Africa

May 17, 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.

A beach in Mauritius. Although Mauritius has long been a free democracy, there has recently been a worrying trend of authoritarian backsliding. The country is due to hold local elections in June, but delays are likely. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Romeodesign (CC BY 3.0)

Upcoming Africa Elections

Somaliland Parliamentary and Local Elections: May 31, 2021

Somaliland has scheduled its long-overdue parliamentary and local elections for May 31, 2021. Somaliland has de facto but not internationally-recognized independence from Somalia, and has a much more developed democracy, with direct elections.

Somaliland celebrates 30 years of de facto independence in May 2021. More

Taiwan Times (May 12, 2021): Taiwan Ally Somaliland To Release Detained Election Candidates

Ethiopia General Elections: June 5, 2021 (Postponed indefinitely)

Ethiopia has once again postponed its general elections that had been scheduled for June 5, 2021, the latest of several postponements. These elections are taking place in the context of increasing ethnic violence that has reached crisis levels. More

BBC News (May 17, 2021): Why Ethiopia election delay could spark new crisis

Reuters (May 17, 2021): Social media restrictions lifted in Ethiopia, NetBlocks says

AP (May 15, 2021): Ethiopia again delays national election amid deadly tensions

Nike Ching, Voice of America (May 11, 2021): Ethiopia Must Set Right Environment for Election, US Says

Martina Schwikowski, DW (May 11, 2021): Ethiopian election expected to deepen rifts

Mauritius Municipal Elections: Due by June 2021 (delay possible)

Mauritius is due to hold municipal elections in June 2021. The country is generally considered a free democracy that has seen multiple peaceful transitions of power following competitive elections, but politics are dominated by a handful of powerful families. However, recent protests have raised the political temperature, and some have raised concerns about authoritarian backsliding. More

Roukaya Kasenally, African Arguments (May 12, 2021): Mauritius: A picture perfect democracy’s fall from grace

São Tomé and Príncipe Presidential Election: July 2021 (due)

São Tomé and Príncipe is due to hold a presidential election in July 2021. Since the end of Marxist one-party rule in 1991, São Tomé and Príncipe has held regular elections with peaceful transfers of power, and is generally considered a free democracy. More

LUSA (May 14, 2021): Sao Tome: Governing party presidential candidate pledges ‘stability, governability’

Zambia General Elections: August 12, 2021

Zambia has scheduled general elections for August 12, 2021. Zambia used to be a model democracy in the region, with regular, competitive elections and a vibrant civil society. However, under Edgar Lungu, elected in 2015 to complete the term of Michael Sata (who died in office), Zambia began to regress toward authoritarianism. The 2016 elections were  marred by political violence and allegations of vote-rigging but ultimately judged credible. However, there are fears that Lungu could try to rig the 2021 elections. More

James Kunda, Andalou Agency (May 12, 2021): Electoral campaign kicks off in Zambia: 19 candidates including incumbent Edgar Lungu are in fray for presidential polls scheduled on Aug. 12

Committee to Protect Journalists (May 12, 2021): Zambian columnist Sishuwa Sishuwa could face sedition charge for opinion piece on election

South Africa Local Elections: October 27, 2021

South Africa will hold local elections on October 27, 2021. Voters will elect councils for all municipalities in each of the country’s nine provinces. More

Wayne Sussman, Daily Maverick (May 16, 2021): Election battles in the big metros – City of Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni

Reuters (May 14, 2021): Suspended top S.African ruling party official takes Ramaphosa to court

Mogomotsi Magome, AP (May 11, 2021): South Africa’s president suspends party secretary-general

S’thembile Cele, Bloomberg (May 11, 2021): South Africa’s Ruling Party Faces Funding Squeeze Ahead of Vote

Nigeria Anambra State Gubernatorial Election: November 6, 2021, followed by Presidential and Legislative Elections: February 23, 2023

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

Anambra State, in the country’s southeast, holds a gubernatorial election in November.

Nwokoye Mpi, The Africa Report (May 17, 2021): Nigeria’s Anambra State election will show where 2023 winds blowing

Somalia Presidential Election: 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 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 believe 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. More

Aggrey Mutambo and Patrick Ilunga, The East African (May 17, 2021): Kenya-Somalia quarrel threatens AU efforts to broker political deal

Selam Tadesse Demissie and Andrews Atta-Asamoah, ISS Today (May 14, 2021): Trust deficit keeps Somalia’s leaders at loggerheads

Aggrey Mutambo, The East African (May 12, 2021): Amisom to get mandate extension to December

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.

Stratfor (May 17, 2021): A Kenyan Court Blocks the Government’s Plan to Reshape Itself

Gautam Bhatia, The Elephant (May 17, 2021): The Kenyan High Court’s BBI Judgement: An Instant Classic

Ferdinand Omondi, BBC News (May 14, 2021): Kenya’s BBI blocked in scathing court verdict for President Kenyatta

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

Committee to Protect journalists (May 14, 2021): Angola suspends 3 TV channels for alleged improper registration

Estelle Maussion, The Africa Report (May 13, 2021): Lourenço’s Angola: The winners, the losers and the escape artists

Senegal Local Elections: January 23, 2022

Senegal has set local elections – originally due in June 2019 but delayed several times – for January 23, 2022. Meanwhile, legislative elections are due in July 2022. 

Most recently, the arrest of an opposition leader sparked protests. More

Marième Soumaré, Jeune Afrique (May 13, 2021 – in French): Elections in Senegal: Could Karim Wade and Khalifa Sall be candidates?

APA (May 12, 2021 – in French): Senegal: disagreement on the date of local elections in the spotlight

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

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.

AFP (May 14, 2021): Mali’s interim prime minister to form new government

Africanews (May 12, 2021): Observers from ECOWAS regional bloc in Mali to assess government’s progress

Past Africa Elections

Chad Presidential Election: April 11, 2021

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

Zeinab Mohammed Salih, The Guardian (May 17, 2021): ‘On bad days, we don’t eat’: Hunger grows for thousands displaced by conflict in Chad

RFI (May 16, 2021): Chad: a possible candidacy of the transitional Prime Minister worries the MPS

Robbie Gramer, Foreign Policy (May 13, 2021): Biden Defaults to ‘War on Terror Approach’ to Chad

Line Engbo Gissel and Troels Burchall Henningsen, The Conversation (May 12, 2021): Legacy of Chad’s gatekeeper politics lives on beyond Déby – and carries grave risks

Eline Rosenhart, Moshe Dayan Center (May 11, 2021): The Death of Chad’s Warrior President: What it Means for the Region and the World

Djibouti Presidential Election: April 9, 2021

Djibouti held a presidential election on April 9, 2021. Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, who has been president since 1999, won a fifth term amid opposition boycotts and protests. Under Guelleh, Djibouti (which is strategically located on the Bab-el-Mandeb chokepoint) has been pivoting toward China, although the U.S. and other democracies continue to have military bases there. More

John Hursh, African Arguments (May 11, 2021): What Guelleh missed in trying to turn Djibouti into the “Singapore of Africa”

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

Bobi Wine, The Guardian (May 14, 2021): Young Ugandans are being brutally oppressed. They must be allowed a voice

Faustine Ngila, Daily Monitor Uganda (May 14, 2021): Africa is paying heavily for Internet shutdowns

Sophie Neiman, World Politics Review (May 12, 2021): Uganda’s Museveni Unleashes a Reign of Terror

Al Jazeera (May 12, 2021): Uganda’s President Museveni takes oath to kick off his sixth term

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 held the first round of their legislative elections on March 14, 2021. In addition, some of the constituencies that did vote on December 27 held runoff elections for their legislators.

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

Grégoire Sauvage, France24 (May 13, 2021 – in French): Who is the French man arrested in Bangui with “a war arsenal”?

Christian Eboulé, TV5Monde (May 13, 2021 – in French): Central African Republic: the arrest of a French national, a symbol of Franco-Russian rivalry?

Jean Ferand Koena, AP (May 11, 2021): French man arrested in Central African Republic

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

Cameroon is in the midst of several 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.

Cameroon also faces a political crisis. President Paul Biya, at age 85 the oldest ruler in Africa, won re-election in October 2018, after having already spent 36 years in power. The election was 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. Biya’s Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) holds 142 out of 180 seats in the lower house. The Social Democratic Front is the main opposition in the legislature and hold 18 seats, while Kamto’s Cameroon Resistance Movement (MRC) holds one seat. The political crisis has an ethnic dimension.

Regina Sondo, Mail and Guardian (May 17, 2021): Cameroon’s democratic repositioning: Is the republic now a de facto monarchy?

Africa Elections in 2021 and 2022

Somaliland Parliamentary and Local Elections: May 31, 2021

Gambia Constitutional Referendum: June 5, 2021

Mauritius Local Elections: June 2021 (due – delay likely)

Kenya Constitutional Referendum: June/July 2021 (delay or cancellation likely)

Sao Tome and Principe Presidential Election: July 18, 2021

Zambia Presidential, Legislative, and Local Elections: August 12, 2021

South Africa Municipal Elections: October 27, 2021

Cabo Verde Presidential Election: October 17, 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

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

Burkina Faso Local Elections: May 2022 (due)

Republic of Congo Legislative Elections: July 2022 (due)

Lesotho Parliamentary Elections: June 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)

Sudan General Elections: Late 2022 (due)

Ethiopia General Elections: Postponed indefinitely

Somalia Elections: Postponed indefinitely

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

May 15, 2021

Your weekly roundup 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.

Protests against Venezuela’s Maduro regime in Caracas in March 2014. Venezuela has just set November 21, 2021 as the date for local and gubernatorial elections this year, although the opposition could boycott. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Wilfredor (CC1 1.0)

Upcoming Americas Elections

Chile Local and Regional Elections: May 15 and 16, 2021 and Presidential and Legislative Elections: November 21, 2021 UPDATED May 17, 2021

Chile has delayed its local and regional elections, originally scheduled for April 11, 2021, to May. In addition, voters will elect all 155 members of a Constitutional Assembly, after a referendum in which Chileans voted to write a new constitution (and the new constitution will need to be approved by another referendum).

Chile is also due to hold presidential and legislative elections in November (with presidential primaries on July 4). 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. Incumbent president Sebastian Pinera, from the center-right Chile Vamos coalition, is not running for another term. He currently has low approval ratings, posing a challenge for his party’s candidate (who will be chosen in the July primary election). More

Buenos Aires Times (May 17, 2021): Chileans opt for ‘outsiders’ to draft post-Pinochet constitution

Eduardo Thomson and Valentina Fuentes, Bloomberg (May 17, 2021): Chilean Assets Slump as Government Suffers Crushing Vote Defeat

Fabian Cambero and Aislinn Laing, Reuters (May 16, 2021): Chileans head to polls to pick architects of new constitution

Catherine Osborn, Foreign Policy (May 14, 2021): Chile’s New Founding Mothers

Peru Presidential Runoff: June 6, 2021

Peru held general elections for April 11, 2021. These elections are coming on the heels of snap legislative elections that took place on January 26, 2020, and in the context of political turmoil – including the impeachment of President Martín Vizcarra and the subsequent “week of three presidents” – and an economic crisis brought on by COVID-19.

The presidential runoff will pit socialist Pedro Castillo against right-wing populist Keiko Fujimori, daughter of former president Alberto Fujimori, who is currently in prison for various crimes (Keiko is also currently facing criminal charges). Castillo came out of nowhere to win the first round. However, none of the 18 candidates received more votes than the number of blank ballots cast – a sign of voters’ deep frustration.  More

Manuel Farías, Reuters (May 16, 2021): Peru voter simulation shows Castillo and Fujimori now neck and neck

David Frum, The Atlantic (May 15, 2021): The Collapse of a Once-Promising Democracy

Eduardo Campos Lima, National Catholic Reporter (May 13, 2021): Like many in Peru, Catholics unsure who’ll get their vote for president

Mexico Legislative and Gubernatorial Elections: June 6, 2021

Mexico holds midterm legislative elections on June 6, 2021. These elections will be a key test for left-wing populist firebrand Andrés Manuel López Obrador (frequently called AMLO) ahead of the 2024 presidential election. In addition, 15 of Mexico’s 31 states will hold gubernatorial elections. More

Mexico News Daily (May 14, 2021): Another candidate killed in second most violent election season since 2000

Alejandro García Magos, openDemocracy (May 13, 2021): Is AMLO undermining democracy in Mexico?

Luis Chaparro, Business Insider (May 13, 2021): One of the DEA’s most-wanted men wants to be mayor of some of Mexico’s most violent territory

Reuters (May 11, 2021): Mexico’s president backs probe of opposition governor candidates

Haiti Parliamentary Elections: September 19, 2021 and Presidential Election: Due in November 2021 (delays possible)

Haiti plans to hold long-overdue legislative elections on September 19, 2021, and also has a presidential election due later this year. However, the country is currently in a political crisis related to allegations of fraud followed Haiti’s presidential 2015 election. The international community, including the United States government, has called on Haiti’s officials to set a date for elections and end the crisis.

Haiti plans to hold a constitutional referendum on June 27, although the United States has raised concerns that it would just cause more political turmoil while helping President Jovenel Moise consolidate power. More

Vincent Joos, World Politics Review (May 14, 2021): Haiti Is Slowly Becoming an Autocracy

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald (May 12, 2021): US urges OAS to quickly organize mission to Haiti as nation’s turmoil deepens

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.

AP (May 13, 2021): Nicaragua ruling party ups advantages in run-up to elections

Reuters (May 12, 2021): Ahead of general election, Nicaraguan archdiocese urges that abortion not be an election issue

Honduras General Elections: November 2021

Honduras holds presidential and legislative elections in November, following the March 14 primaries. 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

Reuters (May 12, 2021): Taiwan says China seeking political gain with Honduras vaccine move

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.

The opposition is likely to boycott the regional elections as well. These elections are taking place in the context of ongoing politicalconstitutional, and humanitarian crises have been going on for years.  More

Reuters (May 13, 2021): Venezuela sets date for regional elections as opposition weighs participation

Colombia Presidential and Legislative Elections: Spring 2022 (due)

Colombia is due to hold presidential and legislative elections in spring 2022. Conservative Ivan Duque, elected president in 2018, is eligible to run for a second term.

Michael Stott, Financial Times (May 17, 2021): Colombia’s social unrest could spread across Latin America

Mauricio Cárdenas, Americas Quarterly (May 13, 2021): Colombia’s Crisis Is an Urban Youth Crisis. Old Solutions Won’t Work

Past Americas Elections

Ecuador Presidential Runoff: April 11, 2021

Ecuador held a presidential runoff on April 11, 2021. Conservative Guillermo Lasso, who edged out indigenous activist Yaku Pérez for a spot in the runoff, surprised many by decisively defeating left-wing economist Andrés Arauz, a protege of former president Rafael Correa (himself barred from running after being convicted of corruption). More

Reuters (May 16, 2021): Ecuador indigenous party wins National Assembly presidency, backed by Lasso

El Salvador Legislative and Local Elections: February 28, 2021

El Salvador held legislative and local elections on February 28, 2021. Allies of populist president Nayib Bukele won in a landslide, allowing him to consolidate his hold on the country with a legislative majority. Critics note growing authoritarianism. More

Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times (May 16, 2021): El Salvador’s millennial president is a man with one vision: Power

Will Freeman, Foreign Policy (May 12, 2021): In Central America, Rule of Law Is Under Attack. El Salvador Is the Latest Victim

Americas Elections in 2021 and 2022

Chile Local and Constitutional Assembly Elections: May 15-16, 2021

Mexico Midterm Legislative Elections and Some Gubernatorial Elections: June 6, 2021

Peru Presidential Runoff: June 6, 2021

Aruba Parliamentary Elections: June 25, 2021

Haiti Constitutional Referendum: June 27, 2021

Saint Lucia Parliamentary Elections: June 2021 (due – delays possible)

Haiti Presidential and Legislative Elections: September 19, 2021

Paraguay Municipal Elections: October 10, 2021

Venezuela Regional and Local Elections: November 21, 2021

Nicaragua Presidential and Legislative Elections: November 7, 2021

Argentina Midterm Legislative Elections: November 14, 2021

Honduras Presidential and Legislative Elections: November 28, 2021

Guyana Local Elections: Due in 2021

Colombia Legislative Elections: March 13, 2022

Colombia Presidential Election: May 29, 2022

Bahamas Parliamentary Elections: May 2022 (due – snap elections possible)

Brazil Presidential and Legislative Elections: October 2, 2022

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.

Asia

May 14, 2021

Your weekly roundup of news and analysis of elections in Asia and the Pacific, usually posted on Fridays and occasionally updated throughout the week. For a full electoral calendar and interactive map, click here.

Pilgrim boats en route to the Perfume Pagoda near Hanoi, Vietnam. Vietnam heads to the polls this month, although the country is a one-party Communist state and voters lack real choice. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Tango7174 (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Upcoming Asia/Pacific Elections

Samoa New Parliamentary Elections: May 21, 2021

Samoa held general elections on April 9, 2021, and the post-election situation has been rather eventful. A new opposition party, Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST, “Faith in the one true God”), posed a new challenge to the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP), which has been in power since 1982. Ultimately, both FAST and HRPP got equal numbers of seats, with an independent MP breaking the tie and agreeing to support FAST. However, the plot continues to thicken as HRPP was given an additional female MP since the party did not meet its quota for women.

As a result of the deadlock, the prime minister has called new elections for May 21, although this is being challenged in court as some call the decision unconstitutional.

These elections are taking place in the context of controversy over proposed changes to the county’s constitutional framework and judiciary, involving questions of Samoan identity. More

Elizabeth Beattie, Nikkei Asia (May 14, 2021): Samoa’s historic election saga comes down to Supreme Court ruling

Fiona Ey, The Guardian (May 13, 2021): Samoa is experiencing a bloodless coup. The Pacific’s most stable democracy is in trouble

Radio New Zealand (May 13, 2021): Samoan prime minister claims to be ‘appointed by God’

Vietnam Legislative Elections: May 23, 2021

Vietnam, a one-party communist state, is due to hold legislative elections on May 23, 2021. For the most part, only candidates from the Communist Party of Vietnam and those who support it are able to run. In addition, dissidents face arrest and assault. More

Nguyen Khac Giang, East Asia Forum (May 12, 2021): Vietnam’s tug of war with China over Laos

Radio Free Asia (May 10, 2021): Vietnamese Social Media Platform Fined, Suspended Over Vague ‘Violations’

Mongolia Presidential Election: June 9, 2021

Mongolia, a free though imperfect democracy, has scheduled its presidential election for June 9, 2021, following parliamentary elections in June 2020 and local elections in October 2020. However, concerns have recently been raised about freedom and democracy. More

Bat-Orgil Altankhuyag and Fernando Casal Bértoa, The Diplomat (May 12, 2021): Are Presidential Elections Putting Mongolian Democracy in Peril?

Japan General Elections: On or Before October 22, 2021

Japan is due to hold general elections by October 22, 2021, but they could happen earlier. In addition, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who replaced Shinzo Abe last year, faces a leadership contest in his conservative Liberal Democratic Party ahead of the general elections.

Kawashima Shin, The Diplomat (May 13, 2021): Why Is Japan Hesitant to Improve Relations with South Korea?

Eric Johnston, Japan Times (May 9, 2021): Abe rallies conservative base amid speculation over comeback

Sintaro Ikeuchi, Nikkei Asia (May 9, 2021): Biden and Suga bond built on more than just countering China

Leika Kihara, Reuters (May 9, 2021): Japan PM Suga brushes aside calls for extra budget amid pandemic

Hong Kong Legislative Elections: December 19, 2021 (planned)

Hong Kong plans to hold elections to the Legislative Council on December 19, 2021, after more than a year’s delay. These elections are taking place in the context of Beijing’s determination to gut Hong Kong’s democracy. More

Candice Chau, Hong Kong Free Press (May 13, 2021): Ex-assistant to pro-Beijing party chief and volunteer worker convicted of bid to buy votes

The Mainichi (May 13, 2021): Hong Kong passes law on allegiance pledge for local council members

Natalie Wong, South China Morning Press (May 12, 2021): Bill empowering Hong Kong government to unseat ‘unpatriotic’ district councillors sails through Legislative Council

Radio Free Asia (May 12, 2021): China’s National Security Law Could Spark Expat Exodus From Hong Kong

South Korea Presidential Election: March 9, 2022

South Korea holds its presidential election on March 9, 2021. Recently, the conservative opposition won special mayoral elections in Seoul and Busan by a landslide, just a year after President Moon Jae-in’s center-left Democratic Party swept the legislature. Moreover, Moon’s approval rating is tanking.

The Economist (May 15, 2021): South Korea is pushing America for new talks with the North

Kuni Miyaki, Japan Times (May 13, 2021): Will Moon Jae-in’s appeasement policy work this time?

Donald Kirk, Foreign Policy (May 13, 2021): Moon Wants a Legacy on North Korea That Isn’t Coming

Philippines Presidential Election: May 9, 2022

In 2016, populist firebrand Rodrigo Duterte won the presidency, claiming to be an outsider. He has governed with an iron fist. Although he is banned from seeking a second term, critics fear that he will seek to consolidate illiberalism in the form of a handpicked successor. Meanwhile, a broad coalition of opposition figures have formed 1Sambayan (One Nation) in the hopes of defeating Duterte’s allies with a united front.

Dwight De Leon, Rappler (May 13, 2021): Imagining the 2022 PH elections: Proposals to change the way we vote

Julie M. Aurelio, Inquirer Philippines (May 9, 2021): West Philippine Sea will be key issue in 2022 elections

Australia Parliamentary Elections: May 2022 (due – snap elections possible)

Australia’s federal parliamentary elections are due by 2022, but snap elections could happen. Meanwhile, several states hold elections in 2021.

Tensions with China are rising as Australia’s federal government has cancelled several Belt and Road deals. More

Rob Harris and Anthony Galloway, Sydney Morning Herald (May 11, 2021): Billions of dollars set aside for possible election war chest

Sky News (May 10, 2021): ‘Australians aren’t worried about elections’: McCormack touts pathway to recovery

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

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

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

Phorn Bopha, Al Jazeera (May 13, 2021): Jailed, in hiding, expelled: Cambodia’s Mother Nature crackdown

David Hutt, DW (May 12, 2021): COVID: Cambodia’s harsh lockdown aggravates food insecurity

Nepal Parliamentary Elections: 2023 (due – snap elections possible)

In December, Nepal’s prime minister decided to dissolve parliament and call for new elections. However, on February 23, the Supreme Court overturned the decision, cancelling the snap elections. Nonetheless, Nepal’s political crisis continues. More

AP (May 14, 2021): Nepal’s ousted prime minister to head minority government

Al Jazeera (May 10, 2021): Nepal PM loses confidence vote amid surging pandemic

Malaysia Possible Snap Parliamentary Elections

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has indicated that he will call early general elections once the COVID-19 pandemic is over. Meanwhile, several of Malaysia’s states are due to hold elections in the next year. The country’s politics have been turbulent since the historic defeat of UMNO – which had ruled since 1957 – in the 2018 elections. UMNO is back in power but hanging on by a thread. More

Amy Chew, South China Morning Post (May 9, 2021): Can Malaysia’s DAP capture the Muslim and non-Chinese vote? Anthony Loke may be about to find out

Past Asia/Pacific Elections

India, Five State Assembly Elections and Various Local Elections: March – May 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, India is experiencing a massive COVID-19 outbreak.

In West Bengal, a former communist stronghold that has been led by Mamata Banerjee from the center-left Trinamool Congress party – currently the only female Indian state leader – for the last 10 years, a massive campaign push from Narendra Modi‘s BJP did not lead to a win. Banerjee will remain chief minister and Trinamool Congress won two-thirds of the seats. However, BJP jumped from three seats to 77 in the 294 seat legislature.

In Tamil Nadu, the leftist regional opposition party Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) defeated BJP’s regional allies, the India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). The incoming chief minister is one M.K. Stalin (who was in fact named after Joseph Stalin). Meanwhile, in Puducherry, Congress Party (India’s main national opposition party) suffered its worst defeat in a long time, winning only two seats. BJP’s regional ally AINRC won the most seats and will form the government – the first time BJP allies have led Puducherry.

In the other two states, incumbents remain in power. In Assam, BJP held its majority. In Kerala, the leftist coalition will remain. More

Salil Tripathi, Foreign Policy (May 12, 2021): India’s Pandemic Disaster Has Finally Slowed Modi’s Unstoppable Rise

Maldives Local Elections: April 10, 2021

Maldives held local elections for April 10, 2021, following a delay due to COVID-19. Voters will elect island, atoll, and city councils to three-year terms. The country was under a brutal dictatorship for decades, but began a remarkable transition to democracy in 2008. The road to democracy has been somewhat rocky, but Maldivian democrats persevere.

On May 7, a bomb blast hospitalized former president Mohamed Nasheed, one of the main architects of democracy in Maldives. More

DW (May 13, 2021): Ex-Maldives president flies to Germany after bomb attack

Ajit Kumar Singh, Eurasia Review (May 11, 2021): Maldives: Increasing Vulnerabilities – Analysis

Zaheena Rasheed and Ahmed Naish, Al Jazeera (May 8, 2021): Who tried to kill Maldives’ ex-president Mohamed Nasheed?

Burma General Elections: November 8, 2020

Burma, also called Myanmar, held general elections on November 8, 2020. Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) won in a landslide. However, on February 1, the military staged a coup, claiming election fraud (despite a lack of evidence). Protests against the coup continue. The military claims it will hold new elections will take place within two years. More

Committee for the Protection of Journalists (May 13, 2021): Myanmar sentences Democratic Voice of Burma reporter Min Nyo to 3 years in prison for criminal mutiny

Ei Hlaing, The Conversation (May 12, 2021): Myanmar’s anti-coup protesters defy rigid gender roles – and subvert stereotypes about women to their advantage

Voice of America (May 11, 2021): Aung San Suu Kyi to Appear in Court Later This Month, Lawyer Says 

Asia/Pacific Elections in 2021 and 2022

Samoa Parliamentary Elections Take 2: May 21, 2021

Vietnam Parliamentary Elections: May 23, 2021

Mongolia Presidential Election: June 9, 2021

Macau Legislative Elections: September 2021 (ADD EXACT DATE)

Japan Parliamentary Elections: By October 2021 (snap elections possible)

Timor-Leste Municipal Elections: October 2021 (due)

Tonga General Elections: By November 30, 2021

Hong Kong Legislative Council Elections: December 2021 (ADD EXACT DATE)

Sri Lanka Early Provincial Elections: Late 2021 (proposed)

India, State Elections in Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand: February/March 2022 (due)

South Korea Presidential Election: March 9, 2022

TImor-Leste Presidential Election: March 2022 (due)

Philippines Presidential and Legislative Elections: May 9, 2022

Australia Parliamentary Elections: May 2022 (due – snap elections possible)

Papua New Guinea Parliamentary Elections: June 2022 (due)

Cambodia Local Elections: June 5, 2022

Nauru Parliamentary Elections: August 2022 (due)

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

Fiji Parliamentary Elections: November 2022 (due)

Nepal Parliamentary Elections: November 2022 (due – snap elections possible)

India, State Elections in Gujarat: December 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.

Eurasia

May 13, 2021

Your weekly roundup 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 trolley in Bălți, Moldova’s second-largest city. Moldova holds snap elections in July. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Нефеденков Павел (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Upcoming Eurasia Elections

Armenia Snap Parliamentary Elections: June 20, 2021

Armenia is holding snap parliamentary elections on June 20 in an effort to defuse a political crisis following a defeat in the recent Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

RFE/RL (May 10, 2021): Armenia’s Parliament Dissolves In Final Step Toward Early Elections

Emil Avdaliani, Modern Diplomacy (May 7, 2021): Armenia After the Parliamentary Elections

Moldova Snap Parliamentary Elections: July 11, 2021

Moldova is holding snap parliamentary elections on July 11, which pro-Europe center-right president Maia Sandu had been trying to call for months. Sandu trounced pro-Kremlin leftist Igor Dodon, who had been the incumbent, in the November 2020 presidential election However, no party currently has a clear majority in parliament (and Sandu’s allies are outnumbered by pro-Russian parties). The resulting political instability was reaching crisis levels. More

Orlando Crowcroft, Euronews (May 10, 2021): In Moldova, a snap election could help Maia Sandu finish what she started

Yuri Panchenko, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (May 10, 2021): Ukrainian Judge’s Kidnapping May Have Political Impact in Moldova

Russia Parliamentary Elections: By September 19, 2021

Russia is due to hold parliamentary elections by September 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 has launched a brutal crackdown on the opposition, including imprisoning Navalny. More

Eva Hartog, Politico (May 12, 2021): In purging Russia of Navalny, the Kremlin is humming a Soviet tune

Olafimihan Oshin, The Hill (May 12, 2021): Former Russian mayor who encouraged pro-Navalny protests is jailed

Meduza (May 12, 2021): Moscow court fines Telegram for refusing to remove posts about pro-Navalny protests

Moscow Times (May 11, 2021): Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Movement Disputes Georgia Relocation Reports

BBC (May 8, 2021): Amnesty apologises to Alexei Navalny over ‘prisoner of conscience’ status

Georgia Local Elections: October 2021 (due)

Georgia is due to hold local elections in October 2021. These follow last year’s parliamentary elections, which took place in a climate of political tension, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic fallout. Tensions have exploded into a full-blown political crisis. Although the crisis has eased, tensions remain. More

AFP (May 10, 2021): Georgia frees jailed opposition leader after EU posts bail

Elene Panchulidze and Richard Youngs, Carnegie Europe (May 10, 2021): Defusing Georgia’s Political Crisis: An EU Foreign Policy Success?

Kyrgyzstan Parliamentary Elections Take 2: Fall 2021 (proposed)

Kyrgyzstan’s leader has proposed re-running 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

Eurasianet (May 6, 2021): Kyrgyzstan: Spotlight on populist security chief after Tajikistan violence

Past Eurasia Elections

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 continue. More

Grigory Ioffe, Jamestown Foundation (May 12, 2021): Going Over the Top in and Around Belarus

Robin Emmott, Reuters (May 10, 2021): EU prepares new round of Belarus sanctions from June, diplomats say

Tadeusz Iwański, New Eastern Europe (May 10, 2021): The father that doesn’t want to leave: Between authoritarian violence and social anger in Belarus

Jenni Fink, Newsweek (May 7, 2021): Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko Agrees to Early Election if U.S. Will Also Hold One

Eurasia Elections in 2021 and 2022

Armenia Snap Parliamentary Elections: June 20, 2021

Russia Parliamentary Elections: By September 19, 2021

Georgia Local Elections: October 2021 (due)

Kyrgyzstan Parliamentary Elections Take 2: Fall 2021 (expected)

Uzbekistan Presidential Election: October 24, 2021

Europe

May 12, 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.

Zagreb’s Ban Jelačić Square. Croatia heads to the polls for local elections on May 16. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Lamasse (public domain)

Upcoming Europe Elections

Croatia Local Elections: May 16, 2021

Croatia has scheduled local elections for May 21, 2021. These elections got a bit of a shakeup when Milan Bandic, the mayor of Zagreb, died in February after a combined 20 years in office (according to some reports, he was the world’s longest-serving mayor). Although Bandic had a devoted following, he was also controversial, and embroiled in a number of scandals. A former communist, he joined the Social Democratic Party (SDP) when Croatia began holding multiparty elections in 1990, but later broke off to start his own party. Meanwhile, HDZ, the main conservative party, won last year’s parliamentary elections, after losing the January 2020 presidential election. Tomislav Tomašević from the green-left Možemo! appears to be leading polls for mayor of Zagreb.

Tea Trubić Macan, Euractiv (May 10, 2021): HDZ remain the most popular political party in Croatia

Ivor Kruljac, Total Croatia News (May 10, 2021): Best Zagreb Mayor By Historians: Historians Shouldn’t Rate, But Većeslav Holjevac Takes Lead

Cyprus Parliamentary Elections: May 30, 2021

Cyprus is due to hold parliamentary elections on May 23, 2021. The center-right DISY – currently in the majority – will face off against the center-left AKEL, the main opposition party (with a number of smaller parties also competing). Cyprus is a presidential system (the only full presidential system in the EU), so these elections will function as more of a test for the parties ahead of the 2023 presidential election. The current president is President Nicos Anastasiades (from DISY). This is all happening in the context of the ongoing Eastern Mediterranean crisisMore

in-cyprus (May 10, 2021): Record number of 650 candidates running in May 30’s parliamentary elections

George Psyllides, Cyprus Mail (May 10, 2021): Abstention set to be the winner at upcoming election

Latvia Municipal Elections: June 5, 2021

Latvia has scheduled municipal elections for June 5, 2021. After that, parliamentary elections are due in October 2022. More

Jānis Geste, lsv.lm (May 12, 2021): Party ratings for April show plenty to fight for in local elections

LETA (May 8, 2021): Which political party in Latvia plans to spend the most on pre-election promotion?

Germany Saxony-Anhalt State Elections: June 5, 2021, and Bundestag Elections: September 26, 2021 (plus other state elections throughout the year)

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. 

Following an intense fight, CDU and CSU have nominated CDU leader Armin Laschet to be their candidate for chancellor. He defeated the Bavarian Markus Söder, who is more popular with voters. Meanwhile, over the past year, the Greens have taken SPD’s place as the main center-left party. They have portrayed themselves as responsible and mainstream, and have governed as such when in state governments. Consequently, Annalena Baerbock could become the first Green head of government in the history of the world. However, despite his unpopularity, Armin Laschet remains the favorite to succeed Merkel as chancellor. Nonetheless, German voters have a real choice and Baerbock, who comes from the party’s “realo” (moderate) wing as opposed to the “fundi” (radical) wing – has an actual shot at the top job.  More

Saxony-Anhalt

Spiegel (May 12, 2021 – in German): Wahl-O-Mat 2021: Who would you choose in Saxony-Anhalt?

Federal

Iain Rogers, Bloomberg (May 12, 2021): Merkel Bloc Tries to Regain Momentum With Climate Overhaul

Laurens Cerulus, Politico (May 10, 2021): Facebook promises to ramp up security for German election

Guy Chazan, Financial Times (May 10, 2021): SPD struggles to break through as Greens dominate German campaign

DW (May 8, 2021): Germany: Greens to oust Tübingen mayor over racist comments

Kay-Alexander Scholz, DW (May 7, 2021): Germany: Opinion poll suggests Green party could head next government

Justin Huggler, The Telegraph (May 7, 2021): German Greens election lead at risk amid mutiny over use of word ‘Germany’ in manifesto

France Regional Elections: June 13, 2021 and Presidential Election: April 2022 (due) 

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

Reuters (May 11, 2021): Le Pen candidate shown gaining control of Provence region in opinion poll

Al Jazeera (May 11, 2021): France: Head of Macron’s party slams Muslim candidate’s headscarf

AFP (May 9, 2021): How France’s Macron is tacking right in bid for 2022 election triumph

The Economist (May 9, 2021): Four decades after François Mitterrand became president, France’s left is in trouble

Lorne Cook and Sylvie Corbet, ABC News (May 5, 2021): EU’s Brexit chief eyes a role in French presidential vote

Finland Local Elections: June 13, 2021 (postponed from April)

Finland is holding municipal elections on June 13, 2021, delayed from April due to COVID-19. Following the 2019 parliamentary elections, a left-leaning coalition came into government nationally. More

YLE (May 11, 2021): Yle’s election compass out now: More than 30,000 people are running for election to local councils in June

YLE (May 7, 2021): YLE: National Coalition grabs pole position ahead of Finns Party and Social Democrats

Bulgaria Snap Parliamentary Elections: July 11, 2021

Bulgaria is holding fresh parliamentary elections on July 11 after no party formed a government following the April 4 elections. In those 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, 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. More

Reuters (May 12, 2021): Bulgaria interim govt to maintain veto on North Macedonia’s EU talks

AP (May 11, 2021): Bulgaria caretaker government appointed until July election

Krassen Nikolov, Euractiv (May 11, 2021): Former Bulgarian PM returns to politics in alliance with communists

Sofia Globe (May 11, 2021): Shake-up in leadership echelon of Borissov’s GERB party

Andrew MacDowall, World Politics Review (May 10, 2021): Bulgaria’s Fractured Politics Marks the End of the Borissov Era

Svetoslav Todorov, Balkan Insight (May 6, 2021): Bulgarian PM Rejects Extortion Claims Against GERB Party

Italy, Mayoral Elections in Rome, Milan, Turin, Naples and other cities and regional elections in Calabria: October 10-11, 2021

Italy is due to hold regional elections in Calabria in the south, as well as mayoral elections in several major cities, later this year. 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.

Hannah Roberts, Politico (May 12, 2021): Could Giorgia Meloni be Italy’s first female prime minister?

Alessandro Speciale and Maria Tadeo, Bloomberg (May 11, 2021): Italy Wants Europe to Reset China Ties on More Equal Footing

Angelo Amante and Crispian Balmer, Reuters (May 10, 2021): Analysis: Italy’s Salvini struggles as rightist ally grows stronger

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.

Reuters (May 12, 2021): Hungary’s opposition plans joint primary in bid to unseat PM Orban in 2022

Hungary Today (May 12, 2021): Opposition Parties Agree on Primaries Selection Method

András Arató, Euronews (May 10, 2021): Hungary is becoming a semi-dictatorship as the EU watches idly

The Economist (May 8, 2021): Meet the man who could oust Viktor Orban, Hungary’s strongman

Voice of America (May 8, 2021): Chinese University Plan Causes Security Concerns in Hungary

Serbia Presidential and Parliamentary Elections: By April 2022

Serbia held snap parliamentary elections on June 21, 2020 in a climate of mistrust. Many opposition parties boycotted, and therefore, President Alexander Vucic’s Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) dominated. Vucic announced that the new parliament would not serve a full term, and that the Serbia would hold both presidential and parliamentary elections by April 2022.

Serbia has tried to balance movement toward joining the European Union with maintaining good relations with Russia. Meanwhile, China has stepped up its presence.

Reid Standish, Ljudmila Cvetkovic, and Maja Zivanovic, RFE/RL (May 11, 2021): China Deepens Its Balkans Ties Using Serbian Universities

European Western Balkans (May 10, 2021): EP-facilitated Dialogue in Serbia: First meetings concluded, possible arrival of MEPs in June

Past Europe Elections

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

The United Kingdom (UK) held local elections on May 6, 2021. Voters will elected various local councils, plus the mayor of London, plus Scottish and Welsh parliaments. Overall, the Conservatives made gains on councils, but Labour’s Sadiq Khan was re-elected mayor of London. Labour also held onto its working majority in the Welsh parliament.

The Scottish elections were particularly high-stakes because if the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) has been demanding another referendum on independence. The SNP won the most seats, but failed to win a majority, making it harder to insist on a new referendum.

In addition, the Conservatives won a parliamentary election in Hartlepool, a longtime Labour stronghold, a sign of a possible realignment of British politics as the Tories make gains in the Labour heartland. Some analysts have said that Labour is going through a post-Brexit identity crisis. More

The Economist (May 10, 2021 – podcast): “This was a pretty seismic set of midterm elections”—Boris Johnson’s triumph

Chris Mason, BBC News (May 10, 2021): Analysis: Is the Green Party on the rise – and if so, why?

Reuters (May 9, 2021): Scottish nationalists vow independence vote after election win

Mark Landler, New York Times (May 8, 2021): Scotland Election Results Complicate Hopes for Independence Referendum

Wall Street Journal (May 7, 2021): Britain’s Political Realignment: The Tories continue to gain in the former Labour heartland.

Bianca Nobilo, CNN (May 7, 2021 – video): CNN reporter on UK by-election result in Hartlepool: ‘Shattering defeat for Labour’

Spain, Snap Regional Elections in Madrid: May 4, 2021

Madrid held early regional elections on May 4, following the collapse of the government coalition consisting of the conservative Popular Party and the liberal Citizens Party. These elections took place in a highly polarized environment, as conservative incumbent Isabel Díaz Ayuso from the Popular Party faced against leftist firebrand Pablo Inglesias. The Popular Party won the most seats, but fell short of a majority and will likely govern in coalition with the far-right Vox. Meanwhile, Citizens failed to meet the 5 percent threshold and thus lost all its seats, and the Socialists (who currently run Spain’s federal government) had a historically low vote share.

AFP (May 12, 2021): Out of politics, pony-tailed Podemos founder cuts hair

Daniel Dombey, Financial Times (May 7, 2021): Isabel Díaz Ayuso: the Spanish right’s saviour

Wall Street Journal (May 5, 2021): Madrid Votes for Freedom

Albania Parliamentary Elections: April 25, 2021

Albania held parliamentary elections on April 25, 2021 in a tense political climate with several violent incidents. Since communism collapsed in 1990, Albania has held competitive elections and several transitions of power between political parties. The elections were close, and the incumbent Socialist Party won a third term in office, defeating the main opposition center-right Democratic Party. More

Tobias Rüttershoff and Teona Lavrelashvili, Euractiv (May 11, 2021): Albania has voted – will it be a new momentum for its EU path?

Giorgia Orlandi, Euronews (May 10, 2021): “Europe is a religion, and nobody can betray this religion in Albania,” said Albania’s Prime Minister

Fjori Sinoruka, Balkan Insight (May 10, 2021): Albania’s Opposition Stands at Crossroads After Election Rout

Peter Tase, Eurasia Review (May 9, 2021): Albania: Edi Rama Maintains An Iron Grip On Power – OpEd

Jacopo Barigazzi, Politico (May 7, 2021): EU commissioner floats shift on Albania membership talks

Llazar Semini, AP (May 7, 2021): Albanian lawmakers to investigate president for impeachment

Tal Schneider, Times of Israel (May 7, 2021): After Knesset election-rama, Israeli political advisers turn to Tirana

Jona Koprencka, bne Intellinews (May 5, 2021): COMMENT: “Patronagists” scandal brings back memories of the communist era in Albania

Regional Analysis

Julia Bergin, The Conversation (May 12, 2021): How China used the media to spread its COVID narrative — and win friends around the world

Harun Karčić, RUSI (May 11, 2021): Democratic Backsliding in Europe: Who is to Blame?

Jamie Dettmer, Voice of America (May 10, 2021): Europe’s Social Democratic Parties Struggle for Electoral Relevancy 

Europe Elections in 2021 and 2022

Croatia Local Elections: May 16, 2021

Cyprus Parliamentary Elections: May 30, 2021

Latvia Local Elections: June 5, 2021

Germany, Saxony-Anhalt State Elections: June 6, 2021

Finland Municipal Elections: June 13, 2021

France Regional Elections: June 13, 2021

Bulgaria Fresh Parliamentary Elections: July 11, 2021

Norway Parliamentary Elections: September 13, 2021

Iceland Parliamentary Elections: September 25, 2021

Germany Bundestag Elections, plus state elections in Berlin and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and probably Thuringia: September 26, 2021

Austria, Upper Austria State and Municipal Elections: September 26, 2021

Czech Republic Parliamentary Elections: October 8-9, 2021

Italy Municipal Elections, plus regional elections in Calabria: October 10-11, 2021

Estonia Local Elections: October 17, 2021

North Macedonia Local Elections: October 2021 (due)

Portugal Local Elections: October 2021 (due)

Bulgaria Presidential Election: October/November 2021 (due)

Denmark Regional and Municipal Elections: November 16, 2021

Kosovo Local Elections: Due in 2021

Serbia Presidential and Parliamentary Elections: March/April 2022

France Presidential Election: April 2022 (due)

Austria Presidential Election: April 2022 (due)

Hungary Parliamentary Elections: April 2022 (due)

Slovenia Parliamentary Elections: By June 5, 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.