At least 90 elections are scheduled in 2020 – all of them set to challenge the status quo either at the local or at the national and even the international level. While we still expect some surprises and un-scheduled elections to be held particularly in the second half of the year, almost all the elections have been set with some waiting for the specific dates to be finalized.
Conceptually, all elections are equal. However, there are a few that stands out. TheVote.Net lists the ten that are rather interesting because of the context that surrounds them.
- The Taiwan Presidential Elections — 11 January.
China has been asserting her hegemony in the South China Sea and more so in the areas like Taiwan and Hong Kong. The Taiwan elections, however, will serve as a litmus test if the Taiwanese indeed wants to be a part of the mainland China. Beijing Han Kuo-Yu of the Kuomintang Party (KMT) against incumbent president Tsai Ing-Wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Beijing warned that if Tsai is reelected, Taiwan will lose all of its diplomatic allies – currently composed of 16 countries.
2. Hongkong Legislative Council elections — September.
Though still uncertain if the elections will push through due to the continuing civil and political unrest, the legislative council elections will also serve as a litmus test of Beijing’s power over the former British colony. The unrest stemmed from the passage of the controversial extraditions bill that would allow extraditions to mainland China. The bill became a trigger for a series of protests some of which are aimed at cutting ties with Being and setting up an independent Hong Kong.
3. Peru’s Parliamentary Elections – 26 January.
In September last year, Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra dissolved the parliament over the issue of appointing judges to Peru’s Constitutional Tribunal. The Parliament countered and swore to office Vice President Mercedes Aráoz as a replacement of Vizcarra. On October 1, announced that the armed forces and national police are backing Vizcarra forcing Aráoz to resign. Protests were also held in support of Vizcarra’s announcement to dissolve the Congress. Will the members of the previous Congress be able to come back? That will be answered by the results this elections this January.
4. Bolivian Presidential Elections – 3 May.
The 2019 Bolivian Presidential elections was marred by irregularities that a series of protests were held. This led to the resignation of the reelected Bolivian President, Evo Morales, and a number of high ranking government officials. An interim government was organized and a new election was set to fill-in the position of the President and Vice President this May. Will history repeat itself? Or will this year’s election signify the start of new politics in the country?
5. Myanmar’s General Election – November.
In the 2015 elections, Myanmar’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi, won a seat in the parliament. However, because she is barred by the country’s constitution to run for President, she was made “State Counselor”, a new position with a wide range of powers. This was considered a political maneuver by her party, the National League for Democracy (NLP) Party. Unfortunately, Suu Kyi failed to handle her powers well disappointing a number of people from within and outside the country. Apart from curbing ethnic violence and improving the country’s economy, she also created a great blunder by insisting the absence, if not covering up the existence, of the genocide of Rohingya. Will this year’s election clip NLD and Suu Kyi’s power? And will the election also lead the Rohingyas the path to justice?
6. Israeli General Election – 2 March.
Israelis went to the polls twice in 2019 but failed to produce a clear-cut winner. Both Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud Party and former army chief Benny Gantz’s centrist Blue and White alliance could only secure plurality of seats so this March, another election will be held. But a different variable in this year’s election is the indictment of Netanyahu for charges of fraud, bribery, and breach of trust. But will this indictment matter?
7. United States of America General Elections – 3 November.
President Donald Trump was impeached on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Trump, it was noted, was a subject of a Congressional inquiry for soliciting foreign assistance in the 2020 elections. Will the American elect an impeached leader? Second, Trump has likewise ordered the assassination of Iran’s Major General Qasem Soleimani last January 3 that caused a standoff and brought the world to the brink of another war. Will the Americans affirm Trump’s actions and give him another shot in the presidential seat?