But democracy is not limited to voting
According to our calculations, 76 countries are expected to hold elections in which all voters will have the opportunity to vote in 2024. Of the 71 countries covered by EIUAccording to the Democracy Index, 43 of them will benefit from fully free and fair votes (including 27 EU members); the other 28 do not meet the essential conditions for a democratic vote. Eight of the world’s ten most populous countries – Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia and the United States – will hold elections in 2024. In half of them them, the elections will not be free and fair and many other preconditions will be met. of democracy, such as freedom of expression and association, are absent. It is almost certain that elections in Bangladesh, Mexico, Pakistan (all hybrid regimes, which combine elements of democracy and authoritarianism) and Russia (an authoritarian regime) will not result in regime change.
Brazil, India, Indonesia and the United States, on the other hand, are ranked by EIU as “imperfect democracies”, meaning that elections are free, fair and allow for change, but their political systems have weaknesses. In February, in Indonesia, the most populous country in Southeast Asia, the center-left party PDI-P is likely to win the legislative and presidential elections. In India in May, Narendra Modi’s decision BJP, the world’s largest political party with more than 180 million members, is likely to win despite rising anti-incumbent sentiment. And in Brazil, October’s municipal elections will reveal whether President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s left-wing Workers’ Party can make gains at the expense of the right-wing Liberal Party, which dominates Congress and is backed by his right-wing predecessor. Lula. Jair Bolsonaro.
Then, in November, American voters will elect their next president, along with the entire House of Representatives and a third of the Senate. Among the five aspects of democracy that EIU measures – electoral process and pluralism; functioning of government; political participation; political culture; and civil liberties – America’s lowest score is on political culture. President Joe Biden will likely face Republican front-runner Donald Trump as he did in 2020.
It’s not just the biggest elections that will capture the world’s attention: Taiwan’s vote in January will shape the island’s relationship with China at a critical time for the would-be independent island, home to 24 million people. residents. The pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party will likely retain control of the presidency and legislature.
The two continents that will have the highest number of voting countries in 2024 are Europe (37) and Africa (18), although they could hardly be further apart in the index of democracy. The Middle East and North Africa is the region with the lowest overall score (3.3), while sub-Saharan Africa fares little better (4.1). African countries with more than 330 million people, including Algeria, Ghana and Mozambique, will hold elections. The largest will be in South Africa, where more than 60 million people live. A divided and weak opposition means that, despite a series of corruption scandals, the ruling African National Congress is almost certain to win again.
Western Europe, on the other hand, scores high on this index with an average of 8.4. The European elections in June will put the issue of migration center stage. THE EU is on track to receive more than a million asylum applications this year, a record since the 2015-2016 wave of arrivals. Many European politicians and voters see the influx of migrants as a threat, despite a growing shortage of workers. The elections could shift Parliament to the right, with voters opting for parties calling for tighter immigration controls.
And there is an election planned in Europe which, if it takes place, will be as much an act of defiance as an act of democracy. Ukraine must elect a president in 2024. Volodymyr Zelensky, the outgoing president, does not rule out holding the vote, although the country is subject to martial law, which prohibits it. Any election that takes place while large parts of the country are under foreign occupation and millions of Ukrainians are still displaced from their homes can never be truly free or fair. A successful vote, if possible, would be a show of resistance to Russian attempts to crush Ukraine’s independence. But a botched decision could undermine Ukraine’s efforts to be recognized as a democracy. ■
Sources: EIU; UN; V-dem 4; The Economist