How COVID 19 Is Affecting Elections Around The World

How COVID 19 Is Affecting Elections Around The World

Elections are an integral part of democratic governance all over the world. As a matter of fact, periodic elections and limited tenure are important metrics with which the level of democratic culture of a nation is measured. Therefore, whether developed or developing democracies, elections are core part of deep democratic practices.

However, like every other sector of global life, elections across the world have been disrupted by the pandemic COVID 19. This was revealed in a report recently compiled and released by a non-governmental organization, Kimpact Development Initiative (KDI). According to the report, 73 elections have been postponed in 69 countries across 6 continents of the world.

 Source: Kimpact Development Initiative, 2020

In breaking down the affected countries, the report identified countries from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America as the continents on which elections were postponed as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic. Europe topped the list with 16 countries followed by Africa with 11 countries while South America, Asia, North America and Australia followed with 9, 7, 3 and 1 respectively.

 

 Source: Kimpact Development Initiative, 2020

Some of the major countries whose elections were affected by the COVID 19 included Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain in Europe while Canada, Mexico and the US featured prominently in North America. The major democracies in South America covered Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Paraguay. Others included Chile, Uruguay and Falkland Island. In Asia, India, Indonesia, Iran and Pakistan occupied prominent positions in the postponed elections. Countries in Africa varied from continental giants, Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon, Tunisia to Zimbabwe.

The types of elections postponed are as varied as the number of countries where the elections were postponed. Analysis in the report indicated that 27 local elections, 22 presidential/parliamentary elections, 10 municipal elections and 2 regional or provincial elections were postponed. Other forms of elections postponed included 5 referendums, 4 council/senatorial elections, 2 run-off, and 1 general election.

Source: Kimpact Development Initiative, 2020

However, it was not all a report of postponement as some elections held despite the pandemic. Report shows that 11 elections were held during the pandemic across some countries of the world. Many of them were held from early March to mid April, 2020. The held elections also ranged from Germany’s local elections to Israeli General Elections.

 Source: Kimpact Development Initiative, 2020

Yet, there are still elections ahead in some countries. Poland has a presidential election fixed for May 10 while Malawi’s presidential rerun elections are to be held on July 2, 2020. The last of the election is in New Zealand come September 19, 2020.

Whether these scheduled elections will hold or not is a matter of time and the level of the severity of the COVID 19 as it ravages the world taking casualties across the globe. Just as it is changing the manner of business and social relations among the people in affected places, the novel virus might move those countries who have refused to adopt electronic elections to their quick adoption.

 Source: Kimpact Development Initiative, 2020

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