2024 is an election year: half the world's population goes to the polls

2024 is an election year: half the world's population goes to the polls

Some 3.7 billion people will be allowed to vote in 70 countries in 2024. Never before have so many people had the opportunity to make their voices heard in one year.

Elections are held in the largest and most populous country in the world. For example, more than 900 million Indians in India can go to the polls, about 130 million Mexicans can vote in June, there seems to be a good chance that Putin will win again in Russia, and Trump is looking to return to America. He. She American newspaper time All electoral countries and populations are included.

Multiple elections will have global consequences, Krieger says. “In January, we will immediately have to deal with something very important.”

Taiwan: a question of two superpowers

With the presidential elections in Taiwan, 2024 immediately begins with great tension. Krieger asserts that the outcome will have a significant impact on Taiwan's relationship with China, but not only that. He added: “Ultimately, Taiwan is the main issue for the two superpowers America and China. So it also has a special impact on that relationship.”

On January 13, Taiwanese can choose between the Kuomintang, the party that wants to improve relations with China, and the currently ruling party, the Democratic Progressive Party. He added, “The latter leads to more confrontation, and therefore the victory of that party poses a greater danger.”

Keep our “safety pants” on ourselves

Tensions over Taiwan may increase further at the end of next year due to elections in America. Krieger says that if the incumbent Taiwanese party wins and seeks to distance itself from China, a visit by an American leader to Taiwan could have dire consequences. It is believed that there is a realistic chance that Trump will win the US elections. “And I see Trump traveling to Taipei.”

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These tensions also affect the business world. “Think about the high-tech sector: we have to be alert to that.” So Krieger also warns Dutch companies: “Don't just prepare financial or business scenarios, but also think about geopolitical scenarios. What if China invades Taiwan?” This way, as a company, you can act quickly if things go wrong in a country like Taiwan.

Krieger believes the Dutch government could also work harder in such scenarios. Ultimately, a Trump victory also means that we will have to rely on less American support for Ukraine. “The Americans will then force the Europeans to take the initiative, both in terms of financial and military support,” Krieger says.

Han Ten Broek, director of the Hague Center for Strategic Studies (HCSS), agrees. “The Americans will no longer save Europe, especially under Trump.” This means that we have to keep our “security pants” on in both Gaza and Ukraine. “Perhaps Europe should double its support for Ukraine.” The Netherlands must also realize this, Krieger warns. “So let's look beyond our dams and dunes.”

India is an economic giant

Before Krieger expands on the European parliamentary elections, he emphasizes the importance of the Indian elections: “India is the largest democracy in the world and a huge emerging economic giant.” This year, the Indian economy has grown by at least 6-7 per cent.

India is also the leader of the Global South, which is the countries of the African, Latin American and Asian regions, and will eventually become the third largest economy in the world. “After that, a great power will be added alongside China and the United States,” he added. Dutch companies must also take this into account.

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Current Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to win the elections next spring. He remains very popular with the masses, despite growing criticism of his authoritarian policies

European winds to the right

In the European Parliament elections scheduled for early June, the results of the elections remain very uncertain. “The big question is whether we will also feel the right-wing populist winds blowing against the West in the European Parliament?” Krieger points to the Netherlands itself, where right-wing populism recently triumphed with Wilders.

Krieger believes that the realistic scenario is that the European Parliament is already moving to the right. Ten Brooke agrees. He added: “The populist rhetoric is successful when it comes to immigration, which is a major issue in these elections. They promise to stop refugees, and this rhetoric has succeeded.”

But there is also another key point that nearly 500 million Europeans will take into account this summer, says ten Broek. “These elections are a kind of referendum to choose between more or less European support for Ukraine.”

Whatever the outcome, Krieger concludes, a victory for right-wing populism would weaken European climate policy. Ultimately, the parties should get very little of it.

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