IANS

As 2023 draws to a close, the world is gearing up to the host of elections that are slated to be held in various countries in the coming year. As many as 70 elections across 40 countries will take place in 2024, and their global implications are looked out for to anticipate the course of the coming decade.

In what will be the greatest election year in history, close to half of the world’s population will be affected by the electoral events in 2024. This indicates that certain policy changes may be expected, as well as have bearing on geopolitical dynamics between nations that will shape the world order.

Among countries going to polls will be 15 African nations, 9 American nations, 11 Asian nations, 22 European nations, and 4 countries in Ocenia. Besides, the European Union and United Nations Security Council elections will also be held - one election each for Africa, one for the Asia-Pacific Group, one for Latin America and the Caribbean, and two for the Western European and others group.

However, it is going to be four major elections that will be most keenly watched for the impact it will have internationally. These are the four largest political entities in the world housing nearly 2.3 billion people and having a GDP of approximately $42 trillion.

Russia will hold presidential polls in March to select a ruler to reign till 2030. Between April and May, India will have its general elections for a government that will lead the country till 2029. In June and July, the European Union will hold bloc-wide elections that will result in a new European Commission. The US will also hold the biannual legislative elections and presidential elections in November.

Additionally, Taiwan’s presidential election scheduled for January 2024 is also keenly observed in the wake of strained China-Tiwan relations. China is pivotal to Taiwanese elections as candidates align with pro-nationalist or mainland-leaning positions.

If the opposition wins, tensions between Taiwan and China could be eased in the short run, economic integration across Taiwan Strait being a possibility. However, the long-term concern about Taiwan’s future will remain unresolved.

In Europe, besides the election of a new EU Commission following the parliamentary election, elections will also take place in former member, the UK, where the indications are that the Conservatives are likely to lose power after leading the government for 14 years. It is expected that the electoral dynamics in one country will have knock-on impacts elsewhere, resulting in economic difficulties.

Also, notwithstanding issues such as climate, tech regulation and energy, protectionism will likely continue. The EU budget will be under pressure and affect spending policies on agriculture, structural funds and defence. Further, Ukraine will remain an issue.

India and world eagerly look forward to the Lok Sabha elections when nearly one billion Indians will cast their vote as the Narendra Modi-led BJP government seeks to return to power in its third consecutive term.

The next Modi government would expectedly keep up with its business-friendly reforms and will continue to pursue greater influence internationally while remaining neutral on certain issues such as the Russia-Ukraine war. However, internationally, Modi’s image may be affected by the Hindu nationalism of his BJP.

The American election is watched for the impact on western unity and for their policy on the Middle East and Russia.

In Russia, President Vladimir Putin may be inclined for his fifth presidential term, after 23 years in power as President and Prime Minister in elections that will be held in March (with a run-off in April, if needed) and will coincide with Ukraine’s presidential election.

The Russian elections may not throw up any surprises as any credible alternative to Putin is largely absent but the electoral dynamics, including protests, may indicate the mood of the people amid conflict and sanctions.

Celebrating the spirit of democracy, Mexico might get its first woman President in the June elections, creating history in Mexico’s male-dominated political landscape. Former Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum is running on behalf of outgoing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's Morena party.

(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)

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