Five elections, among them India’s, poised to influence the global order of 2024

Could Modi secure a third term in office? Will Donald Trump stage a comeback? Is there a challenger to Vladimir Putin in Russia?

With numerous countries heading to the polls in 2024, including Pakistan, and approximately 30 nations selecting their leaders, here are five pivotal elections to monitor:

Modi’s Bid for Continued Influence
During April-May, nearly one billion Indians will cast their votes in what is set to be a significant election for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his nationalist BJP party as they seek a third term. Modi’s political trajectory and achievements have been rooted in the support of India’s one-billion-plus Hindu population, while critics accuse him of fueling animosity toward the country’s substantial Muslim minority. Despite criticism of curbing civil liberties, he enters the election as the frontrunner, with his supporters attributing India’s enhanced global standing to his leadership.

Trump-Biden Rematch on the Horizon?
On November 5, millions of Americans will participate in a presidential election that could potentially extend incumbent Joe Biden’s tenure until the age of 86. Opinion polls consistently suggest concerns among voters about the age of the gaffe-prone Democrat, although his likely opponent, former President Donald Trump, at 77, faces similar criticisms. Disinformation is expected to feature prominently in the campaign, reminiscent of the acrimonious prior election that culminated in Trump supporters storming the US Capitol. Trump holds a clear advantage in the Republican Party nomination race, notwithstanding numerous pending legal cases against him.

Putin’s Quest for an Extended Rule
Russian President Vladimir Putin, buoyed by his military’s success in maintaining control in Ukraine amid a two-year conflict, aims to prolong his 24-year tenure by an additional six years in the March elections. Having declared his intention to pursue a fifth term on December 8, this move could potentially see him in power until 2030. Putin secured a constitutional amendment in 2020, theoretically allowing him to stay in office until 2036, surpassing the duration of Joseph Stalin’s rule. With dissenters and opponents suppressed amid the Ukraine conflict, there appears to be minimal opposition to his prolonged rule, with prominent critic Alexei Navalny currently serving a lengthy prison sentence.

EU Election as a Populist Litmus Test
The European Parliament election in June, involving over 400 million eligible voters, will serve as a barometer for the support of right-wing populists. This election follows recent victories for anti-EU parties such as Geert Wilders’ PVV Freedom Party in the Netherlands and Giorgia Meloni’s far-right Brothers of Italy. However, Brussels can find encouragement in Poland’s election, with former European Council president Donald Tusk’s return to power on a pro-EU platform.

Historical Moment in Mexican Politics?
In June, Mexico could witness history with the potential election of its first female president. Claudia Sheinbaum, a leftist former mayor of Mexico City, represents the Morena party of outgoing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. She faces competition from Xochitl Galvez, a businesswoman with Indigenous roots, representing the opposition coalition Broad Front for Mexico. Both candidates aspire to break the tradition of male-dominated leadership in the country.

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