In 2024, Which Way is Democracy, Trump may be the Last Word

Opinion polls indicate that Donald Trump may be elected president of the United States again

Russian President Vladimir Putin looks set to remain in power until at least 2030. India's Narendra Modi also looks set to extend his tenure till 2029. There, Donald Trump may return to the White House, despite being accused of 'trying to destroy' US democracy.

Those who worry that authoritarian rulers are gaining ground on liberal democrats have reason to be upset in 2024.

This year, more than a quarter of the world's population will vote for their leaders. Among them, Taiwan will vote this month, Russia in March, India by May and the United States in November.

 By the end of this year, new parliament elections are also scheduled in Britain. Of course, it can also go in January 2025.

But none of these elections will generate debates about the future of democracy like the US presidential election.

Why is it important?

Donald Trump has not yet conceded defeat in the 2020 US presidential election. He has been making false allegations that there was fraud in that vote. He has announced that he will take revenge on the opposition if he returns to power. His opponents include the US Justice Department, the central bureaucracy and President Joe Biden.

This is fueling fears that political antagonism in the US could heat up and lead to greater unrest.

Although Donald Trump is currently facing several criminal charges, he is leading in public opinion polls.

Presidential and parliamentary elections will be held in Taiwan on January 13. The result of this election may be according to the wishes of Chinese President Xi Jinping. China's ruling party believes that Lai Ching, the top leader of the Democratic Progressive Party, one of the rivals in this election, has a separatist attitude. According to US military officials, President Xi has ordered the Chinese military to prepare to attack Taiwan by 2027.

In Russia, Putin's re-election as president is almost certain. The country has been cracking down on political opponents for years. Putin staying in power means Russia's war in Ukraine will continue. It will also test the patience of the United States, Ukraine's main ally. It is noteworthy here that Trump has been criticizing the military assistance of the United States to Ukraine.

Modi, who has become strong in his own way in India, is also believed to be moving towards being elected as the Prime Minister again. Modi's uncompromising leadership style is admired by many voters and foreign investors. However, human rights organizations are vocal in his criticism.

It is easy to imagine that if Modi's Hindu nationalist party, the BJP, is back in power, economic progress will be more important than human rights.

What does this mean in 2024?

Africa also has a strong say in the debate over whether liberal democracy is losing ground to authoritarianism and dictatorship. Democracy in West and Central Africa has been set back by military coups in Niger and Gabon last year. There have been eight military coups since 2020. However, there is a possibility of a major political battle in the South this year.

South Africa's African National Congress is at risk of losing its majority in parliament for the first time in three decades. After the end of apartheid, the African National Congress came to power in 1994 under the leadership of Nelson Mandela. Then this is the first time they are in this danger.

If that is the case, it will be necessary to form an alliance to retain the power of the NC. In that case, they have to choose either the Democratic Alliance, a party popular with whites, or the Economic Freedom Fighters, a Marxist party popular with poor blacks. If any of this happens, South Africa's democracy will also be cornered.

The election may be held sometime in May or August.

Overall, will democracy retreat in 2024?

US-based pro-democracy organization Freedom House says that the state of democracy has deteriorated for 17 years. But its latest report says that democracy is coming back.

34 countries improved on democracy in 2022. And 35 countries have come in the list of worst countries. This number is less than the number of recent years.

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