The stage for international politics has changed immensely since the Biden Administration has taken office. But according to Eduardo Gamarra, professor of politics and international relations at Florida International University, some elections around the world this year could be very consequential for international politics and should be watched carefully.
While the United States remains the hegemony of the world and is considered the epicenter of politics, several minor nations all realigning within months could cause a massive shift in foreign relations, namely countries in Africa, South America, and the Middle East.
The closest crucial election will take place on February 25, 2023, in Nigeria. The current presidential election in Nigeria is forecasted to be very intertwined with the country's geographical and religious divide. Between a predominantly Muslim north and its Christian south. And after eight years of a northerner – Muhammadu Buhari – holding the presidency, the debate revolves around whether power should “shift” to the south. For the first time since the 1980s, each of the predominant ethnic groups in Nigera has produced serious contenders for the presidency.
June 18th, 2023 will feature the Turkish elections. Turkey is a unique country as the Mediterranean nation previously faced a coup very recently in 2016. The current President, Erdogan, is gunning to preserve his presidency by any means necessary, with theories of targeting political opponents using government power floating around the nation. If Erdogan wins, he will likely attempt to solidify himself as the "second founder of Turkey," strengthening the nation's Muslim identity.
While the date is still up in the air, the nation of Zimbabwe faces the same issue that a large contingent of Americans believes is happening in the United States, unfair elections. Zimbabwe's last election took place in 2018, a year after a military coup of the nation. The country has a history of shady elections, and now with relatively new leadership, Zimbabwe has the chance to prove it can successfully administer democracy in its borders.
2022 World Cup champions Argentina also has a very consequential new year ahead of them.
The nation's economy has barely stayed afloat. These issues will likely decide if Argentina will keep the center-left party in control of the presidency, or if they will revert back to a much more conservative choice to fix the economic problems left behind by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Pakistan could also face permanent changes to how its government operates as a whole depending on the outcome of the 2023 elections. The nation's parliamentary system is very alien to that of the United States government, the nation still uses a constitution. Former PM Khan seeks to not only win his majority back in parliament but make permanent constitutional changes.
Often, foreigners look towards American elections to stay informed about the future of the world. But this year, Americans will be forced to look outward into the elections of developing nations to see if there truly has been a ripple effect of democracy across the globe.