Almost Half Of The World's Population Will Be Called To The Polls In 2024

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.31 - 2023 9:23 AM CET

2024 will be a huge election year where nearly half of the world population will be called to the polls.

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In 2024, nearly half of the world's population, approximately 49% according to AFP calculations, will be called to the polls. About 30 countries, will elect their presidents, while parliamentary elections are scheduled in roughly 20 countries.

These elections will take place in a turbulent international context, with the Russian-Ukrainian conflict entering its third year of hostilities and the ongoing war between Hamas and Israel.

Observers note that these elections will also be subject to the risk of misinformation and manipulation through artificial intelligence (AI), to varying degrees depending on the country.

United States - A Rematch?

On November 5, 2024, tens of millions of Americans will vote to designate "electors" responsible for choosing the White House occupant. This 60th U.S. presidential election, one of the most contested, is likely to have a sense of déjà vu, with a potential rematch of the 2020 competition between current Democratic President Joe Biden, aged 81, and his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump, now 77. The potential clash of veterans will be closely analyzed following the controversies and false information surrounding the 2020 presidential elections. Trump has never acknowledged his defeat, and a number of Americans believe their vote was "stolen."

Additionally, Congress approved the official opening of an impeachment investigation against Biden on December 14, motivated by his son's controversial foreign dealings, which has virtually no chance of success.

Russia - Opposition Silenced

Unsurprisingly, Vladimir Putin announced on December 8 his candidacy for his own succession in the March presidential elections. The man who has led Russia for 23 years amended the Constitution in 2020, allowing him to remain in power until 2036, surpassing Joseph Stalin in terms of longevity at the Kremlin.

In recent years, the Russian opposition and civil society have been silenced against the backdrop of the conflict in Ukraine: key political opponents are either exiled or incarcerated, like Alexei Navalny, the Kremlin's number one enemy, recently taken to the Arctic without his family's knowledge. Others have died or been physically silenced.

India - Nearly a Billion Voters

Approximately 945 million Indians are called to the polls in May for the general elections in this country, which in 2023 became the world's most populous, ahead of China.

BJP, the party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in power since 2014, is expected to win the election, with its nationalism appealing to the Hindu majority. These elections will take place as political rights and civil liberties are declining, according to the NGO Freedom House. Led by Rahul Gandhi, the once-dominant but now weakened Congress Party has tried to form a grand coalition with disparate regional opposition parties to challenge Modi.

EU - A Transnational Giant Election

Over 400 million voters from 27 European countries will designate their 720 MEPs in early June, in a massive transnational election. This could be marked by a new surge of eurosceptic forces, as demonstrated by the triumph of the far-right, Islamophobic PVV party in the Dutch parliamentary elections.

These elections will take place at a time when immigration is a hotly debated topic in several EU countries, and Europeans' wallets have been strongly affected by inflation.

Mexico - A Feminine Shock

A woman could become president of Mexico for the first time in June, an important symbol in a country that records thousands of female victim crimes each year. Two women are favorites to succeed Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador: Claudia Sheinbaum, former mayor of Mexico City, from the ruling left-wing Morena party, with a considerable lead in the polls, and Senator Xochitl Galvez, from the opposition Front, which groups three opposition parties.

Iran - The Shadow of Mahsa Amini

Parliamentary elections will take place on March 1 in Iran, 18 months after the death of Mahsa Amini. The death of this young Kurdish woman, after being stopped by police for wearing an inappropriate veil, triggered months of massive demonstrations against political and religious leaders, a movement that was harshly repressed, with hundreds of deaths and thousands of arrests.

The previous elections in 2020 were marked by the mass disqualification of reformist and moderate candidates, effectively reducing the elections to a competition between conservatives and ultraconservatives.

Senegal - Elections Under Tension

While 12 presidential elections are scheduled for 2024 in Africa, which has seen eight coups in three years, the elections in Senegal, scheduled for February 25, could be full of tensions.

President Macky Sall, in power since 2012, appointed his Prime Minister Amadou Ba as his camp's candidate in September, a choice that has been contested domestically. In opposition, the candidacy of Ousmane Sonko, who came third in the 2019 presidential elections, is still in the air. On December 14, the Senegalese judiciary ordered his reinstatement on the electoral lists, a new twist in the legal battle between him

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