Fall Election Preview

People from all over the globe will be casting ballots this fall that could result in some interesting faces entering (and leaving!) the world stage.

GREECE – September 20

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras greets supporters during a rally. AFP.

Could this be it for Alexis Tsipras? After a turbulent summer of negotiations with creditors, the Greek Prime Minister is seeking a new mandate from his people. However, his path to reelection is far from clear. 43 of SYRIZA’s 149 MPs either opposed or abstained during the vote over the most recent bailout and New Democracy, the leading opposition party, was leading in a recent University of Macedonia poll.

 

CANADA – October 19

New Democracy Party candidate Thomas Mulcair gives a speech. Reuters.

With their neighbors to the south preoccupied with Trumpmania, Canadians have been experiencing their own election drama. There are three main parties vying for seats in the Parliament: the Conservatives, the New Democrats, and the Liberals. Recent polling has the three parties within 5% of each other.

The results of the election could shake up relations with the United States. If the currently-leading NDP ends up winning, their candidate, former Quebec Environment Minister Thomas Mulcair, would likely be the new Prime Minister. He has taken a tough line on Canadian agriculture, which could jeopardize the the Trans Pacific Partnership, and is against the Keystone XL pipeline.

TURKEY – November 1

Selahattin Demirtas, leader of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Part (HDP) waves before a rally. AFP.

After failing to retain their parliamentary majority in June elections, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) spent most of the summer locked in negotiations with the opposition. When talks broke down in late August, another set of snap elections was called for November.

Since the June election, much has changed. After a spike in violence over the summer, Turkey decided to join the American-led coalition against the Islamic State. This proved to be a contentious move, as the Turkish government began attacking Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) positions in Turkey and Iraq as well as those of Islamic State. As a result, the PKK has resumed attacks against the Turkish military and police and the peace process between the two sides has broken down. How these events will affect the outcome of the election is at this point very much an open question.

MYANMAR – November 8

National League of Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi attends a pro-democracy rally in 2012. AFP.

Myanmar is set to hold free national elections later this year. To be clear, Myanmar is still far from being a paragon of democracy; the military, which drafted the constitution, receives a mandated 25% of the seats in government, and President Thein Stein, like most of the senior members of his government, is ex-military. However, there is reason for cautious optimism. The military has passed significant reforms since 2011 and this will be the first multi-party election since 1990. The reform-minded National League for Democracy, led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung Sun Suu Kyi, will have a chance to build off of its strong showing in 2012 by-elections. Though Suu Kyi is barred from becoming president, she has announced she is running for parliament.

VENEZUELA – December 6

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro leads a rally. Mision Verdad.

Venezuela is facing serious challenges. A deep recession and a backwards foreign currency exchange regime has caused shortages of basic goods across the country. In addition to the economic challenges, incumbent President Nicolas Maduro is facing a growing protest movement and tensions along the border with Colombia. Toting a cool 24.3% approval rating, his standing will do little to boost his PSUV party in the election.

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