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2024: The ‘Super Bowl of Democracy’ with 40 Global Elections Announced

지구촌 내년 전례없는 '투표 축제'…전세계 40개국서 전국 단위 선거 치른다

In 2024, national elections will be held in 40 countries worldwide. This is a record-breaking number, leading some to dub it the ‘Super Bowl of Democracy,’ referencing the biggest sports event in the U.S.

On the 17th, as The Guardian (local time) reported, 40 elections are set to take place, spanning from the Taiwan presidential election scheduled for January next year to the U.S. presidential election in November.

The 40 countries holding elections account for 41% of the world’s population and 42% of global GDP.

The Guardian has referred to 2024 as the “Democracy’s Super Bowl,” describing it as an “unprecedented vote-fest.”

However, The Guardian pointed out that the voting festival becomes meaningless as traditional liberal democracy is under threat from dictators like China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, far-right nationalist parties in Hungary, coup plotters in Venezuela and Chad, and Islamic militants.

Iran is slated to hold general elections on March 1st next year, marking four years since 2020. However, it’s worth noting that over 25% of opposition candidates have already been disqualified. This has raised expectations of a significant voter boycott, posing challenges to the prospect of unseating hardline conservative clerics who enforce hijab-wearing mandates.

The same goes for Russia, where President Putin has announced his re-election bid. Putin has already removed many of his political opponents, and this election is essentially his “coronation,” according to The Guardian.

In some countries, elections could have significant ripple effects.

India, the world’s most populous democratic nation, is preparing for general elections next spring. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking a third term, although he could face formidable opposition from the coalition of 28 parties known as the Indian National Development Alliance (INDIA).

The Guardian explained, “Modi’s defeat could cause strategic ripples, damaging U.S. plans to draw India as an ally and counterweight to China.”

Next year’s election in South Africa could potentially end the 30-year reign of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), which Nelson Mandela, the father of South African democracy, once led.

Currently, South Africa is suffering from the worst power shortage in history, with about 6 hours of power cuts per day, various corruption and high unemployment rates and crime rates, and the public’s anger towards the ANC has reached its peak.

Next year, in addition to South Africa, elections are scheduled in several African nations, including Algeria, Tunisia, Ghana, Rwanda, Namibia, Mozambique, Senegal, Togo, and South Sudan.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, currently engaged in a conflict with Russia, is set to conclude his five-year term next year. However, it’s important to note that all election procedures are currently suspended due to the imposition of martial law.

However, The Guardian believes that “elections, which play a role in relieving internal tension and public discontent, will still be valuable despite Russian bombing.”

In Israel, which is at war with Hamas, there are no scheduled elections for next year. Still, there are growing demands for an election due to dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s failure to respond correctly.

In Europe, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, and Finland are all gearing up for elections. Additionally, elections for the European Parliament, the legislative body of the European Union (EU), are on the agenda in June.

Especially with the recent resurgence of large-scale refugee migrations, there are concerns that far-right parties advocating nationalism, anti-immigration, and xenophobia could take power in these countries, as in Italy and Slovakia.

The election that is undoubtedly attracting global attention is the U.S. presidential election in November next year.

The upcoming election is anticipated to be a fierce showdown between President Joe Biden, who is running for re-election, and former President Donald Trump, who maintains substantial backing within the Republican Party despite facing various legal challenges.

The Guardian warned that “Trump’s election could permanently shake the international order and tip the balance towards authoritarianism and dictatorship. If the U.S. does not fight for this, democracy will inevitably wither and die.”

By. Jeong Wook Kim

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