Eurasia This Week: June 2, 2022

Eurasia Elections Weekly News Review: June 2, 2022 - 21votes

June 2, 2022

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

The Zelyony Bazaar in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan just held a constitutional referendum, but critics call it light on real reform. Photo credit: Flickr/Dan Lundberg (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Upcoming Eurasia Elections

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

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

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

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

AP (May 31, 2022): Russia’s Alexei Navalny faces extra 15 years in jail over ‘extremism’ claims

Jacob Knutson, Axios (May 31, 2022): Putin critic Navalny says he faces new criminal charge

Haaretz (May 29, 2022): The New Navalny Documentary Will Make You Feel Better About the World

Laura Kelly, The Hill (May 28, 2022): Navalny in prison: How a thorn in Putin’s side reaches the outside world

Moscow Times (May 27, 2022): Local Deputy in Russia’s Far East Urges Putin to End War in Ukraine

AFP (May 27, 2022): Controversial Russia lawmaker to lead ultra-nationalist party

Nadav Gavrielov, New York Times (May 26, 2022): The Dangerous Challenge of Making a Film About Aleksei Navalny

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

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

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

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

Sara Alsherif, Global Voices (May 27, 2022): In Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, cyberwarfare is a decisive element of the battlefield

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

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

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

Zhanna Tarkhanova, JAMnews (June 1, 2022): Why does Moscow play down S.Ossetia’s attempts to join Russia?

Milord Shengelia and Makhare Atchaidze, OC Media (June 1, 2022): Georgians are split on election quality

Civil.ge (May 3, 2022): Georgia Could Be Better Prepared for Membership Bid, EU Ambo Says

Agenda.ge (May 27, 2022): Parliamentary opposition says gaining EU candidate status an “opportunity not to be missed” in letter to PM

Moldova Local Elections: October 2023 (due)

Moldova is due to hold local elections in October 2023. After that, a presidential election is due in 2024 and parliamentary elections are due in 2025.

The last elections were snap parliamentary elections on July 11, 2021 which pro-Europe center-right president Maia Sandu had been trying to call for months because in Moldova’s parliamentary system, a legislative majority is necessary to execute on any policy agenda. Prior to these elections, party had a clear majority in parliament (and Sandu’s allies were outnumbered by pro-Russian parties), leading to political instability. Sandu’s allies ended up winning in a landslide.

Sandu herself trounced pro-Kremlin leftist Igor Dodon, who had been the incumbent, in the November 2020 presidential election, after losing narrowly to him in 2016.

Russia has ramped up its harassment Moldova following the victories of Sandu and her allies. Moreover, Russia instigated and continues to perpetuate a frozen conflict in Transnistria, where 1,400 Russian troops are stationed – an obstacle to Moldova’s integration into Euro-Atlantic structures. Additionally, Transnistria’s rampant organized crime and corruption threaten Moldova’s stability. Russia also stokes separatism in Gagauzia, a Turkic-speaking region of Moldova. More

Borja Lasheras, CEPA (May 27, 2022): Moldova: Time to Banish Europe’s Gray Zones

AFP (May 26, 2022): Pro-Russian ex-president of Moldova placed under house arrest

Past Eurasia Elections

Kazakhstan Constitutional Referendum: June 5, 2022

Kazakhstan held a constitutional referendum on June 5, 2022 in response to a series of protests in January 2022 that rocked the country and left as many as 225 people dead, as well as a reported 12,000 people in detention.

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

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

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

Mariya Gordeyeva, Reuters (June 2, 2022): Kazakhstan referendum may bolster Tokayev’s second-term ambitions

Artyem Sochnev, Eurasianet (June 2, 2022): Kazakhstan: All politics is local

Almaz Kumenov, Eurasianet (June 1, 2022): Kazakhstan: Weak information campaign leaves voters in the dark ahead of constitutional referendum

Sophia Nina Burna-Asefi, The Diplomat (May 27, 2022): The Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Implications for Kazakhstan’s Energy Sector

Belarus Constitutional Referendum: February 27, 2022

Belarus’s dictator, Alexander Lukashenko, held a constitutional referendum on February 27, 2022 as a way of extending his time in power (he has been president since 1994 – the first and only president of post-Soviet Belarus). The changes allow Lukashenko to remain in office until 2035 and scrap Belarus’s non-nuclear status. Belarus’s elections and political processes are neither free nor fair.

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

In addition, Russia staged troops in Belarus ahead of its invasion of Ukraine. More

Joanna Kakissis and Dawid Krawczyk, NPR (May 31, 2022 – audio): These Belarusians join the fight against Russia, defying their Moscow-backed regime

Armenia Snap Elections: June 20, 2021

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

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

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

Thomas de Waal, Foreign Afairs (May 30, 2022): Nagorno-Karabakh in the Shadow of Ukraine: What Russia’s War Means for Armenia and Azerbaijan

The Geopolitical Chessboard

Catherine Putz, The Diplomat (June 9, 2022): Geopolitics and China’s Engagement in Central Asia

Eurasia Elections Coming Up in 2022 and 2023

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

Turkmenistan Parliamentary and Local Elections: March 2023 (due)

Moldova Local Elections: October 2023 (due)

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

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

Europe This Week: June 1, 2022

Europe Elections Weekly News Review: June 1, 2022 - 21votes

June 1, 2022

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

A market on Rue Mouffetard in Paris, France. Photo credit: Wikimedia/David Monniaux (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Upcoming Europe Elections

France Legislative Elections: June 12 and 19, 2022

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

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

David Basso, Euractiv (June 1, 2022): French Left alliance could topple Macron’s presidential majority

Bill Wirtz, The Dispatch (May 31, 2022): Macron’s Next Challenge: He won reelection, but now his party is trying to fending off major competition from far-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon in parliamentary elections

Clea Caulcutt, Politico (May 30, 2022): France’s culture wars reignited after Macron appoints ‘woke’ minister

Bosnia and Herzegovina General Elections: October 2, 2022

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

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

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

Euractiv (May 27, 2022): US, EU criticise Bosnian Croat obstruction of election funding

Past Europe Elections

Albania Presidential Election (indirect): Ongoing

Albania’s indirect presidential election began on May 16, 2022 and continued until parliament chose General Major Bajram Begaj after failing to choose a compromise candidate. Most of the opposition boycotted the voting.

Albania held parliamentary elections on April 25, 2021 in a tense political climate with several violent incidents. The elections were close, and the incumbent Socialist Party won a third term in office, defeating the main opposition center-right Democratic Party. 

After World War II, Albania became an isolationist communist dictatorship, one of the most brutal regimes in the world. However, since communism collapsed in 1990, the country has held competitive elections and several transitions of power between political parties. Albania joined NATO in 2009 and is currently a candidate for EU membership. While Albania has had less engagement with China than other countries in the Western Balkans, Beijing is trying to make inroads.  More

Fjori Sinoruka, Balkan Insight (May 30, 2022): Albania Parties Fail to Elect ‘Consensus’ President

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

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

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

In England, the Liberal Democrats were the big winner, and the Conservatives lost several London councils that they had controlled for decades. Nonetheless, there were very few calls for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign. Johnson subsequently faced a no-confidence motion, which he survived.

Jude Webber, Financial Times (May 30, 2022): DUP again blocks appointment of Northern Ireland assembly speaker

Jonathan McCambridge, Rebecca Black, and Dominic McGrath, Irish Examiner (May 30, 2022): Sinn Féin to ‘keep trying’ to get a Stormont speaker elected

Stuart Lau, Politico (May 29, 2022): Johnson, many Tories would lose seats if UK election were tomorrow, new poll shows

Jude Webber, Financial Times (May 26, 2022): Stormont to be recalled in effort to end Northern Ireland political paralysis: US delegation fails to defuse tensions triggered by dispute over post-Brexit trading relations

Slovenia Parliamentary Elections: April 24, 2022

Slovenia held general elections on April 24, 2022. The incumbent government, a conservative minority coalition headed by populist Janez Janša (which came to power in January 2020 after the center-left minority government of Marjan Šarec collapsed) lost. Political newcomer Robert Golob, who founded the liberal Freedom Movement in January, won on a platform of restoring press freedoms and democratic institutions – Janša had been accused of authoritarian backsliding during his time in office.

Marja Novak, Voice of America (May 29, 2022): Hopes for Reset as Slovenia’s New Leader Pledges Media Protections

Serbia Presidential and Parliamentary Elections: April 3, 2022

Serbia held early presidential and legislative elections on April 3, following a constitutional referendum on January 16 in which voters approved constitutional changes related to the judiciary – a move some hope will bring Serbia closer to EU membership. President Alexander Vucic won re-election.

The previous elections, snap parliamentary elections in June 2020, took place in a climate of mistrust. Many opposition parties boycotted, and therefore, 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.

Euractiv (June 1, 2022): Opposition not present as Vucic sworn in for second term

Exit.al (May 28, 2022): 11 Votes Cost Ethnic Albanians Representation in Serbian Parliament

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

Bulgaria held a presidential election on November 14 along with parliamentary elections – the third this year after no one could form a government following the first two. It appears that the third time was a charm, as a new political party called We Continue the Change (whose founders tout their Harvard credentials) formed a broad coalition.

The elections brought major change, ousting former PM Boyko Borissov’s center-right GERB, which had governed for most of the last 12 years. The country also saw the rise of a party called There Is Such a People (ITN), led by TV star Stanislav Trifonov, which came in second in the April elections and first in the July elections. Despite being edged out by We Continue the Change in November, ITN will be part of the new coalition. The other parties in the government will be the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the centrist/center-right Democratic Bulgaria coalition.

Bulgaria is a member of NATO and the European Union (EU); however, it remains the poorest and most corrupt member of the EU. Meanwhile, Russia seeks to influence Bulgaria. Most recently, it cut off gas exports to Bulgaria (and Poland) in retaliation for EU sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Bulgaria now faces the possibility of yet another set of early elections following ITN’s withdrawal from the coalition, sparked by the PM’s plans to lift the veto on North Macedonia joining the EU. More

Reuters (May 27, 2022): Bulgaria sticks to plan to adopt the euro in 2024 amid coalition squabbles

Europe Elections Coming Up in 2022 and 2023

Albania Presidential Election (indirect): Ongoing

France Legislative Elections: June 12 and 19, 2022

Croatia, Early Local Elections in Split: June 26, 2022

Austria Presidential Election: Fall 2022 (due)

Sweden Parliamentary and Local Elections: September 11, 2022

Latvia Parliamentary Elections: October 1, 2022

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

Germany, Lower Saxony State Elections: October 9, 2022

Czech Republic Local and Partial Senate Election: October 2022

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

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

Slovakia Local Elections: November 2022 (due)

Czech Republic Presidential Election: By January 2023

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

Cyprus Presidential Election: February 2023 (due)

Monaco Parliamentary Elections: February 2023 (due)

Austria, Tyrol State Elections: February 2023 (due)

Estonia General Elections: By March 5, 2023

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

Austria, Carinthia State Elections: March 2023 (due)

Finland Parliamentary Elections: By April 2023

Montenegro Presidential Election: April 2023 (due)

Austria, Salzburg State Elections: April 2023 (due)

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

Germany, Bremen State Elections: May 2023 (due)

Greece Local Elections: May 2023 (due)

Latvia Indirect Presidential Election: May 2023 (due)

Italy General Elections: By June 1, 2023

Denmark General Elections: By June 4, 2023

Greece Parliamentary Elections: By August 6, 2023

Norway Local Elections: September 2023

Switzerland Federal Parliamentary Elections: October 2023 (due)

Luxembourg General Elections: October 2023

Bulgaria Local Elections: October 2023

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

Finland, Åland Elections: By October 2023

Poland Parliamentary and Local Elections: By November 11, 2023

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

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

Middle East This Week: May 31, 2022

Middle East Elections Weekly News Review: May 31, 2022 - 21votes

May 31, 2022

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

A market in Tunis, Tunisia. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Fares Rjeibi (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Upcoming Middle East Elections

Tunisia Constitutional Referendum: July 25, 2022 and Early Legislative Elections: December 17, 2022

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

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

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

Fitch Ratings (May 30, 2022): Tunisia’s Political Tensions Continue to Hamper Reform

AFP (May 26, 2022): Tunisian president decrees July 25 referendum on ‘new republic’

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

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

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

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

Soufan Center (May 31, 2022): IntelBrief: Rival Governments Claim Power in Libya

Rami Musa, AP (May 26, 2022): Rival Libya leader says he has no plans to rule from Tripoli

Daily Sabah with AA (May 26, 2022): Libya’s PM Dbeibah proposes holding polls at end of 2022

International Crisis Group (May 25, 2022): Reuniting Libya, Divided Once More

Turkey General Elections: By June 18, 2023 (snap elections possible)

Turkey is due for general elections in June 2023, but there have been rumors of possible snap elections, and more than half of Turkish citizens want an early vote.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been in power since 2003, and although the party initially ran on a reformist platform, it has become increasingly authoritarian. A 2017 constitutional change, with passed very narrowly in a referendum, replaced the parliamentary system with a presidential system, and gave the presidency new powers.

Pelin Ünker, DW (May 31, 2022): Turkey seeks to tighten media control with ‘fake news’ bill

Gurkan Ozturan, Balkan Insight (May 31, 2022): Turkey’s Disinformation Law Will Strike Further Blow to Media Freedom

Ruth Michaelson, The Guardian (May 30, 2022): Will Istanbul’s mayor be Erdoğan’s nemesis – or banned from politics?

Selcan Hacaoglu, Bloomberg (May 27, 2022): Turkey’s Rising Anti-Refugee Sentiment Adds to Erdogan’s Challenges: The hosting of millions of migrants has become a major political issue for the president ahead of 2023 elections

Pakistan General Elections: By October 12, 2023

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

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

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

Hasan Ali, Time (May 29, 2022): The U.S. Is Losing a Strategic, Nuclear-Armed Ally to China

Ifra Javed, The New Arab (May 28, 2022): The need for early elections amidst Pakistan’s political chaos

Ayaz Gul, Voice of America (May 26, 2022): Pakistan’s Ex-PM Khan Gives Government 6 Days to Announce Election

Asif Shahzad, Reuters (May 26, 2022): Ousted Pakistani PM Khan issues ultimatum after disbanding violent protest march

International Crisis Group (May 25, 2022): Keeping Turmoil at Bay in Pakistan’s Polarised Polity

Past Middle East Elections

Lebanon Parliamentary Elections: May 15, 2022

Lebanon held parliamentary elections for May 15, 2022. Hezbollah and its allies lost their majority in parliament, and a number of independents won seats.

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

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

David Daoud, Atlantic Council (May 31, 2022): Lebanon just had an election. Its result? Curb the optimism

William Christou, The New Arab (May 31, 2022): Nabih Berri re-elected again as Lebanon house speaker, despite opposition

Hussain Abdul-Hussain, Foreign Policy (May 31, 2022): Lebanon Has an Opposition Movement Again: A new coalition could check—or even dislodge—Hezbollah and its iron grip.

Zeina Karam, Times of Israel (May 26, 2022): Lebanon’s nascent, fragmented reform movement faces tough road ahead

Hussein Dakroub, Al Arabiya (May 24, 2022): Lebanon’s election results set to bring little political change

Iraq Early Parliamentary Elections: October 10, 2021

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

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

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

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

Mustafa Shilani, Kurdistan24 (May 31, 2022): A ‘new initiative’ to end Iraq’s political impasse will be announced in June: Official

Cathrin Schaer, DW (May 31, 2022): Could Iraq’s political gridlock be a good sign for its democracy?

Azhar Al-Rubaie, Al Jazeera (May 30, 2022): Iraqi deadlock continues with elites unable to form government: Iraq’s Sadrists, the biggest grouping in parliament, have been unable to form a government since October’s elections

AP (May 26, 2022): Iraqi lawmakers pass bill criminalizing any ties with Israel

Shelly Kittleson, Al-Monitor (May 25, 2022): Iraq’s Kurdish parties struggle to unite amid deep divisions

Israel Parliamentary Elections, Take 4: March 23, 2021

On March 23, 2021, Israel held its fourth general election in two years after the collapse of the unity government of Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz. Neither Netanyahu’s allies nor his opponents won a majority. Netanyahu, whose conservative Likud party won the most seats, had the first chance to form a coalition, but he failed. Subsequently, Yair Lapid from the centrist Yesh Atid formed a broad coalition with conservative Naftali Bennett, with Bennett as prime minister for a time before rotating the position to Lapid. A number of other parties are in the coalition, which passed a Knesset vote on June 14, thus ending Netanyahu’s 12 years in office. However, the coalition remains tenuous.

Local elections in Jerusalem are due on October 31, 2023 More

William A. Galston, Wall Street Journal (May 31, 2022): Israel’s Politics Look Like America’s

Times of Israel (May 28, 2022): Netanyahu-led opposition bloc gains ground with voters, nearing majority, poll finds

Egypt Parliamentary Elections: October-December 2020

Egypt held elections for both houses of parliament this year. They were widely considered a sham by the opposition, civil society, and the public. More

AP (May 29, 2022): Egypt court sentences 2 aged Islamist leaders to 15 years

AFP (May 25, 2022): Egypt sentences ex-presidential candidate to 15 years: judiciary

Middle East Elections Coming Up in 2022 and 2023

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

Tunisia Constitutional Referendum: July 25, 2022

Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Parliamentary Elections: October 1, 2022

Bahrain Parliamentary Elections: November 2022 (due)

Tunisia Early Legislative Elections: December 17, 2022

Turkey Presidential and Legislative Elections: By June 18, 2023

Pakistan General Elections: By October 12, 2023

Israel Local Elections: October 2023

Oman Consultative Assembly Elections: October 2023

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

Egypt Local Elections: Due and discussed, but not scheduled

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

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

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

Africa This Week: May 30, 2022

Africa Elections Weekly News Review: May 30, 2022 - 21votes

May 30, 2022

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

A market in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Creative Studio (CC BY 3.0)

Upcoming Africa Elections

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

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

Loïcia Martial, RFI (May 26, 2022): Congo-B: the opposition divided on its participation in the next legislative elections

Kenya General Elections: August 9, 2022

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

Kenyan politics is highly polarized with a strong ethnic component.

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

James Okong’o, AFP (May 30, 2022): False political quotes fuel online disinformation ahead of Kenya election

Joachim Buwembo, The East African (May 28, 2022): Why Ugandans panic when Kenya ‘renovates its roof’ every five years

Patrick Anam, The Diplomat (May 27, 2022): Is Japan Beginning to Overtake China on Infrastructure Financing in Kenya? A closer look at the trends and differences in Japanese vs. Chinese lending to Kenya

Charlie Mitchell, African Business (May 26, 2022): Kenya elections: Ruto and Odinga square up to fight for presidency: Kenya’s August presidential elections have profound implications for growth and development across East Africa. What are the issues the candidates have to address?

Tom Wolf, The Elephant (May 24, 2022): Why Opinion Polls May Not Always Predict Election Outcomes in Kenya

Son Gatitu, The Africa Report (May 24, 2022): Kenya 2022: Who is Rigathi Gachagua, Ruto’s running mate?

Angola Presidential and Legislative Elections: August 24, 2022

Angola holds presidential and legislative elections on August 24, 2022. The country has not to date held free elections. The People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), a former armed group, has been in power since since independence in 1975. For 38 years, the MPLA’s José Eduardo Dos Santos ruled Angola with an iron fist. His regime engaged in rampant corruption and kleptocracy. Dos Santos’s successor, João Lourenço, has enacted some reforms and sought to curtail corruption, but many issues remain. Moreover, local elections (the country’s first) have been delayed repeatedly, at times sparking protests. The political climate remains tense.

However, MPLA’s vote share has been steadily decreasing with each successive election: it received 81 percent of the vote in 2008, 72 percent in 2012, and 61 percent in 2017. For the upcoming elections, the three main opposition parties will back a single presidential candidate: Adalberto Costa Junior, leader of UNITA, the main opposition party. There are hopes that this could pave the way for a more democratic future for Angola.

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

Jon Schubert and Gilson Lazaro, African Arguments (May 26, 2022): Angola’s regime pushes back against a growing and united opposition

Lesotho General Elections: September or October 2022

Lesotho is due to hold general elections in September or October 2022, for the third time in six years.

Liesl Louw-Vaudran, ISS Today (May 24, 2022): Red flags ahead of Lesotho’s October elections: Parliamentarians urgently need to vote on a reform bill that can bring some political stability to Lesotho

Somaliland Presidential Election: November 13, 2022

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

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

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

Edward Cavanough, ABC News Australia (June 5, 2022): The small African state of Somaliland legally doesn’t exist. But Taiwan has spied an opportunity to make its mark

Nigeria General Elections: February 18, 2023

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

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

Al Jazeera (May 29, 2022): Nigeria’s PDP picks Atiku Abubakar to run for president in 2023: Former vice president to launch third presidential bid after winning People’s Democratic Paty primary

AFP (May 28, 2022): Nigerian opposition votes in primaries for 2023 election candidate

Reuters (May 28, 2022): Nigeria’s Jonathan can contest presidential elections next year, court rules

South Sudan Elections: By March 2023 (planned)

South Sudan plans to hold elections by March 2023, the first since independence in 2011. Salva Kiir had been president of the semi-autonomous region while it was still part of Sudan, and he remained in office following independence. The legislature’s mandate expired in 2015 (it had been elected in 2010, before independence), and has been extended several times. Additional election delays are possible.

Sam Mednick, The New Humanitarian (May 30, 2022): As elections loom, South Sudan’s sluggish peace deal fuels further instability and violence

Zimbabwe General Elections: July 2023 (due)

Zimbabwe is due to hold general elections in July 2023. They will be the second since the 2017 coup that led to the fall of Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s longtime dictator, who left a legacy of gross economic mismanagement and political repression. Democracy continues to face many challenges in Zimbabwe, and the current president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, governs in an authoritarian, repressive manner.

Most recently, Zimbabwe held by-elections on March 26, 2022 to fill 28 parliamentary seats and 105 local seats. A new opposition party called the Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) won a majority of the seats up for election. CCC is led by Nelson Chamisa, who broke with Zimbabwe’s traditional opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) over internal politics. CCC won 19 parliamentary seats while the ruling ZANU-PF won nine.

However, many concerns remain about the fairness of the upcoming elections.

Farai Shawn Matiashe, The Africa Report (May 27, 2022): Zimbabwe: Battle for control of Harare City Council rages on

ISS Today (May 23, 2022): Courage, charisma not enough to defeat Zanu-PF in Zimbabwe’s 2023 elections

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

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

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

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

The DRC faces severe political and security crises.

International Crisis Group (May 25, 2022): Easing the Turmoil in the Eastern DR Congo and Great Lakes

Africanews with AFP (May 30, 2022): African Union chief ‘gravely concerned’ by Rwanda-DRC tension

Channels (May 25, 2022): Tensions Rise Ahead Of DR Congo Presidential Election

Ikaba Koyi, Al Jazeera (May 24, 2022): Q&A: DRC has more to lose than gain in regional bloc – opposition

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

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

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

DW (May 29, 2022): Sudan’s military leader lifts state of emergency

Jason Burke and Zeinab Mohammed Salih, The Guardian (May 28, 2022): ‘Our friends didn’t die in vain’: Sudan’s activists aim to topple military regime

Mali Presidential and Legislative Elections: Delayed to December 2025

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

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

Damilola Banjo, Passblue (May 31, 2022): As Russia’s Wagner Group Operates in Mali, the Country’s Civilian Deaths Multiply

Alex Thurston, World Politics Review (May 25, 2022): Mali’s Junta Is Rewriting West Africa’s Playbook on Post-Coup ‘Transitions’

Past Africa Elections

Somalia, Indirect Presidential Election: May 15, 2022

Somalia finally held its long-delayed presidential election on May 15, 2022. Former president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who served from 2012 to 2017 before losing re-election, was elected, defeating incumbent Mohamed “Farmaajo.”

The Horn of Africa country does not hold direct elections, but rather holds indirect elections in a clan-based system. The elections were delayed, and Farmaajo remained in office beyond the end of his term, which created a political and constitutional crisis. In April 2021, Farmaajo sought to extend his term for two years, but parliament voted to reject the extension.

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

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

The New Arab (May 30, 2022): New Somalia president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud calls for reconciliation as US troops return

The Conversation (May 27, 2022): Somalia’s new president Hassan Sheikh: his strengths and weaknesses

Jack Detsch, Foreign Policy (May 26, 2022): Somalia’s al Qaeda Branch Has Gotten ‘Bigger, Stronger, and Bolder’ Since U.S. Exit

Bloomberg (May 24, 2022): Outgoing Somali President Admits Sending 5,000 Troops to Eritrea

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

Reuters (May 26, 2022): Detained Ugandan opposition figure charged with inciting violence

Elias Biryabarema, Reuters (May 24, 2022): Uganda arrests opposition’s Besigye again, breaks up price protests

Coups, Russia, France, Geopolitics

Joseph Siegle and Jeffrey Smith, Foreign Policy (May 30, 2022): Putin’s World Order Would Be Devastating for Africa: Moscow is already deeply involved in destabilizing wars

Todd Prince, RFE/RL (May 24, 2022): Expansion Or Contraction? How Putin’s War In Ukraine Affects His Efforts In Africa

Human Rights Watch (May 24, 2022): AU: Focus on Root Causes of Conflict, Political Instability

Africa Elections Coming Up in 2022 and 2023

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

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

Senegal Legislative Elections: July 31, 2022

Republic of Congo Legislative Elections: July 10, 2022

Kenya Presidential and Legislative Elections: August 9, 2022

Angola Presidential and Legislative Elections: August 24, 2022

Lesotho Parliamentary Elections: September 2022

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

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

Somaliland Presidential Election: November 13, 2022

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

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

Guinea-Bissau Snap Parliamentary Elections: By the end of 2022

Nigeria General Elections: February 18, 2023

Djibouti Legislative Elections: February 2023

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

South Sudan General Elections: By March 2023 (tentative)

Sierra Leone Presidential Election: June 24, 2023

Zimbabwe General Elections: July 2023

Eswatini Parliamentary Elections: August 2023 (due)

Gabon Presidential Election: August 2023 (due)

Mauritania Parliamentary Elections: September 2023 (due)

Gabon Legislative Elections: October 2023 (due)

Liberia Presidential and Legislative Elections: October 2023 (due)

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

Madagascar Presidential Election: November 2023 (due)

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

Togo Legislative and Regional Elections: December 2023 (due)

Côte d’Ivoire Local Elections: 2023

Mali Presidential and Legislative Elections: TBD, following coup

Burkina Faso Elections: TBD, following coup

Guinea Elections: TBD, following coup

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

Americas

Americas Elections Weekly News Review: May 28, 2022 - 21votes

May 28, 2022

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

The stock exchange in Santiago, Chile. Chile’s upcoming constitutional referendum will have a huge impact on the country’s future economic prospects. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Juanjo+Willow (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Upcoming Americas Elections

Colombia Presidential Election: May 29, 2022

Colombia holds a presidential election on May 29, following legislative elections and presidential primaries on March 13. Leftist former guerrilla Gustavo Petro won his primary in a landslide. For a while, he was seen as the favorite to win in May, but more recent polls show a statistical dead heat between Petro and conservative Federico Gutiérrez.

No party won a majority in the legislative elections and centrists did not perform well, exacerbating the country’s polarization.

If Petro wins in May, he will be Colombia’s first leftist president. This election follows recent leftist victories in Honduras, Chile, Peru, and Bolivia and comes ahead of Brazil’s highly polarized election, which leftist former president Lula da Silva is the favorite to win. Some have warned that Russia has been sowing disinformation in support of Petro’s candidacy, hoping that he would be hostile to the United States.

Andrea Jaramillo, Bloomberg (May 26, 2022): Why Colombia’s Election Has Voters Looking Left

Elizabeth Dickinson, International Crisis Group (May 24, 2022): Colombia’s Election Clash Rattles a Fragile Peace

Samantha Schmidt, Washington Post (May 24, 2022): Behind bulletproof shields, Colombian candidates fear for their lives

Chile Constitutional Referendum: September 4, 2022

Chile will hold a constitutional referendum on September 4, 2022, following over a year of meetings of the Constitutional Convention, which was elected in May 2021. The constitutional process began in response to a series of violent protests and riots in 2019.

The referendum follows last year’s presidential and legislative elections. Far-left socialist former student leader Gabriel Boric defeated Jose Antonio Kast, a far-right legislator, in the runoff. Although results of the July 18 presidential primaries seemed to indicate that voters seem to want a return to moderation, the center-right candidate from former president Sebastián Pińera’s coalition did not even make the runoff.

However, the legislative elections were a bit more complicated. Piñera’s Chile Podemos Más coalition won the most seats in the Senate, and the Chamber of Deputies is split nearly evenly between right and left-leaning members. These results will potentially constrain Boric’s ability to pursue a far-left agenda. All newly-elected officials took office in March 2022.

The 2021 elections took 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. The Constitutional Convention consists overwhelmingly of left-wing members and could potentially be out of step with the broader Chilean electorate. Because voting in the referendum is mandatory, the new constitution may not be approved.

Rainer Zitelmann, The National Interest (May 24, 2022): Will Capitalist Chile Follow Venezuela to Ruin?

Jennifer M. Piscopo, Foreign Policy (May 23, 2022): How Chile’s Constitutional Overhaul Emboldened the Right

Brazil General Elections (Presidential, Legislative, State, and Local): October 2, 2022

Brazil holds general elections in October 2022. Jair Bolsonaro, the right-wing populist firebrand president, is up for re-election. Former president Lula da Silva, himself a populist firebrand of the left-wing variety, will run against him. The country remains deeply polarized between right and left, although some third-way candidates plan to challenge both Bolsonaro and Lula. 

As Latin America’s biggest economy, Brazil’s politics have an impact on the entire region and – increasingly – on the world stage. More

Anthony Boadle and Ricardo Brito, Reuters (May 27, 2022): Brazil invites election observers on record scale as Bolsonaro stirs doubts

Simone Preissler Iglesias and Daniel Carvalho, Bloomberg (May 25, 2022): Bolsonaro Shakes Up Petrobras Leadership in Re-Election Bid

Argentina Presidential and Legislative Elections: October or November 2023 (due)

Argentina is due to hold presidential and legislative elections in October or November 2023.

Argentina held midterm legislative elections in November 2021, along with a few sets of provincial elections on various dates. The ruling Peronists took a major hit, losing control of the legislature for the first time in decades.

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

Ariel González Levaggi and Ryan C. Berg, Foreign Policy (May 23, 2022): Argentina’s Embrace of China Should Be a Wake-Up Call

Venezuela Presidential Election: Due in 2024

The next presidential election is due in 2024, but some opposition figures hope it will happen early. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions, U.S. officials have begun to court the Venezuelan regime. Venezuela held regional and local elections on November 21, 2021. These followed the December 2020 legislative elections, which most of the opposition boycotted (opposition parties did participate in the 2021 local elections).

Venezuela’s politicalconstitutional, and humanitarian crises have been going on for years. The country became an authoritarian state under the now-deceased Hugo Chavez, who was elected in 1998 and completely transformed the country from a prosperous democracy to a leftist dictatorship. His successor, Nicolás Maduro, has continued on that path. Socialist economic policies have destroyed the economy. Although Venezuela is a major oil producer, 90 percent of Venezuelans cannot afford sufficient food and many have fled. Moreover, the capital, Caracas, has become one of the most violent cities in the world.

Nonetheless, Venezuela’s opposition is active and occasionally makes gains.

Authoritarian regimes such as Russia, China, and Iran back Maduro and most of the free world backs the opposition.

Mary Anastasia O’Grady, Wall Street Journal (May 26, 2022): Venezuela Sanctions Relief Is a Trap for Biden: Maduro wants concessions but has zero interest in free and fair elections

Past Americas Elections

Bolivia General Election Re-Run: October 18, 2020

Bolivia held 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.

Subsequently, Bolivia held local and regional elections in March and April, 2021. Opposition candidates won the mayoral elections in 8 out of 10 of Bolivia’s biggest cities. These elections happened amid political tension over the arrest of former interim president Jeanine Anez. More

Thomas Graham, Americas Quarterly (May 25, 2022): A New Reality for the MAS in Bolivia: Once hegemonic, the ruling party is now merely dominant. Here’s what that means for the country’s politics

Regional Analysis

AFP (May 27, 2022): Venezuela, Cuba rally after rejection from Los Angeles summit

Arturo Sarukhan, Brookings (May 24, 2022): Why is Mexico’s president snubbing Biden’s invitation to the Summit of the Americas?

Nick Burns, Americas Quarterly (May 23, 2022): How Is Latin America Handling the Inflation Crisis?

Americas Elections Coming Up in 2022 and 2023

Colombia Presidential Election: May 29, 2022

Canada, Ontario Provincial Elections: June 2, 2022

Mexico State and Local Elections in Some States: June 5, 2022

Grenada General Elections: June 23, 2022

Canada, Resort Village Elections in Manitoba: July 22, 2022

Saint Kitts and Nevis Snap Elections: By August 2022

Chile Constitutional Referendum: September 4, 2022

Brazil General Elections (Presidential, Legislative, State, and Local): October 2, 2022

Peru Local and Regional Elections: October 2, 2022

Canada: Local Elections in Ontario: October 24, 2022

Canada: Local Elections in Manitoba: October 26, 2022

Canada: Local Elections in Prince Edward Island: November 7, 2022

Canada: Local Elections in Saskatchewan: November 9, 2022 (Rural Municipalities – even number divisions)

Canada: Local Elections in Northwest Territories: December 12, 2022

Guyana Local Elections: Overdue (date not set yet – preparations being made)

Ecuador Regional Elections: February 5, 2023

Jamaica Local Elections: By February 2023

Grenada General Elections: By March 2023 (due)

Paraguay Presidential and Legislative Elections: April 2023

Guatemala General Elections: June 2023 (expected)

Guatemala General Election Runoffs: August 2023 (expected)

Argentina Presidential and Legislative Elections: October or November 2023 (due)

Antigua and Barbuda General Elections: By 2023

Haiti Presidential and Legislative Elections: Delayed from November 7, 2021, no new date set

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