Europe

March 3, 2021

Your weekly roundup 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.


Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate state parliament building in Mainz, which is the state capital and most famously the home of Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press. Photo credit:
Wikimedia/Benutzer Moguntiner (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Upcoming Europe Elections

Germany, Baden-Wûrttemburg and Rhineland-Palatinate State Elections (plus local elections in Hesse): March 14, 2021

Germany is due to hold several sets of elections next year, culminating in the September 26, 2021 federal parliamentary elections that will determine who succeeds Angela Merkel as chancellor. Additionally, five states hold elections.  The year 2021 is thus a “Superwahljahr” (Super election year) in Germany. More

Baden-Württemburg

Baden-Württemberg is currently governed by a “pizza coalition” of Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Greens. Although a historically conservative state, polls suggest that the Greens will once again win these elections, and could possibly form a “traffic light coalition” with the Social Democrats and the liberal Free Democratic Party.

Imanuel Marcus, Berlin Specator (March 2, 2021): Winfried Kretschmann: The Green Superstar from the Southwest

Federal Politics

Loveday Morris and Luisa Beck, Washington Post (March 3, 2021): German intelligence agency places far-right AfD party under watch for extremism

Matthew Karnitschnig, Politico (March 3, 2021): Big Brother takes on German far right

AP (February 27, 2021): Germany’s Left picks 2 women to lead party into election

Netherlands Parliamentary Elections: March 17, 2021

Netherlands is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections on March 17, 2020.While Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who leads a center-right coalition, has been under fire from other political parties, including members of his own coalition, he enjoys high approval ratings from Dutch voters, including for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. More

Mike Corder, AP (March 2, 2021): Dutch PM’s popularity high but eroding as election looms

DutchNews.NL (March 1, 2021): Manifestos show a rise in government spending and taxes: CPB

Jon Henley, The Guardian (March 1, 2021): Covid has ‘taken wind out of Dutch politics’, analysts say as elections loom

Eline Schaart, Politico (February 28, 2021): Dutch planning skills put to test as country prepares for election

Liam van de Ven, Atlantic Sentinel (February 27, 2021): Energy Plays Key Role in Dutch Election

Bulgaria Parliamentary Elections: April 4, 2021 and Presidential Election: October/November 2021 (due)

Bulgaria holds parliamentary elections on April 4, 2021. The country has been in a long stretch of chaotic politics characterized by a series of early elections and caretaker governments, and a number of problems remain. Corruption and scandals have plagued the country since the 1990s. In that vein, the country is currently embroiled in anti-government protests, some violent, which have been going on since July. More

Sofia Globe (February 26, 2021): Exacta poll sees five groups in Bulgaria’s next Parliament

Reuters (February 26, 2021): Bulgaria’s ruling GERB extends lead over Socialists ahead of election – poll

Greenland Snap Parliamentary Elections: April 6, 2021

Greenland will hold snap parliamentary elections on April 6, 2021 after the government coalition fractured following disagreements over a mining project. Greenland remains part of Denmark but has autonomy over domestic policy, although there is growing support for eventual independence. More

Martin Breum, EU Observer (February 25, 2021): Greenland’s snap election exposes global mineral demand

Finland Municipal Elections: April 18, 2021

Finland is due to hold municipal elections on April 18, 2021. Following the 2019 parliamentary elections, a left-leaning coalition came into government nationally. More

Aleksi Teivainen, Helsinki Times (March 1, 2021): National Coalition scrambling after losing mayoral candidate in Helsinki

United Kingdom Local Elections (including Mayor of London and Scottish and Welsh parliaments): May 6, 2021

The United Kingdom (UK) will hold local elections on May 6, 2021. Voters will elect various local councils, plus the mayor of London, plus Scottish and Welsh parliaments. The Scottish elections are particularly high-stakes because if the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) wins a majority, they will pressure the government in Westminster to allow another referendum on independenceMore

Elizabeth Piper and Estelle Shirbon, Reuters (March 3, 2021): Scottish leader fights back in row with ex-mentor that threatens independence drive

RFI (March 2, 2021): Despite Brexit, Scotland insists on the right to remain part of Europe

David Bol, The Herald (March 1, 2021): Scottish Lib Dems draw up five-point blueprint for federal UK

Andrew Woodcock, The Independent (March 1, 2021): Scottish Labour elects new leader in hope of salvaging position ahead of Holyrood election

Tom Harris, The Telegraph (March 1, 2021): Has Scottish Labour just elected the man who will deny Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP its precious majority? 

Croatia Local Elections: May 16, 2021

Croatia has scheduled local elections for May 16, 2021. More

bne Intellinews (March 1, 2021): OBITUARY: World’s longest-serving city mayor Milan Bandic dies of heart attack

AP (February 28, 2021): Long-time mayor of Croatian capital of Zagreb dies at 65

Albania Parliamentary Elections: April 25, 2021

Albania plans to hold parliamentary elections on April 25, 2021. Since communism collapsed in 1990, Albania has held competitive elections and several transitions of power between political parties. However, the country is currently in the middle of a tense political standoff between the governing Socialist Party and the main opposition center-right Democratic Party. More

Alice Taylor, Exit News (March 3, 2021): Freedom House: Albania Less Free in 2020 than in 2019

Fjori Sinoruka, Balkan Insight (March 2, 2021): Albania’s Search for Communist-Era Missing Persons Stalled

bne IntelliNews (March 2, 2021): Albania’s main opposition parties to fight general election together

France Regional Elections: June 13, 2021

France holds regional elections on June 13, 2021, with a second round on June 20. These come ahead of next year’s presidential and legislative elections, where President Emmanuel Macron potentially faces a formidable challenge from the far-right. More

The Local France (March 1, 2021): France postpones regional elections until June due to Covid

Victor Mallet, Financial Times (March 3, 2021): France bans far-right group Génération Identitaire

Mark Owen, Charles Wente, and Juliette Laurain, France24 (March 3, 2021): Sarkozy convicted: What does it mean for politics and justice in France?

Cole Stangler, The Nation (March 3, 2021): France’s New Culture Warriors

Jamie Dettmer, VOA (March 2, 2021): Macron ‘Playing with Fire,’ Says France’s Leading Left-wing Newspaper

Czech Republic Parliamentary Elections: October 8-9, 2021

The Czech Republic has scheduled parliamentary elections for 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. More

William Nattrass, The Spectator (March 2, 2021): Covid is tearing the Czech Republic apart

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.

Orlando Crowcroft, Euronews (March 3, 2021): Hungary PM Orban’s party quits the largest group in European Parliament 

Zoltan Simon, Bloomberg (February 25, 2021): EU Commissioner Has ‘Big Concerns’ About Hungary’s 2022 Ballot

Past Europe Elections

Kosovo Snap Parliamentary Elections: February 14, 2021

Kosovo held snap parliamentary elections on February 14. The left-wing nationalist Vetëvendosje won, potentially jeopardizing any resolution to a long-standing territorial dispute with Serbia.

Andrew Higgins, New York Times (February 27, 2021): How to Unite a Deeply Divided Kosovo? Name a Lake After Trump

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

Mihnea Stoica, Vladimir Cristea and André Krouwel, LSE’s EUROPP (February 26, 2021): Stealth populism: Explaining the rise of the Alliance for the Unity of Romanians

Slovakia Parliamentary Elections: February 29, 2020

Slovakia held parliamentary elections in February 2020, won by a coalition of then-opposition parties running on an anti-corruption platform, defeating the then-incumbent populists. More

Euractiv (March 3, 2021): Slovak government faces collapse amid Sputnik purchase

Karel Janicek, AP (March 3, 2021): Slovakia’s political crisis, triggered by Sputnik V, deepens

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

March 2, 2021

Your weekly roundup 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.


The port of Akko, Israel, one of the oldest continually-inhabited cities in the world. Israel heads to the polls this month for the fourth time in two years. Photo credit:
Wikimedia/Oren Rozen (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Upcoming Middle East Elections

Pakistan Senate Elections (Indirect): March 3, 2021

Pakistan holds indirect Senate elections on March 3. Prime Minister Imran Khan hopes his allies will gain a majority in the upper house, which they currently do not have. If the electors – members of parliament and of provincial legislative assemblies – vote along party lines, he’ll get his majority, but because the vote is secret, it’s not a sure thing.

Reuters (March 3, 2021): Pakistan Senate Election Kicks off as Ruling Party Looks for Majority

Trey Marks, Foreign Brief (March 3, 2021): Pakistan to hold senate elections

Israel Snap Parliamentary Elections (Take 4): March 23, 2021

On March 23, 2021, Israel will hold its fourth general election in two years after the collapse of the unity government of Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz. More

Gil Hoffman, Jerusalem Post (March 1, 2021): Israel Elections: Poll finds small parties could decide race

Yaakov Katz, Jerusalem Post (February 26, 2021): Israel Elections: Amid calls to drop out, Gantz faces his moment of truth

Lebanon Parliamentary By-Elections: March 2021 (proposed)

Lebanon is due to hold by-elections for 10 parliamentary seats that are currently vacant due to resignations in the wake of last year’s Beirut port explosion or deaths. Meanwhile, the Lebanese Forces, a major Christian political party, has called for early general elections.

Bassem Mroue, AP (March 2, 2021): Protests in Lebanon as local currency hits record low

Palestinian Authority Legislative Elections: May 22, 2021 and Presidential Election: July 31, 2021

The Palestinian Authority has scheduled long overdue elections for the legislature and president for May 22 and July 31, respectively. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is currently in year 14 of a four-year term. Similarly, the last Legislative Council elections took place in 2006. More

Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post (March 1, 2021): Palestinian Election: Coronavirus, Fatah strife may delay, cancel vote

Ahmad Melhem, Al-Monitor (February 28, 2021): Despite international support, obstacles threaten Palestinian elections

Adnan Abu Amer, Al-Monitor (February 27, 2021): Hamas holds internal elections ahead of Palestinian general elections

La Croix International (February 25, 2021): Christians assured of seven seats in new Palestinian Legislative Council

Omar H. Rahman, Brookings Institution (February 24, 2021): Elections in Palestine: Prelude or ploy?

Iran Presidential and Local Elections: June 18, 2021

Iran has scheduled its next presidential election for June 18, 2021, with concurrent local elections. More

Murat Sofuoglu, TRT (March 2, 2021): Iran’s political fault lines blur as Biden extends sanctions

Elliott Abrams, Council on Foreign Relations (February 27, 2021): Biden Fires a Warning Shot at Iran

Dominic Dudley, Forbes (February 24, 2021): Iran’s Next President Is Almost Certain To Be A Hardliner, Making Biden’s Outreach To Tehran Tougher

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

Patrick Wintour, The Guardian (March 2, 2021): Libya’s interim PM elected through bribery, UN inquiry says

Al Jazeera (February 27, 2021): Libya parliament to discuss new unity gov’t lineup on March 8

Algeria Early Legislative Elections: Proposed

Algerian authorities have proposed holding early legislative elections following a constitutional referendum that took place on November 1, 2020. This is all happening in the context of the Hirak protest movement, in which Algerians protested weekly throughout the country for over a year (stopping only due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Protesters called for, among other things, democratic elections in Algeria. More

DW (March 3, 2021): Algeria: Protests resurge despite COVID restrictions

Latefa Guemar and Jessica Northey, openDemocracy (March 1, 2021): Hirak anniversary: Political prisoners freed as Algerians continue to protest

Turkey General Elections: By June 25, 2023 (snap elections possible)

Although Turkey is not due for general elections until 2023, there have been rumors of possible snap elections.

Orhan Coskun and Birsen Altayli, Reuters (March 2, 2021): With poll support dropping, Erdogan’s party looks to change Turkish relection law: officials

Past Middle East Elections

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. 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.

Tarek Amara, Reuters (February 27, 2021): Tunisia’s main party holds huge rally as government row grows

AFP (February 24, 2021): Tunisia ex-presidential candidate released on bail

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

March 1, 2021

Your weekly roundup 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.


Côte d’Ivoire’s National Assembly building. Photo credit:
Wikimedia/Zenman (public domain)

Upcoming Africa Elections

Côte d’Ivoire Parliamentary Elections: March 6, 2021

Cote d’Ivoire holds legislative elections on March 6, 2021, following the October 2020 presidential election, in which President Alasanne Ouattara sought and won a controversial third term. The opposition boycotted the presidential election. Protests followed, as well as arrests of opposition members. However, following discussions and the release of some opposition figures, the opposition has not called for a boycott of the legislative elections set for March 6, and has called on supporters to vote for a balance of powerMore

Vincent Duhem, The Africa Report (March 1, 2021): Côte d’Ivoire: All signs point to the imminent return of Gbagbo

France24 (March 1, 2021 – in French): Legislative elections in Côte d’Ivoire: more than 1,500 candidates running

Le Point (February 24, 2021 – in French): Côte d’Ivoire: Legislative elections decoded

Republic of the Congo Presidential Election: March 20, 2021

The Republic of the Congo (sometimes called Congo-Brazzaville) is due to hold a presidential election on March 20, 2021. Denis Sassou Nguesso been president almost continuously since 1979, and rules with an iron fist. Elections have not been free or fair. More

Jerry Fisayo-Bambi and Cedric Sehossolo, Africanews (March 1, 2021): Expectations of Congolese as election day nears

Jeune Afrique (March 1, 2021 – in French): [Editorial] Denis Sassou Nguesso, stainless candidate?

Guiseppe Liguori, Focus on Africa (February 28, 2021 – in Italian): Republic of the Congo: Sassou-Nguesso, a bloodthirsty and ruthless tyrant

Chad Presidential Election: April 11, 2020 and Parliamentary and Local Elections: October 24, 2021

Chad plans to hold a presidential election on April 11, 2021 and long-delayed long-delayed parliamentary elections on October 24, 2021 and local elections in April 2022. Originally due in 2015, the legislative elections have been delayed multiple times.

President Idriss Déby seized power in a rebellion in 1990, and although the country holds elections, there has never been a change in power by a free or fair vote. More

Reliou Koubakin, DW (March 1, 2021 – in French): In Chad, the repression of the opposition before the election

Al Jazeera (March 1, 2021): Chad opposition leader quits presidential race after shoot-out

DW (April 28, 2021): Chad: Several killed during arrest of opposition figure

Central African Republic Partial Legislative Elections and Runoffs: March 14, 2021

The Central African Republic (CAR) held presidential and partial legislative elections on December 27, 2020 in the midst of a worsening security situation. Rebels disrupted voting in some areas, so consequently, those constituencies will hold the first round of their legislative elections on March 14, 2021. In addition, some of the constituencies that did vote on December 27 will hold runoff elections for their legislators.

These elections are taking place in the context of a humanitarian crisis and a crisis of governance. Sectarian clashes have been taking place since 2013. Moreover, Russia has ramped up its political and military involvement in exchange for mining rights. More 

Peter Fabricius, Daily Maverick (February 28, 2021): Central African Republic democracy and justice channels tested amid violent chaos 

Adrienne Suprenant, AP (February 28, 2021): Thousands flee rebel violence in Central African Republic

Reuters (February 24, 2021): Central African Republic retakes rebel stronghold in north

Tigranna Zakaryan, African Arguments (February 23, 2021): Russia in the Central African Republic: New allies, same challenges

Ethiopia General Elections: June 5, 2021

Ethiopia has scheduled general elections for June 5, 2021, after several postponements. These elections are taking place in the context of the growing crisis in Tigray region in the north that subsequently exploded into violent conflictMore

Barbara Arvanitidis and Nima Elbagir, CNN (March 1, 2021): CNN EXCLUSIVE: Leader of Tigray’s forces accuses Ethiopian and Eritrean governments of genocide

Kane Farabaugh, Voice of America (February 26, 2021): Carter Center Battles Online Misinformation Ahead of Ethiopia Elections

AP (February 25, 2021): Hunger-striking Ethiopia politicians ‘deteriorating’ in jail

Somalia Indirect Presidential Election: Set for February 8, 2021 but postponed

Somalia was supposed to hold an indirect presidential election on February 8, 2021, following indirect parliamentary elections in December 2020. However, the elections have been delayed, and the current president’s term has expired, leaving Somalia in a political and constitutional crisisMore

Abdi Latif Dahir, New York Times (March 1, 2021): Amid turmoil over elections, rising cases in Somalia fuel talk of a new lockdown.

Max Bearak, Washington Post (February 26, 2021): Somalia’s politicians strike a last-minute deal, but fears of conflict remain high

Mohamed Sheikh Nor, RFI (February 25, 2021): What next for angry anti-government protesters in Somalia?

Past Africa Elections

Niger Presidential Runoff: February 21, 2021

Niger held a presidential runoff on February 21, 2021 amid security threats and violence. Despite that, the historic election will lead to Niger’s first peaceful transfer of power from one elected president to another. More

Melissa Sou-Jie Brunnersum, DW (February 28, 2021): Niger elections marred by ‘fraud,’ Ousmane tells DW

Aneeta Mathur-Ashton, Voice of America (February 27, 2021): Journalist’s Home Set Ablaze Amid Niger Violence

Chrispin Mwakideu, DW (February 26, 2021): Niger: A daunting presidency awaits Mohamed Bazoum

Reuters (February 25, 2021): Deadly Protests Rock Niger Over Contested Election Result

Mathieu Olivier, The Africa Report (February 24, 2021): Niger: Mohamed Bazoum elected president, beating Mahamane Ousmane

Al Jazeera (February 24, 2021): Niger opposition leader alleges election fraud, declares victory

Uganda General Elections: January 14, 2021

Uganda held presidential and legislative elections on January 14, 2021. President Yoweri Museveni has held power since 1986, but this time faced possibly his biggest challenge yet in the form of 37-year-old pop star Bobi Wine. Following the elections, the government launched a brutal crackdown on the opposition. More

RFI (February 24, 2021): Uganda defiant as US threatens sanctions over contested elections

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

Election Outlook: March 2021

March 2021 Elections

A quick look at worldwide elections in March 2021.

Map zooms and moves. Click the pins for more information on each election. Click the   icon to see elections listed by type.

Federated States of Micronesia Parliamentary Elections: March 2, 2021

The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM, or simply Micronesia) will hold parliamentary elections on March 2, 2021. In addition, Chuuk state, Micronesia’s most populous state, is planning to hold a referendum on independence in 2022. Some politicians in Chuuk object to the way United States funding is distributed, and therefore are calling to secede. Meanwhile, China has been increasing its presence and influence in the entire region, including Chuuk, which is militarily strategic and close to American military facilities in Guam. Chuuk secession – coupled with Beijing’s bankrolling – would benefit China geopolitically. More

Pakistan Senate Elections (Indirect): March 3, 2021

Pakistan holds indirect Senate elections on March 3. Prime Minister Imran Khan hopes his allies will gain a majority in the upper house, which they currently do not have. If the electors – members of parliament and of provincial legislative assemblies – vote along party lines, he’ll get his majority, but because the vote is secret, it’s not a sure thing.

Côte d’Ivoire Parliamentary Elections: March 6, 2021

Cote d’Ivoire holds legislative elections on March 6, 2021, following the October 2020 presidential election, in which President Alasanne Ouattara sought and won a controversial third term. The opposition boycotted the presidential election. Protests followed, as well as arrests of opposition members. However, following discussions and the release of some opposition figures, the opposition has not called for a boycott of the legislative elections set for March 6, and has called on supporters to vote for a balance of powerMore

Bolivia Local Elections: March 7, 2021

Bolivia holds regional and municipal elections on March 7, 2021. A total of more than 2,600 positions will be on the ballot. These follow a rerun of the 2019 annulled general elections that took place on October 18, 2020 in which socialist Luis Arce won the presidency. Leftist firebrand Evo Morales has returned to the country to lead his party, although apparently not every member of his party loves him. More

Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador Elections: March 12, 2021

Canada’s 10 provinces and three territories all hold provincial and municipal elections at different times. Newfoundland and Labrador’s embattled former Liberal leader and premier Dwight Ball announced his resignation as premier in February 2020, sparking a need for new elections. Given the cancellation of in-person voting due to COVID and a delay, and controversy over the current caretaker premier’s economic recovery plan, the whole thing has been described as strange. More

Australia, Western Australia State Elections: March 13, 2021

Western Australia holds state elections on March 13, 2021. Labor is strong in the state, currently holding 40 out of 59 seats in the Legislative Assembly, following the last state elections in 2017. Polls suggest that Labor’s support in the state has increased ahead of these elections. More

Germany, State Elections in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate and Local Elections in Hesse: March 14, 2021

Germany kicks off its Superwahljahr (super election year) with state polls in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate, as well as local elections in Hesse. That means we get to talk about fun German coalition nicknames. For example, Baden-Württemberg is currently governed by a “pizza coalition” of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), usually represented as black on electoral maps, and the Greens. This symbolizes green and black olives on a pizza and references the fact that the first talks between CDU and the Greens took place at a pizza parlor. Rhineland-Palatinate currently has a “traffic light coalition” of the Greens, the Social Democrats (represented in red on electoral maps), and the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), whose color is yellow.

After March, several other states have elections, and the Bundestag elections take place in the fall. Those elections will decide who replaces Angela Merkel as chancellor, which is a big deal since she has headed Germany’s government since 2005 and also serves as the de facto leader of Europe. More

Central African Republic Partial Legislative Elections and Runoffs: March 14, 2021

The Central African Republic (CAR) held presidential and partial legislative elections on December 27, 2020 in the midst of a worsening security situation. Rebels disrupted voting in some areas, so consequently, those constituencies will hold the first round of their legislative elections on March 14, 2021. In addition, some of the constituencies that did vote on December 27 will hold runoff elections for their legislators.

These elections are taking place in the context of a humanitarian crisis and a crisis of governance. Sectarian clashes have been taking place since 2013. Moreover, Russia has ramped up its political and military involvement in exchange for mining rights. More

Honduras Primaries: March 14, 2021

Honduras holds presidential and legislative elections in November, and the primaries are in March. These elections are taking place in the context of polarization and a crisis of legitimacy sparked in part by increasing authoritarianism. The 2017 elections were turbulent, with at least 30 people dying in protests over allegations of fraud, and many believe that there is potential for fraud in the upcoming elections. More

Netherlands Parliamentary Elections: March 17, 2021

Netherlands is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections on March 17, 2020. The Dutch electoral system makes it nearly impossible for a single party to win a majority of seats. These elections will see a historic 37 parties competing, the highest number in over a century. The current prime minister, Mark Rutte, enjoys high approval ratings, and concurrently, the far-right has been riven by internal conflict. More

Curacao Parliamentary Elections: March 19, 2021

Curacao has scheduled parliamentary elections for March 19, 2021. Voters will elect all 21 members of the Estates, Curacao’s unicameral parliament. Curacao is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It has full autonomy over internal affairs, while the Dutch government handles foreign and defense policy. It also looks like a fun place to go on vacation when travel resumes post-pandemic. More

Republic of the Congo Presidential Election: March 20, 2021

The Republic of the Congo (sometimes called Congo-Brazzaville) is due to hold a presidential election on March 20, 2021. Denis Sassou Nguesso been president almost continuously since 1979, and rules with an iron fist. Elections have not been free or fair. Some Congolese, however, are saying #Sassoufit – a play on the French “ça suffit,” meaning “that’s enough” – and seeking to challenge his dominance. More

Israel Snap Parliamentary Elections (Take 4): March 23, 2021

Israel holds its fourth general election in two years on March 23, following the collapse of the unity government agreement between longtime prime minister Bibi Netanyahu and former army chief Benny Gantz. It’s far from certain that these elections will produce a durable government. Bibi is in some hot water as he faces corruption charges. Meanwhile, his Likud party faces a new challenge from Gideon Saar, whose New Hope party of former Likudniks draws comparisons to the NeverTrump movement. More

Turkmenistan Parliamentary Elections: March 28, 2021

Turkmenistan holds parliamentary elections on March 28. Although Turkmenbashi (the longtime dictator who renamed the months of the year after his family members and had golden statues long before Trump ever did) is dead and gone, authoritarian politics remain. The country has never had free or fair elections, and unfortunately, it looks like that won’t change this month. More

India State Elections: March 27-May 2, 2021

Elections in four Indian states (West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala) and one union territory (Puducherry) begin on March 27 and will conclude on May 2. These elections, involving 180 million voters, will be a key test for the national parties, but regional parties also play a big role. Meanwhile, farmers protests continue in and around New Delhi. More

Thailand Municipal Elections: March 28, 2021

Thailand holds municipal elections on March 28, 2021. These follow the December 20, 2020 provincial elections, the first since the country’s 2014. After that, officials have said they will schedule elections for other types of local elections (such as municipal offices and Bangkok city council).

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. the country remains deeply polarized. More


Voters talk with party workers in Kerala during India’s 2009 elections. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Ranjit Bhaskar for Al Jazeera English (CC BY-SA 2.0)

 

Turkmenistan Parliamentary Elections: March 28, 2021

Turkmenistan elections


Ruhyýet Palace in Ashgabat, the building where Turkmenistan’s major state events take place. Elections in Turkmenistan have never been free or fair. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Kerri-Jo Stewart (CC BY 2.0)  

KEY FACTS
Freedom House Rating

Not Free
Government Type
Presidential Republic; authoritarian
Population
5.6 million
UPCOMING ELECTIONS
Parliamentary Elections
March 28, 2021
Presidential Election
February 2024 (due)
PAST ELECTIONS
Parliamentary Elections
March 25, 2018
Presidential Election
February 12, 2017

Turkmenistan is due to hold parliamentary elections on March 28, 2021.

Political Context

Turkmenistan is a highly repressive state that has never held free or fair elections. Longtime dictator Saparmurat Niyazov, nicknamed Turkmenbashi, was known for his outlandish behavior, including renaming the months of the year after his family members, before his death in 2006. His successor, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, is equally repressive and equally bizarre. The country lacks a genuine political opposition.

Curated News and Analysis

Catherine Putz, The Diplomat (February 13, 2021): Son of Turkmenistan’s President Gets New Post

Helen Regan and Reuters, CNN (November 13, 2020): Turkmenistan’s authoritarian leader unveils huge golden dog statue in the capital

Bruce Pannier, RFE/RL (March 21, 2018): Turkmen Elections Look Like Next Step Toward Dynasty

Updated March 1, 2021