2023 will be the year that will shape global politics for the next decade
Last year was a big year in terms of world politics, especially thanks to the US midterm congressional elections in November. But 2023 is also a critical year for elections, and the international market is already turning to a range of high-profile polls in so-called ‘middle power’ countries around the world, including Turkiye, Thailand, Poland and Pakistan.
Middle powers are states such as Australia, Argentina, Italy, and Indonesia, which are not great powers in the US tradition, but enjoy great influence and international recognition. In the next 12 months, various important elections will take place in such countries.
For example, in the Asia-Pacific region, national elections are scheduled in Bangladesh, Thailand, Pakistan, Myanmar, and Cambodia.
In Pakistan, former Prime Minister Imran Khan has embarked on a risky attempt to force the government into the next general elections, which are scheduled to take place sooner than planned, around early October. His move threatens to plunge Pakistan, which has a population of about 230 million and is already suffering from a financial crisis, deeper into political turmoil.
Meanwhile, this year’s elections in Myanmar will be the first since the February 2021 coup to oust democratically elected members of the country’s ruling National League for Democracy, including President Win Myint. Since then, under a state of emergency imposed by Acting President Min Swe for up to two years, the military has controlled the country and its population of about 55 million. The election date has not yet been set.
So while significant political change may be on the horizon in Myanmar, such a scenario would be a highly unlikely outcome for Cambodia’s 18 million people, who will hold general elections in July. It seems that. Longtime leader Hun Sen, who has served as prime minister of the country and its predecessor states for almost 40 years, is believed to be seeking another term.
When Thailand, a population of 70 million, goes to vote in May, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha will seek another term to lead Thailand’s newly formed Unity Party. Although he came to power as Secretary of War in his 2014 coup and won controversial elections in 2019 to cement the position, his popularity has languished.
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is another leader who appears to be seeking a new mandate. She wants success in further votes for the Awami League, which has a population of about 165 million, and the date for her next general election is set for her January 2024. She has won international acclaim for resettling hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar. , her government has been increasingly criticized for what it perceives as an authoritarian rule.
The expected outcome of high-profile elections is not clear. What we can say with certainty is that they will collectively shape not just domestic politics and international relations, but the global economic and financial landscape well into the 2020s and potentially beyond. .
India’s hosting of the G20 summit is another reason why much of the world is turning to the Asia-Pacific region this year for political reasons. The timing, ahead of India’s own general elections in 2024, could help Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reputation as a leader of international prestige in a country of over a billion people.
Political activity this year is not limited to Asia Pacific. One of his most notable elections took place in June in Turkiye, a country with a population of about 85 million, from the election of Recep Tayyip Erdogan as prime minister in 2003 until he became prime minister. could mark the end of his 20-year ‘Erdogan era’. Presidency.
Other key ballots for 2023 include the Nigerian general election in February, and national elections in Spain (December) and Poland (due in the fall).
In Nigeria, the so-called “African giant” with a population of about 220 million, incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari has a term limit and cannot seek re-election.
In Spain, the EU’s fourth largest economy and a major G20 state with a population of about 50 million, socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is seeking a new term. But he faces a strong challenge from the revived centre-right People’s Party, which is eager to return to power.
With a population of around 40 million people, voting in Poland is largely shaped by the war in Ukraine. But another notable aspect of the election is the attempt to restore former EU Council President Donald Tusk to parliament.
Looking to the Americas, the standout elections are Argentina’s presidential and parliamentary elections in October. President Alberto Fernandez is eligible for his second term, but his popularity has waned and his ruling coalition suffered a crushing defeat in midterm parliamentary elections in the country of 45 million people.
The expected outcome of all these high-profile elections is not clear. What we can say with certainty is that they will collectively shape not just domestic politics and international relations, but the global economic and financial landscape well into the 2020s and potentially beyond. .
- Andrew Hammond is an Associate at LSE IDEAS at the London School of Economics.
Disclaimer: The views expressed by the writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Arab News