The Pivotal Elections of 2024: Key Races That Will Shape the Global Landscape

Outcome of some votes could have implications for U.S. foreign policy and security. Publication Type: Analysis and Commentary Around 2 billion people in more than 50 countries , including India, Chad, Mexico and South Africa, will go to the polls this year in what has been described as the Super Bowl of elections. From major democracies to emerging nations, the outcomes of these votes will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping the future trajectory of countries around the world. While some elections could produce conflict, most will take place under the threat of disruption — all of this will have serious implications for U.S. foreign policy and security. The Democratic Progressive Party’s Lai Ching-te, center, was elected the next president of Taiwan on January 13, 2024. Tensions over the island’s status are likely to strain U.S.-China relations. (Lam Yik Fei/The New York Times) In some countries, violent extremist organizations will seek to exploit the political leaders’ focus on election campaigns to escalate violence, while in others fluid election timelines will further complicate the political landscape producing conflict. “By definition, elections are a time of unpredictability, which can tilt in the favor of entities that seek to cause disruption, fear or terror,” said Susan Stigant, director of Africa Programs at USIP. Already this year noteworthy elections have taken place in Bangladesh and Taiwan. In Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina won a fourth term in an election that was boycotted by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, the country’s main opposition party. In Taiwan, voters handed the ruling Democratic Progressive Party a historic third term as pro-sovereignty candidate Lai Ching-te was elected the island nation’s next president on January 13. Ahead of the vote, China, which seeks to unify Taiwan with China, by force if necessary, had described Lai as a “troublemaker” […]

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By Donato