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Election Watch

2024 is the ‘Voldemort’ of election years, says Ian Bremmer
2024 is the ‘Voldemort’ of election years, says Ian Bremmer | Global Stage

Critical elections are occurring across the globe this year, with a record number of people — roughly half the global population — set to head to the polls in dozens of countries.

During a Global Stage panel at the Munich Security Conference, Eurasia Group Founder and President Ian Bremmer described 2024 as the “Voldemort of election years.”

“Voldemort is the name that should not be spoken in the ‘Harry Potter’ series … This is the year that people have been very concerned about but have kind of hoped that they could push off,” says Bremmer. This is not just because there are so many elections occurring amid historic levels of distrust in key institutions, but also because the United States — the most powerful country in the world — is also “one of the most politically dysfunctional,” he explains.

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A cleric who supports the Islamic Republic and the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is sitting next to an Iranian flag during a rally to mark the 45th anniversary of the victory of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution on Azadi (Freedom) Avenue in western Tehran, Iran, on February 11, 2024.

Morteza Nikoubazl via Reuters Connect

Campaigning for Iran’s legislative election officially got underway on Thursday, with over 15,000 candidates vying for a seat. But will ordinary folks bother going to the polls on March 1?

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Paige Fusco

Former President Donald Trump was the first major candidate to launch his campaign for the 2024 presidential election cycle – on Nov. 15, 2022, roughly two years before Election Day. The US puts no limits on the length of campaigns, which leaves the door open for massive amounts of campaign spending and has the potential to leave voters exhausted by the time they head to the polls.

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President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa attends the second day of the 37th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union at the African Union.

REUTERS/Stringer
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that his country will hold a general election on May 29. Ramaphosa’s party, the African National Congress, is at risk of losing its parliamentary majority after ruling since post-Apartheid elections began in 1994.
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Imran Khan: “The Poster Boy for Populism"
Imran Khan: “The Poster Boy for Populism" | Global Stage

Weeks after a chaotic general election, Pakistan’s political parties still struggle to form a coalition to move the country forward. GZERO’s Tony Maciulis sat down with Pakistan’s former Foreign Minister Hina Khar at the Munich Security Conference for her take on how the nation’s imprisoned ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan maintains a hold over supporters and remains a powerful political force.

Independent candidates mostly aligned with Khan’s political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), won the most votes on February 8, though they fell short of a majority, setting off a power struggle between Khan and his political rival, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Comparing Khan to former US President Donald Trump and India’s leader Narendra Modi, Khar said, “He really represents what populist leaders are all about. He’s able to get everybody to rally around what all is wrong and the great injustices. However, when he comes to power, he doesn’t have any to plan to sort it out.”

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U.S. President Joe Biden removes his sunglasses before speaking to members of the news media before boarding Marine One for travel to California from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., February 20, 2024.

REUTERS/Leah Millis

Were President Joe Biden to win reelection this November, he’d be 86 years old when finishing his second term. That’s part of why a startling 86% of Americans tell pollsters he’s too old to serve again.

But 86 is only one Biden number of note. Another is 130 million. That’s the total number of dollars his campaign has raised to date after raking in $42 million in the month of January alone. In fact, Biden’s $130 million haul is the most any Democrat has ever raised to this point in a campaign. (Donald Trump ended 2023 with $66 million and hasn’t yet reported January totals. He also has a few legal bills to pay.)

That’s why, whatever his popularity numbers, despite the flood of recent stories about possible Democratic Party alternatives to Biden, and whatever embarrassments next week’s Michigan primary may hold in store for a president whose firm support for Israel has angered much of that state’s sizeable Arab-American population, Biden won’t be easy to beat.

It’s also another reason we hold to our view that the only presidential polling questions that really matter are: Will you vote? Who will you vote for?

FILE PHOTO: El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele speaks during the inauguration of the 3 de Febrero hydroelectric power plant in San Luis de La Reina, El Salvador October 19, 2023.

REUTERS/Jose Cabezas/File Photo

The authoritarian world’s hottest young thing – Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele – has won a Congressional supermajority.

Bukele, who won a landslide reelection last month, will control a staggering 54 of 60 seats in the Central American country’s legislature, empowering him to do … whatever he likes.

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