26
Dec

Ten Elections to Watch in 2014

Written on December 26, 2013 by Waya Quiviger in Democracy & Human Rights

Voters line up in queue outside polling booth to cast vote during state assembly election in New Delhi

Two thousand and thirteen won’t go down in the history books as a banner year for globally significant elections. True, the election of Hassan Rouhani changed the tone in Tehran and possibly opened the door to a lasting diplomatic solution to the confrontation over Iran’s nuclear program. But the outcome of most of the elections held in 2013—and there were a lot of them—mattered primarily to the people who cast the ballots. In contrast, 2014 is shaping up as a year in which the choices voters make could reverberate well beyond their country’s borders. So for those of you eager to peer ahead, here are ten elections to watch for in 2014.

 

1. Afghanistan’s presidential election on Saturday, April 5. There is no shortage of reasons to be concerned about Afghanistan’s presidential election. Despite attempts to reform the electoral system after the 2009 election, the 2014 elections are likely to be plagued by corruption, lack of security, and voter fraud. President Hamid Karzai is constitutionally prevented from running for a third term. Who is likely to succeed him is unclear. The Independent Election Commission has disqualified sixteen of twenty-seven nominated candidates, leaving eleven on the approved candidate list. Potential frontrunners include 2009 candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai as well as Hamid Karzai’s older brother Qayum. However, the field remains wide open and includes several influential warlords. With international forces scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of next year and Taliban forces still powerful in many parts of the country, the new president faces a difficult future.

 

2. Iraq’s parliamentary election on Wednesday, April 30. Iraq’s democracy may not be exemplary, but it continues to plug along in the face deep political and sectarian divisions. Incumbent prime minister Nouri al-Maliki has his eyes set on a third term. That is a possibility now that the Iraqi Supreme Court has overturned a law that limited him to two. The bad news for Maliki is that the 2013 provincial elections didn’t go well for his coalition, State of Law. It now controls fewer than half of the provinces with Shiite majorities. Maliki has one thing going for him, however. Rival parties may decide that seeing him continue as prime minister is preferable to opting for a political transition that could increase instability. Sectarian violence is surging in Iraq to levels not seen since 2006-2007 before the U.S. “surge.” The future of Iraqi democracy will likely depend on whether Iraq’s leaders can check the actions of extremists on both sides of the country’s sectarian divide. Read more…

by James M. Lindsay

Published on December 10, 2013 in http://blogs.cfr.org

Comments

Burruel…

Two thousand and thirteen won’t go down in the history books as a banner year for globally significant elections. True, the election of Hassan Rouhani…

Eberline…

Two thousand and thirteen won’t go down in the history books as a banner year for globally significant elections. True, the election of Hassan Rouhani…

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