This year is shaping up to be an important one Elections in Asia. Some of the region's (and the world's) biggest democracies are heading to the polls – so what should you be watching out for this year? We have tracked some key races.
Taiwan – January 13
Taiwanese voters – some 19 million of them – will go to the polls on January 13. Given the ongoing tensions in the self-ruled island's relationship with China, its elections are always closely watched by world powers – particularly the US.
Taiwan's presidents are elected for four-year terms and are eligible for a maximum of two terms. The current President Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is ending her second term.
The DPP has a history of advocating for Taiwan's independence and separate identity from China. This drew ire from Beijing. When Tsai and the DPP came to power in 2016, Beijing refused to engage with them and instead increased military activity in and around the strait that separates Taiwan and China.
While China-China relations falter during the election, voters are also considering some familiar issues closer to home, such as the cost of living and housing prices.
So far, three presidential candidates have put their names forward:
Lai Singh-Te, Democratic Progressive Party: Current Vice President and President of the DPP. Lai (often referred to as William Lai) describes himself as a 'practical activist for Taiwanese independence' and supports the maintenance of Taiwan's status of self-governing power established by Tsai Ing-wen. Lai's campaign has attracted a strong reaction BeijingWith official statements warning that his election could endanger Sino-Taiwan relations.
Lai currently has a slim lead in the polls.
Hu Yu-Ih, Kuomintang (KMT): New Taipei's mayor and Lai are the main opposition party. The KMT party tends to support closer ties with China and Hou preached the need for stronger economic and social ties, as well as an open dialogue with China to promote peace.
Ko Wen-jae, Taiwan People's Party: Former Mayor of Taipei. A bit of a political outsider, Goh has been gathering support as a middle ground between the DPP and the KMT's approaches to China.
Indonesia – February 14
On Valentine's Day 2024, the world's third largest democracy and fourth most populous country will go to the polls.
Indonesia's more than 200 million voters will choose its next president and vice president. Incumbent President Joko Widodo (known as Jokowi) is ineligible to run for re-election because Indonesia has a two-term term. Three candidates have thrown their hats in the ring to replace him:
Prabowo Subianto, Defense Minister: This is Prabowo's third attempt after losing to Jokowi in the previous two elections. He is a former general and current Minister of Defense of Indonesia.
Prabowo is leading in the latest polls.
Prabowo's choice of running mate caught the attention of many: Gibran Rakabuming Raa is the mayor of Surakarta and Jokowi's eldest son.
At 36, Gibran would be the country's youngest candidate for the vice presidency — and until recently, his age would have made him ineligible to run. According to Indonesian law, the minimum age for applicants is 40. However, before the end of candidate registration, the Constitutional Court, Indonesia's highest court, ruled that there could be a An exception is if the candidate is an elected regional official. There were allegations that Gibran's appointment paved the way for current President Jokowi To build a political dynasty For his family.
Kanjar Branowo, former Central Java Governor: Kanjar Pranovo of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) trailed Prabowo in the overall polls.
Kanjar has served two terms as governor of Central Java, one of Indonesia's most populous provinces.
Anees Baswedan, former governor of Jakarta: Currently running a distant third in the polls, Anis Baswedan and his rival Muhaimin Iskandar, head of the Islam-based National Awareness Party, were the first to register as candidates for the election.
He faces an uphill battle for the role, though some analysts have suggested he could have the role 2029 election in mindthan victory in 2024.
India – Between April-May
India, the world's largest democracy, will vote in 2024 as it holds elections for the Lower House of Parliament (Lok Sabha).
Current Prime Minister Narendra Modi is running for a third term with his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and so far, analysts and critics expect him to stay in office.
State elections in December 2023 fueled this expectation – the BJP won Three out of four major state elections, represents the voter preference before the general election. Modi is already in a comfortable position and has 76 percent approval rating In a poll the same month.
Modi's main opposition comes in the form of a 28-party allianceLed by the Indian National Congress Party.
Some parts of Asia have already embarked on the democratic process, while others face smaller elections, or later in the year. Take a quick look at some of these:
Bangladesh – January 7
Bangladesh's current ruling party, the Awami League (AL), and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina were re-elected to power after elections marred by boycotts and political protests.
Read more here.
Bhutan – January 9
Bhutan, located between India and China, is one of the first countries in Asia to hold elections in 2024. Schering Dobke was elected Prime Minister – her second term in office after holding it from 2013 to 2018.
Dobke is the leader of the Liberal People's Democratic Party.
South Korea – April 10 legislative elections
In 2022, Yoon Suk-yeol was elected President of South Korea. He will step down in 2027 and serve a five-year term.
However, in April, voters will elect South Korea's Legislative Council National Assembly. The elections will prove to be a barometer of Yun's leadership — something his year-and-a-half in office has recognized.
– Asian Media Center
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