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Democracy’s Blockbuster Year

23 January 2024   |  

2024 is expected to be one of the biggest election years on record with more than half of the world’s population planning to go to the polls. This busy election calendar comes at a particularly opportune time as geo-political tensions are running high across the globe. From the outbreak of war in Israel to the on-going war in Ukraine, the coups across west Africa, and all the smaller disputes between - the political process offers citizens the opportunity to turn the tides by prompting political, economic, and social reforms.

While many emerging market countries will be holding elections of their own in 2024, most will also be impacted by the outcome of elections in other countries. In November, the US will vote to elect its next president, 34 senate seats, and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives. The outcome of that election will have important implications on geo-political relations, aid, and global growth across the developed and emerging worlds. Elsewhere, the EU Parliamentary elections in June 2024 will inform the future of EU enlargement and its role in foreign affairs. Rising popularity of the far-right across Europe will likely challenge the EU’s current support for Ukraine, climate change, and immigration policies.

The EMsights team will be closely monitoring the following elections that are expected to dictate the direction of macroeconomic policy changes and governance across the countries we look at:


What will Widodo do: Indonesia General Election (February 2024)

WHO   Outgoing president, Jokowi Widodo is ineligible to run for a third term, but has backed his ex-rival, Prabowo Subianto, in a bid to protect his interests. Prabowo is facing off against the PDI-P’s Pranawo and Anies, an independent candidate backed by three parties.

WHAT'S AT STAKE   The elections will be the largest single-day election globally. In a bid to protect his interest and influence, Widodo managed to get his son, 36 year old Gibran, to be Prabowo’s running mate, effectively tying his political aspirations to a potential Prabowo administration. Yet, many concerns remain - Prabowo has demonstrated elements of populism and authoritarianism that have made observers uneasy.

EMSIGHTS VIEW   We expect the Prabowo-Gibran slate to emerge victorious after two rounds of voting.

The Bukele Sequel: El Salvador General Election (February 2024 / second round in March 2024 if needed)

WHO   Nayib Bukele is campaigning for reelection despite the constitution barring presidents from serving a second consecutive term. 

WHAT'S AT STAKE   After Bukele was given the green light from the Supreme Court to compete, it seems probable Bukele will win. The people of El Salvador will be subject to another five years of a state of emergency and bitcoin headlines.

EMSIGHTS VIEW   The 2024 elections are a foregone conclusion, Bukele will remain with a tight grip on power in El Salvador. His high popularity, driven by security success, is the key driver.

Modi’s Last Dance: India General Election (April / May 2024)

WHO   Incumbent Prime Minister, Modi, and his ruling BJP are campaigning to be re-elected for a third five-year term. 

WHAT'S AT STAKE   The focus is on immediate aftermath of what is expected to be Modi’s last campaign - observers are looking to see who his successor would be. The BJP will be looking to increase their voter share in India’s southern states and garner more widespread support for their economic agenda. However, the BJP does not need the southern region, often considered to be the powerhouse of the Indian economy, to win a third consecutive term.

EMSIGHTS VIEW   The 2024 elections are viewed as a foregone conclusion, with the BJP expected to form the next government. The key factors behind this are Modi’s popularity and a still disjointed and weak opposition.

Sweet Dreams or a Georgian Nightmare: Georgia Presidential Election (October 2024)

WHO   The current party in power, Georgian Dream, has been in power since 2012 and is seeking to keep their majority in parliament for the fourth straight term.

WHAT'S AT STAKE   2020 elections were marked with irregularities and an opposition boycott of the parliamentary process. 2024 elections will show where Georgia stands in terms of democracy and free and fair elections.

EMSIGHTS VIEW   Georgian Dream will likely win a majority, maybe even a supermajority in the parliament. The opposition is weak, disjointed, and uncredible.

Debt Restructuring Tango: Ghana General Election (December 2024)

WHO   The current party in power, NPP is going against opposition NDC in presidential and parliamentary elections.

WHAT'S AT STAKE   Ghana is currently in restructuring talks with official creditors and Eurobond holders. The next government will have to continue this process, as well as deliver the reforms committed under the IMF program.

EMSIGHTS VIEW   Opposition NDC will likely win the majority in the parliament. Putting aside policy preferences, this will be better than the current hung parliament.

Elections aren’t the only agenda item the EMsights team is keeping a close eye on in the year to come. IMF meetings in April and October, the 79th session of the UN General Assembly in September, and Kenya’s Eurobond maturity in June are sure to add to what is already slated to be an exciting year.

  • EMsights Capital Group
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