2024: A year of political shifts : Surprising defeats and expected continuum

The year 2024 has seen significant political transitions across the globe, with numerous countries experiencing changes in government or leadership.

These shifts have profound implications for domestic policies and international relations. Additionally, there has been a noticeable trend towards the rise of far-right parties, reflecting broader changes in the global political landscape.


Prime Minister: Sheikh Hasina (Awami League)

Defeated: Khaleda Zia (Bangladesh Nationalist Party, BNP) and other opposition leaders

Sheikh Hasina’s continued leadership ensures stability but raises concerns over democratic backsliding due to allegations of voter suppression and political violence. Her victory was attributed to her administration’s economic achievements and infrastructural development, though marred by claims of electoral manipulation.

The political instability in Bangladesh impacts South Asian geopolitics, particularly its relations with India and China, and regional security dynamics.


Prime Minister: Tshering Tobgay (Druk Phuensum Tshogpa, DPT)

Defeated: Lotay Tshering (Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa, DNT)

Tshering Tobgay’s election marks a significant political shift. His leadership will focus on sustainable development and maintaining Bhutan’s balanced foreign policy, fostering good relations with both India and China.

The election was influenced by voter concerns over economic management and public service delivery under the previous administration.


Potential Prime Minister: Geert Wilders (Party for Freedom, PVV)

Defeated: Mark Rutte’s VVD and other centrist and left-wing parties

Geert Wilders’ far-right PVV emerged as the largest party in the 2024 elections. His victory reflects a shift towards nationalist and anti-immigration sentiments among Dutch voters.

The challenge now lies in forming a coalition government, given the political fragmentation. Wilders’ win signifies a move towards more stringent immigration policies and a potential re-evaluation of the Netherlands’ role within the EU.


President: Lai Ching-te (Democratic Progressive Party, DPP)

Succeeded: Tsai Ing-wen (DPP)

Defeated: Hou You-yi (Kuomintang, KMT)

Lai Ching-te succeeded Tsai Ing-wen, marking a continuation of DPP leadership. Lai’s pro-sovereignty stance and focus on strengthening Taiwan’s defences won him the election.

His policies will heavily influence cross-strait relations and Taiwan’s interactions with major powers, especially the United States. His win signifies a continued resistance to Beijing’s pressure and a bolstering of Taiwan’s international presence.


President: Prabowo Subianto (Gerindra Party)

Defeated: Ganjar Pranowo (PDI-P) and Anies Baswedan (Independent)

Prabowo Subianto’s victory marks a significant shift in Indonesian politics. His campaign focused on economic recovery, national security, and corruption eradication.

Prabowo’s administration will need to address these issues while navigating Indonesia’s strategic role in ASEAN and balancing relations between the US and China. Prabowo’s win also signifies the end of Joko Widodo’s (Jokowi) two-term presidency, with Jokowi having supported Prabowo’s candidacy in a bid to influence the political landscape post-presidency.


Prime Minister: Shehbaz Sharif (Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, PML-N)

Defeated: Imran Khan (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, PTI)

Shehbaz Sharif secured his position amid a politically charged environment, defeating Imran Khan. His government formation was facilitated by a coalition with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), led by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, which provided crucial outside support. This collaboration ended days of political uncertainty following the inconclusive election results.

The PML-N and PPP together have the numbers to form the federal government, highlighting the importance of strategic alliances in Pakistani politics. Sharif’s administration faces significant challenges, including economic recovery and managing terrorism threats, which are crucial for maintaining regional stability.


President: Mohamed Muizzu (People’s National Congress, PNC)

Defeated: Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (Maldivian Democratic Party, MDP)

Mohamed Muizzu’s pro-China stance marks a significant shift in the Maldives’ foreign policy. His party’s landslide victory reflects voter support for reducing Indian influence and strengthening ties with China.

Muizzu’s government has taken steps to remove Indian military personnel, reflecting his campaign’s “India out” slogan, and is expected to enhance relations with China, impacting regional dynamics significantly.


Supreme Leader: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

President: Mohammad Mokhber (Conservative)

Defeated: Various reformist and moderate candidates

Following the death of Ebrahim Raisi, Mohammad Mokhber’s election as president continues the conservative dominance in Iran. His administration is expected to maintain hardline policies, but the Assembly of Experts’ role in selecting the next Supreme Leader adds a layer of uncertainty. This could affect Iran’s long-term foreign policy and relations with global powers.


President: Claudia Sheinbaum (MORENA)

Defeated: X³chitl Gálvez (opposition coalition)

Claudia Sheinbaum’s election signifies a continuation of AMLO’s leftist policies, and she is set to become Mexico’s first female president.

Her victory was driven by her promises to uphold social welfare programs and economic reforms initiated by AMLO. This will impact Mexico’s domestic policies and its critical relationship with the US on trade, immigration, and security.


President: Cyril Ramaphosa (African National Congress, ANC)

Defeated: John Steenhuisen (Democratic Alliance, DA) and Julius Malema (Economic Freedom Fighters, EFF)

The ANC lost its outright majority for the first time since the end of apartheid, requiring coalition talks to form a government. Despite the ANC’s weakened position, Ramaphosa managed to retain his role as president. His administration faces significant challenges, including economic recovery, high unemployment, and tackling corruption. The ANC has committed to not abandoning Ramaphosa in coalition negotiations, emphasising stability within its leadership.


President: Halla T³masd³ttir

Defeated: Katr­n Jakobsd³ttir and Halla Hrund Logad³ttir

Halla T³masd³ttir, a businesswoman, has been elected as the new President of Iceland, succeeding Gu°ni Th. J³hannesson. Her victory over former Prime Minister Katr­n Jakobsd³ttir and Halla Hrund Logad³ttir marks her as Iceland’s second female president.

Though the position is largely ceremonial, the president holds veto power, which can significantly impact legislation. T³masd³ttir’s platform emphasized unity, international cooperation, and environmental responsibility, aligning with her extensive background in business and social entrepreneurship.



Prime Minister: Narendra Modi (Bharatiya Janata Party, BJP)

Key Opposition Leader: Rahul Gandhi (Indian National Congress, INC)

India’s general election has concluded, with exit polls predicting a clear majority for Modi’s BJP. This expected victory would mark Modi’s third term, a significant setback for the joint opposition alliance.

Modi’s victory is likely to bolster his government’s ongoing economic and infrastructural initiatives. The continued BJP leadership will have substantial implications for India’s economic policies, foreign relations, particularly with China and Pakistan, and its stance on global issues such as climate change and international trade.


Prime Minister: Rishi Sunak (Conservative Party)

Key Opposition Leader: Keir Starmer (Labour Party)

The UK’s general election will determine the future direction of the country’s domestic and foreign policies. Key issues include the economy, Brexit aftermath, and climate policies.

The results will influence the UK’s role in global politics, particularly in relation to the EU and US.


President: Joe Biden (Democratic Party)

Key Opposition Leader: Donald Trump (Republican Party)

The US presidential election on November 5, 2024, will be pivotal for the country’s future domestic and foreign policies. The outcome will significantly impact international relations, especially with China and Russia, and key global issues like climate change and trade.


The year 2024 has also seen a rise in far-right parties gaining power in various countries. This trend reflects broader changes in global political sentiments, where nationalism and conservative ideologies are becoming more prominent.


In Europe, far-right parties have made significant gains in several countries. This shift is evident in the Netherlands, where Geert Wilders’ PVV emerged as the largest party and is now trying to form a government. The increasing influence of far-right ideologies in Europe poses challenges to the European Union’s cohesion and its policies on immigration, human rights, and environmental sustainability.


In Latin America, the trend towards conservative governance is seen in countries like Mexico, where Claudia Sheinbaum’s presidency continues AMLO’s leftist policies. The rise of far-right sentiments in the region reflects broader dissatisfaction with existing political systems and a desire for change.

The political shifts in 2024, characterised by changes in governments and the rise of far-right parties, will have far-reaching implications for global politics. These changes will influence domestic policies, regional dynamics, and international relations, shaping everything from economic strategies to security.

Published By:

Ashutosh Acharya

Published On:

Jun 4, 2024

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