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Henryk Kotowski (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Upcoming Africa Elections

Somalia, Puntland Direct Local Elections: October 25, 2021 and Indirect Presidential Election: February 8, 2022 (tentative – preceded by indirect legislative elections)

Somalia does not hold direct elections, but rather holds indirect elections in a clan-based system. Currently, an indirect presidential election is planned for October 10, delayed from February 8, 2021. 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.

While the United States and the EU threatened sanctions, some analysts believed that the delay could pave the way for direct elections. However, critics dismiss this idea as a ruse to justify Farmaajo’s extension of his term. The parties reached a deal to hold the elections on October 10, 2021, but this has been pushed to February 8, 2022. Additional delays are possible.

Meanwhile, the self-declared autonomous state of Puntland plans to hold its first-ever direct local elections on October 25. More

Dalsan Radio Mogadishu (October 18, 2021): Somalia: Lower House Elections to Commence Next Week – PM Roble

Mohamed Sheikh Nor, The Africa Report (October 18, 2021): Kenya – Somalia: What does ICJ’s verdict mean for Mogadishu?

Peter Muiruri, The Guardian (October 14, 2021): Kenya rejects UN court judgment giving Somalia control of resource-rich waters: ICJ ruling aggravates fractious relations between two countries and threatens to destabilise restive region

Abdi Latif Dahir, New York Times (October 12, 2021): Why a Sea Dispute Has Somalia and Kenya on Edge

Harun Maruf, Voice of America (October 11, 2021): AU Endorses Joint Mission with UN for Somalia

South Africa Local Elections: October 27, 2021

South Africa will hold local elections on October 27, 2021, although some have called for delays due to COVID-19. Voters will elect councils for all municipalities in each of the country’s nine provinces. These are taking place in the context of unrest following the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma for corruption. More

Linda Givetash, Voice of America (October 18, 2021): South Africa’s Local Elections Test Loyalty to Party of Mandela

Kevin Ritchie, IOL South Africa (October 16, 2021): Elections could be the end of big party dominance, says analyst

S’thembile Cele, Bloomberg (October 15, 2021): Hostage Drama Leaves South African Government Red-Faced

Gerald Imray, AP (October 15, 2021): South Africa arrests 56 for taking Cabinet ministers hostage

The Telegraph (October 15, 2021): South African ministers ‘held hostage’ during meeting with veterans: 56 people were arrested after a meeting between anti-apartheid veterans and the country’s Defence Minister went awry

AFP (October 14, 2021): Zuma blasts judiciary, backs ANC in first speech after parole

Daniel Silke, Daily Maverick (October 13, 2021): The most unpredictable elections since the dawn of South Africa’s democracy

Gambia Presidential Election: December 4, 2021

Gambia is due to hold its first presidential election since it began its remarkable transition to democracy in 2016, when citizens removed dictator Yahya Jammeh – who had come to power in a coup and ruled for 22 years – peacefully, via the ballot box. In a surprising election result, opposition candidate Adama Barrow won the presidency with the backing of a coalition of seven opposition parties. However, the process of establishing democracy and recovering from Jammeh’s brutal dictatorship has not been easy.

In a shock move, Barrow announced an alliance with Jammeh ahead of December’s election. More

Carley Petesch, AP (October 17, 2021): Gambian Toufah Jallow tells of surviving rape by dictator

Amat Jeng, Al Jazeera (October 15, 2021): The Gambia’s democratic transition is facing a litmus test

AFP (October 14, 2021): Gambia presidential hopeful prepared to prosecute ex-dictator Jammeh

Senegal Local Elections: January 31, 2022

Senegal has set local elections – originally due in June 2019 but delayed several times – for January 31, 2022. Meanwhile, legislative elections are due in July 2022. More

Mehdi Ba, Jeune Afrique (October 13, 2021 – in French): Senegal: Why the Ousmane Sonko matter is not going anywhere

Mali Presidential and Legislative Elections: February 27, 2022 (following two coups)

Mali has set presidential and legislative elections for February 27, 2022, following the August 2020 coup. In the coup, soldiers removed President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, dissolved parliament (which had just been elected in April, in elections marred by fraud and intimidation) and established a transitional government. Before that, there will be a constitutional referendum on October 31, 2021 and local and regional elections on December 26.

On May 25, Mali had another coup, but leaders have stated that the elections will remain on the calendar for 2022. However, the situation remains fluid.

Africanews with AFP (October 18, 2021): ECOWAS delegation visits Mali, seeks assurance on elections

Anne-Fleur Lespiaut, France24 (October 14, 2021 – video): French forces begin northern Mali drawdown: ‘The idea is not to create a vacuum’

Baba Ahmed, AP (October 14, 2021): Mali’s Timbuktu fears jihadis as France reduces troops

Brian Carter and Emily Estelle, Critical Threats (October 14, 2021): Africa File: Mali–Wagner Group deal threatens counterterrorism gains in the Sahel

Kenya General Elections: August 9, 2022

Kenya is due to hold 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. Kenyan politics is highly polarized with a strong ethnic component.

Zolan Kanno-Youngs, New York Times (October 14, 2021): Biden Promotes Vaccine Donation in Meeting With Kenya’s President

Son Gatitu, The Africa Report (October 14, 2021): Kenya 2022 elections: Let the game of numbers begin

Angola Legislative Elections: August 2022 (due) and Local Elections: Overdue, no date set

Angola, which has never held free elections, and has been ruled by the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), a former armed group, since independence in 1976, is due to hold legislative elections in August 2022. In addition, the country is overdue to hold its first-ever local elections. These elections have already been delayed multiple times (most recently in September 2020), and no date has been set. Meanwhile, COVID-19 provides an excuse for additional delays. In short, it is unclear when – or whether – the local elections will actually happen. More

Andres Schipani and David Pilling, Financial Times (October 19, 2021): African politics: Lourenço pledges to end Angola’s economic ‘storm’

Cláudio Silva, African Arguments (October 18, 2021): How the radical became normal in Angola

South Sudan Elections: December 2022 (planned)

South Sudan plans to hold elections in December 2022, the first since independence in 2011. Salva Kiir had been president of the semi-autonomous region while it was still part of Sudan, and he remained in office following independence. The legislature’s mandate expired in 2015 (it had been elected in 2010, before independence), and has been extended several times. Additional election delays are possible.

Human Rights Watch (October 18, 2021): Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan remains vital

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

Chad held a presidential election on April 11, 2021. President Idriss Déby, seized power in a rebellion in 1990, won a sixth term. However, on April 20, he was killed by rebels.

Although the country holds elections, there has never been a change in power by a free or fair vote. Long-delayed long-delayed parliamentary elections had been set for October 24, 2021 and local elections for April 2022. Originally due in 2015, the legislative elections have been delayed multiple times. However, Deby’s death could lead to further delays – the military has said it plans to rule the country for 18 months. More

Daniel Eizenga, World Politics Review (October 12, 2021): Chad’s ‘Political Transition’ Is a Smokescreen for Military Rule

Democratic Republic of the Congo General Elections: December 2023 (due)

The DRC is due to hold general elections in 2023. 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.

Reuters (October 16, 2021): Congo protests turn violent as lawmakers select electoral commission chief

Sudan General Elections: By 2024 (due)

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. However, numerous challenges remain.

Simon Marks and Mohammed Alamin, Bloomberg (October 18, 2021): The Man Choking Sudan Economy’s Lifeline Says Government Must Fall

Dave Lawler, Axios (October 18, 2021): U.S. envoy to visit Sudan as “most dangerous” crisis intensifies

Michael Atit, Voice of America (October 18, 2021): Massive Pro-Military Sit-In Shakes Sudan Democracy Efforts

Reuters (October 17, 2021): Sudan protesters call for military coup as political crisis deepens

Mohammed Alamin and Simon Marks, Bloomberg (October 11, 2021): Government Split Poses New Threat to Sudan Democratic Transition

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

Trevor Filseth, National Interest (October 16, 2021): Guinean Coup Leader Purges Army in Consolidation of Power

Luke Hurt and Peter Cai, East Asia Forum (October 16, 2021): Simandou is China’s poisoned chalice

Jane Flanagan and Sam Bradpiece, Times of London (October 14, 2021): Lauriane Doumbouya: Russian trolls target Guinea’s first lady to stir up resentment in Africa

Hathias Hounkpe, African Arguments (October 14, 2021): ECOWAS in Guinea: Tough on coups, tame on the causes of coups

Jim Wormington, Human Rights Watch (October 11, 2021): What is the Future of Guinea’s Mining Sector After the Coup?

Eswatini Parliamentary Elections: August 2023 (due)

Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, is an absolute monarchy. The country does hold parliamentary elections, but the parliament does not actually have much power, and the elections are tightly controlled, without much choice for voters.

On June 20, 2021, a series of protests calling for democratic reform began. Protests continue.

Jane Flanagan, Times of London (October 18, 2021): Africa’s last king takes revenge on rebel pupils

AFP (October 16, 2021): Eswatini Shuts Schools Amid New Wave of Protests

Lunga Masuku, Reuters (October 14, 2021): Pro-democracy protests flare up in Eswatini

Voice of America (October 13, 2021): Police Shoot, Kill Pro-Democracy Protester in Eswatini

Michelle Gavin, Council on Foreign Relations (October 12, 2021): Swazi Students Resist Monarchy to Continue the Fight for Democracy: The world should not look away from Swazis’ continuing fight for democracy.

Past Africa Elections

Cabo Verde Presidential Election: October 17, 2021

Cabo Verde, a stable democracy with regular elections and peaceful transfers of power, held a presidential election on October 17, 2021, following parliamentary elections that took place on April 18, 2021. The incumbent center-right MpD won the parliamentary elections, defeating the socialist PAICV (which had run Cabo Verde as a one-party state until 1990, but MpD won a historic victory in 2016). However, José Maria Pereira from PAICV won the presidential election – more of a ceremonial role in Cabo Verde’s parliamentary system.

Cabo Verde’s strategic location in the Atlantic has made it the site of increasing geopolitical competition between the U.S., NATO, and the EU on one hand and China on the other. While PAICV advocates strong links with Beijing, and has a party-to-party relationship with the Chinese Communist Party, current PM Ulisses Correia e Silva from MpD advocates stronger links with NATO and the West. More

LUSA (October 18, 2021 – in Portuguese): Cape Verde Elections: UN emphasizes “democratic maturity”

AFP (October 18, 2021): New Cape Verde president vows to work with rival prime minister

Julio Rodrigues, Reuters (October 18, 2021): Opposition candidate Neves wins Cape Verde election

Maria Da Luz Neves, AFP (October 14, 2021): Cape Verde votes for president Sunday to set post-Covid course

Cameroon Municipal, Legislative, and Regional Elections: February 9, 2020 (delayed from October 2019)

Cameroon holds elections, but President Paul Biya, at age 85 the oldest ruler in Africa, has been in power since 1982, most recently winning re-election in 2018. Elections in the country, including the most recent, have been marred by accusations of ballot-stuffing and intimidation of the opposition. The opposition claims Maurice Kamto actually won the election, and opposition supports have staged a number of protests, which the government answered with a harsh crackdown and hundreds of arrests, including the arrest of Kamto himself.

Cameroon is in the midst of several other crises. Anglophone separatists seek to form a new country called Ambazonia. The government has accused them of terrorism. The crisis is currently deadlocked, with neither side willing to make concessions, leaving half a million people displaced.

Michelle Gavin, Council on Foreign Relations (October 18, 2021): Cameroon Presidential Succession Looms Large in Solving Country’s Political Crises

Guinea-Bissau Presidential Election: November 24, 2019

In March 2019, Guinea-Bissau finally held long-delayed legislative elections. The ruling African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) won 47 out of 102 seats, but made deals with three smaller parties to form a coalition with 54 seats, voting in Aristide Gomes as prime minister. Subsequently, Umaro Sissoco Embaló won the November 2019 presidential election, defeating incumbent José Mário Vaz and 10 other candidates.

Prone to coups (most recently in 2012), no elected leader has served a full term since independence from Portugal. The country remains in a political crisis, with President José Mário Vaz (known as Jomav) in a feud with his own party (PAIGC). Although analysts believed that the March 2019 legislative elections improved the situation, the country regressed once again at the end of October 2019, when Vaz fired Gomes, and Gomes refused to leave office – the third government dissolution in two years. There is a risk of a coup, and the elections could be delayed – there is a debate over whether holding the elections as scheduled or delaying them would be a better move for stability.

Africanews with AFP (October 15, 2021): Guinea-Bissau’s coup attempt : French president promises support for country

Africanews (October 15, 2021): Guinea-Bissau army says foiled plot to overthrow government

Regional Analysis

The Elephant (October 18, 2021 – podcast): Elections in East Africa: Democratising Force or a Violence Flashpoint?

Africa Elections Coming Up in 2021 and 2022

Somalia, Direct Local Elections in Puntland: October 25, 2021

South Africa Local Elections: October 27, 2021

Nigeria, Anambra State Gubernatorial Election: November 6, 2021

Gambia Presidential Election: December 4, 2021

Angola Local Elections: Overdue, might possibly happen in 2021

Senegal Local Elections: January 23, 2021

Somalia Indirect Presidential and Legislative Elections: February 8, 2022 (Tentative, following numerous delays – additional delays possible)

Mali Presidential and Legislative Elections: February 27, 2022 (following coup – delays possible)

Gambia Parliamentary Elections: April 2022 (due)

Burkina Faso Local Elections: May 2022 (due)

Lesotho Parliamentary Elections: June 2022 (due)

Republic of Congo Legislative Elections: July 2022 (due)

Senegal Legislative Elections: July 2022 (due)

Kenya Presidential and Legislative Elections: August 9, 2022

Angola Legislative Elections: August 2022 (due)

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

Equatorial Guinea Parliamentary Elections: November 2022 (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.


Americas elections this week October 16 2021

October 16, 2021

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

Democracy Square in Asuncion, Paraguay’s capital. Paraguay held local elections on October 10, with the ruling Colorado Party winning the capital. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Arthuro SantaCruz (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Upcoming Americas Elections

Nicaragua General Elections: November 7, 2021

Nicaragua holds general elections on November 7, 2021. President Daniel Ortega, who has been in power for 20 years, will seek another term, and under his rule, Nicaragua has become increasingly authoritarian, with rule of law and fundamental freedoms under assault.

Several opposition candidates have been arrested, including Cristiana Chamorro, seen by many as the opposition’s best chance of ousting Ortega (in fact, her mother, Violeta Chamorro, beat Ortega in the 1990 election, becoming Nicaragua’s first – and to date only – female president and ending 11 years of Sandinista rule).

AP (October 14, 2021): US: Nicaragua’s elections ‘have lost all credibility’

Chase Harrison, AS/COA (October 14, 2021): Five Things to Know about Nicaragua’s 2021 Presidential Election

Octavio Enríquez, Confidencial (October 13, 2021): Nicaraguan opposition calls for abstention on election day

Argentina Midterm Legislative Elections: November 14, 2021 (postponed from October)

Argentina is due to hold midterm legislative elections on November 14, along with a few sets of provincial elections on various dates. Although most of the country’s 23 provinces hold their elections at the same time as presidential elections (which last took place in 2019 and are due again in 2023), a few are due to hold elections this year.

Argentina’s 2021 elections – both provincial and legislative – are happening in the context of an economic crisis, which the leftist government and COVID-19 have exacerbated. In the 2019 presidential election, Peronist Alberto Fernández defeated center-right incumbent Mauricio Macri (the first defeat for an Argentine incumbent president), running on a ticket with populist firebrand Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who served as president from 2007 to 2015. Kirchner herself did not run for president because she was facing criminal charges related to misconduct during her time in office. Frente de Todos, the party formed by Kirchner and Fernández, currently holds a majority in the Senate and is the biggest party in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house.

Patrick Gillespie and Jorgelina Do Rosario, Bloomberg (October 13, 2021): Argentina Seeks Pre-Election Price Freeze on Over 1,000 Goods

Jan D. Walter, DW (October 12, 2021): Argentina: How ‘anarcho-capitalist’ Javier Milei is stirring up politics

Chile Presidential and Legislative Elections: November 21, 2021

Chile holds presidential and legislative elections in November, following presidential primaries on July 18 that produced surprise results ). These elections follow the May 2021 local elections, and importantly, elections to the Constitutional Assembly. Incumbent president Sebastian Pinera, from the center-right Chile Vamos coalition, is not running for another term. He currently has low approval ratings. Moreover, the conservatives failed to secure even one-third of the Constitutional Assembly. 

The results of the July 18 presidential primaries indicate that voters seem to want a return to moderation. Center-right Sebastian Sichel prevailed over candidates who were both more established and more to the right. Similarly, on the left, communist Daniel Jadue, a darling of the international left-wing commentariat, lost to Gabriel Boric, a socialist former student leader. A number of other candidates could also enter the race, leaving the result far from clear.

These elections are taking place in the context of a year of protests and riots, including violent looting, arson, and vandalism. Furthermore, an intense debate over the new constitution continues. More

Al Jazeera (October 13, 2021): Chile opposition moves to impeach president over Pandora leaks

MercoPress (October 13, 2021): Petition for Piñera’s impeachment filed at Chile’s Lower House

Lauren Ashmore, The Diplomat (October 13, 2021): China and the ‘Asia-South America Digital Door’: Chile’s project promoting digital connectivity to Asia has implications for the China-U.S. competition.

Venezuela Regional and Local Elections: November 21, 2021

Venezuela has scheduled regional and local elections for November 21, 2021. In December 2020, Venezuela held legislative elections despite members of the opposition and international community calling for a delay in order to ensure credible, fair elections. Ultimately, most of the opposition boycotted; however, opposition parties appear willing to participate in the elections this year.

AP (October 17, 2021): Venezuela halts talks after Maduro ally’s extradition to U.S.

Oriana Gonzalez, Axios (October 14, 2021): Freed Venezuelan opposition leader sees hope for elections breakthrough

Luke McGee, CNN (October 13, 2021): Europe on collision course with US over Venezuela elections

Elliott Abrams, Council on Foreign Relations (October 13, 2021): EU’s Top Diplomat Ignores His Staff and Insists on Observing Venezuela’s Elections

Honduras General Elections: November 28, 2021

Honduras holds presidential and legislative elections on November 28, 2021, following the March 14 primaries.

These elections are taking place in the context of polarization. The 2017 elections, which saw the controversial re-election of President Juan Orlando Hernández from the conservative National Party, were turbulent, with at least 30 people dying in protests over allegations of fraud. Hernández defeated Xiomara Castro, the wife of leftist former president Manuel Zelaya, who was ousted in 2009. Castro is running again this year, after winning the LIBRE party primary.

On the geopolitical front, Honduras is one of the few countries that maintains formal diplomatic relations Taiwan, but Beijing has been pressuring politicians to change that. LIBRE has said that it will switch its recognition to Beijing if it wins these elections.   More

Agenzia Fides (October 15, 2021): Honduras: Bishops urgent appeal to vote: “We need to look to the future with hope”

Gustavo Palencia, Reuters (October 13, 2021): Honduran opposition unites behind candidate for president, in major shift

Colombia Legislative Elections: March 13, 2022 and Presidential Election: May 29, 2022

Colombia is due to hold presidential and legislative elections in spring 2022. Conservative Ivan Duque, elected president in 2018, is constitutionally barred from running for re-election. One of the frontrunners to replace him is former left-wing guerilla Gustavo Petro, who placed second in 2018. The country has been rocked by riots recently. The proximate cause was a tax bill, but the protests have grown – and grown violent – and dozens have died. 

Sergio Guzman, Global Americans (October 15, 2021): The long and winding road to Colombia’s presidency

Haiti Parliamentary and Presidential Elections: Delayed

Haiti had planned to hold presidential and parliamentary elections this year in the midst of political and humanitarian crises, but the elections have now been delayed.

Haiti’s political crisis went into overdrive on July 7 with the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. Moïse had been governing by decree for over a year and stood accused by many of attempting to consolidate power through a controversial constitutional change (Moïse ultimately postponed the referendum).

Allegations of fraud followed Haiti’s presidential 2015 election, sparking a political crisis that remains ongoing. Some have called for the upcoming elections to be delayed, but the interim government has said they will take place this year (although the date could be moved, especially in the wake of a deadly earthquake on August 14 that left over 1,000 people dead).

Lexi Lonas, The Hill (October 16, 2021): Officials: Up to 17 American missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Ariel Henry, Washington Post (October 11, 2021): Haiti’s prime minister: My job is to be out of a job. We need new elections and a new constitution.

Past Americas Elections

Paraguay Municipal Elections: October 10, 2021

Paraguay held local elections on October 10, 2021. On June 20, many of the political parties held primary elections. The federal government is led by President Mario Abdo Benítez from the conservative Colorado Party, which also won a majority in the lower house of the legislature in the 2018 elections (no party holds a majority in the Senate). Colorado has been in power most of the time since the 1950s.

Paraguay returned to democracy in 1989, following the collapse of the 35-year dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner, but a number of issues remain. These elections took place in the context of political violence and attacks on candidates. As a result, it is rated Partly Free by Freedom House.

Sanie López Garelli, CNN (October 11, 2021 – in Spanish): The ruling Colorado Party wins the municipal election in Asunción, Paraguay

Canada Snap Parliamentary Elections: September 20, 2021

Canada held snap elections on September 20, 2021, two years early. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hoped to win a majority for his Liberals. He ended up remaining in power, but once again helming a minority government. His gamble did not pay off.

David Cochrane, CBC News (October 14, 2021): Trudeau expected to add some new faces when he announces post-election cabinet as early as Oct. 25

Americas Elections Coming Up in 2021 and 2022

Nicaragua Presidential and Legislative Elections: November 7, 2021

Argentina Midterm Legislative Elections: November 14, 2021

Chile Presidential and Legislative Elections: November 21, 2021

Venezuela Regional and Local Elections: November 21, 2021

Honduras Presidential and Legislative Elections: November 28, 2021

Guyana Local Elections: Due in 2021 (delays possible)

Costa Rica Presidential and Legislative Elections: February 6, 2022

Colombia Legislative Elections: March 13, 2022

Colombia Presidential Election: May 29, 2022

Brazil Presidential and Legislative Elections: October 2, 2022

Haiti Presidential and Legislative Elections: Delayed from November 7, 2021, no new 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. That is to say, their inclusion should not be taken to imply that they endorse us in any way. More on our approach here.