The other big elections of 2022

The other big elections of 2022

A few days ago we previewed five major elections to watch in 2022. Here are some others we'll be paying close attention to in the months ahead.


South Korea (March). South Korean voters will choose between two very different options to replace Moon Jae-in, the term-limited incumbent. The candidate from the ruling center-left party is Lee Jae-myung, a former civil rights lawyer and governor known as the South Korean Bernie Sanders because he backs a universal basic income. Lee’s rival and center-right hopeful is Yoon Seok-youl, a former prosecutor who helped convict former president Park Geun-hye of abuse of power in 2016.

On foreign policy, Lee wants warmer ties with China, more control over US forces in South Korea, and to play nice with North Korea. For his part, Yoon wants to push back more against China, bolster the US alliance, and deploy US tactical nukes on South Korean soil to deter Pyongyang. Yoon is ahead in the polls, yet not by much. Lee is more experienced and popular with young voters, who could decide the outcome if they turn up in high numbers.

Australia (by May 21). Australians will go to the polls before the end of May. It's a legislative election, so the party that gets a majority of seats in parliament will pick the next prime minister. The approval rating of the current PM, Scott Morrison of the right-leaning Liberal Coalition, is now at its lowest in 18 months due to frustration over one of the world's longest and strictest pandemic lockdowns, which has pummeled Aussie businesses.

Still, the Coalition remains neck-and-neck in the polls with the opposition Labor Party, struggling to capitalize on Morrison's unpopularity. The main campaign issues will likely be climate, but perhaps more COVID and the economy. On foreign policy, both parties want to maintain close ties with the US, support the AUKUS regional military alliance, and have similar views on China — although Labor doesn't want Australia to be in complete lockstep with America as it says Canberra has been under Morrison.

The Philippines (May). Philippine elections have always been deeply polarizing, and next year's will be no different. The current frontrunner in the race to succeed term-limited President Rodrigo Duterte is Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of the late dictator. Marcos, a staunch Duterte ally, has the president's daughter as his running mate, and right now more than half of Filipinos would vote for him.

But Marcos is reviled by other Filipinos, who remember how his strongman dad embezzled up to $10 billion in his 21 years in power (which the Marcoses deny). With boxer-turned senator Manny Pacquiao polling in the single digits, the anti-Duterte and anti-Marcos opposition has pinned all its hopes on VP Leni Robredo, who beat Marcos in the 2016 Veep contest but at the moment is a long shot.

Kenya (August). Although President Uhuru Kenyatta cannot run for a third term, he will loom large over the 2022 election. Last May, the country's top court junked Kenyatta's planned constitutional referendum in order to make Kenyan politics less tribal in exchange for more executive power. The verdict was a big win for William Ruto, Kenyatta's deputy and current presidential frontrunner.

Ruto — the first candidate not from a political family with a shot at winning the top job — is leading the polls over Raila Odinga, the scion of a prominent dynasty and Kenyatta’s former enemy turned ally. Promising to fight both wealth inequality and political dynasties, the president’s number two styles himself as a "hustler" to appeal to the three-quarters of Kenyans aged between 18 and 35. But he needs to get young people to actually show up at the ballot box, and so far the ongoing registration drive isn’t going well.
People working at computers in a room labeled Malware Lab

Microsoft observed destructive malware in systems belonging to several Ukrainian government agencies and organizations that work closely with the Ukrainian government. The Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) published a technical blog post detailing Microsoft’s ongoing investigation and how the security community can detect and defend against this malware. Microsoft shared this information over the weekend to help others in the cybersecurity community look out for and defend against these attacks. To read more visit Microsoft On the Issues.

President Vladimir Putin

No one knows whether Russian President Vladimir Putin plans on invading Ukraine. But the president of the United States sure seems to think this is a real possibility, saying Wednesday that Putin will likely "move in" in the near term. Biden, prone to political gaffes, was then forced to awkwardly walk back comments that Russia would face milder consequences from the West in the event of a "minor incursion."

The timing of this blunder is... not great. It comes just as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken prepares to meet his Russian counterpart on Friday in hopes of lowering the temperature after recent diplomatic efforts in Geneva were deemed a failure by Moscow.

Indeed, with the Kremlin having amassed at least 100,000 troops surrounding Ukraine on three sides, the growing threat is impossible to ignore. So what would a Russian military offensive into Ukraine actually look like, and how might the West respond?

More Show less

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, discusses the Democrats voting bill.

What is the status on the Democrats voting bill?

The Democrats are pushing a bill that would largely nationalize voting rules, which today are largely determined at the state level. The bill would make Election Day a national holiday. It would attempt to end partisan gerrymandering. It would create a uniform number of early voting days and make other reforms that are designed to standardize voting rules and increase access to voting across the country. This matters to Democrats because they think they face an existential risk to their party's political prospects. They're very likely to lose at least the House and probably the Senate this year. And they see voting changes that are being pushed by Republicans at the state level that they say are designed to make it harder to vote, particularly for minorities, a key Democratic constituency.

More Show less

Omicron has arrived. It's more contagious, but less severe. Some parts of the world are even looking forward to the pandemic becoming endemic.

Not China. Xi Jinping's zero-COVID strategy has worked wonders until now, but it's unlikely to survive omicron, explains Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

More Show less

Chilling at the beach, retired German Chancellor Angela Merkel is so over politics. Or is she?

Watch more PUPPET REGIME!

Subscribe to GZERO Media's YouTube channel to get notifications when new videos are published.

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi everybody. Happy Tuesday after the long weekend for those of us that had a long weekend. I thought I would kick us off with the first major foreign policy crisis of the Biden administration. And that is of course, Russia-Ukraine. Afghanistan, of course, was a debacle, but not exactly a global crisis. This of course has the potential to really change the way we think about European security and about US relations with the other major nuclear power in the world. So, I would say that the level of concern is even higher and there are a lot of things we can say.
More Show less
What We’re Watching: Xinjiang at the Beijing Olympics, Boris in deep(er) trouble, Indonesia’s new capital

Selling Xinjiang. Xi Jinping — a man well known for both his grand vision of China’s future, and for his willingness to get large numbers of people to do things they might not otherwise do — said in 2018 that he wanted 300 million Chinese people to participate in winter sports. The Chinese government announced this week that this goal has been met in honor of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, which open in China’s capital on February 4. Multinational companies are consistently impressed by the commercial opportunities created when 300 million people decide to try new things. But it’s an inconvenient truth that most of China’s most abundant snow and best ski slopes are found in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, a place where Western governments and human rights organizations have accused Beijing of imprisoning more than one million minority Uyghurs in re-education camps. In these prisons, critics say inmates have experienced “torture, and inhumane and degrading treatment.” As China’s government opens new profit opportunities in Xinjiang, multinational corporations will face pressure from multiple directions not to invest there.

More Show less
Hard Numbers: Tongan emergency fundraising, EU docks Poland pay, new Colombian presidential hopeful, Turkey gets UAE lifeline

345,000: As of Wednesday afternoon ET, Tonga's Olympic flag-bearer has raised more than $345,000 online to help the victims of Saturday's volcanic eruption and tsunami. Pita Taufatofua, a taekwondo fighter and cross-country skier, has not yet heard from his father, governor of the main Tongan island of Haapai.

More Show less

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter, Signal

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter: Signal

China vs COVID in 2022

GZERO World Clips

COVID at the Beijing Winter Olympics

GZERO World Clips

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter: Signal