April is a busy month in some countries when it comes to elections. This month, we’ll be taking a look at elections in small countries like Andorra (with fewer than 100,000 people) and in big countries like India (whose population is more than 1.3 billion). What do elections across the world have in common? They are all how power is recognized. Politicians and elected representatives around the globe are voted in to serve their country’s citizens and make their lives better, but each country has its own unique personality, especially when it comes to elections. There are a lot of elections happening around the world this month, so we’re breaking up our summary of these elections into two parts. For part one of our series, let’s take a look at five of the ten countries that have scheduled elections in April and find out what makes them fascinating!
Mali: Mali’s parliamentary elections were actually meant to be in 2018, but when judges organized a strike, the court postponed their elections to April 2019. The country has had an unrestful few years, due to rebels who want to bring down the current government.
Interesting Fact: In 2018, the country had a run-off presidential election for the first time in its history. That means there was a follow-up round to the first round of voting because initial votes didn’t indicate a clear winner between the incumbent candidate, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, and challenger, Soumaïla Cissé. President Keita was declared the winner after the second round.
North Macedonia: The election this April will be the first in North Macedonia after the naming dispute in 2018 (which promises to be a hot topic among candidates). This presidential election will be between two leading contestants: the ruling party candidate, Stevo Pendarovski, and independent candidate, Blerim Reka.
Interesting Fact: What makes their elections this year so interesting? Current president Gjorge Ivanov has been officially barred from competing for a third term.
Spain: The 2019 elections in Spain will be a general election, which means the results will help elect the 350 members of Congress and the Senate. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez actually called for this “snap election” only as late as February of this year. The country is now prepared to vote on April 28th.
Interesting Fact: Debates are a big part of any election, but in Spain this year, one party in particular, the much smaller Vox party, was banned from televised debates as it did not earn enough votes to qualify. Even so, the TV network airing the debate still chose to include the Vox party in its only national debate.
Indonesia: The general elections in Indonesia will mark the first time that the country’s president, vice-president, and the members of the assembly will be elected on the same day! Incumbent President Joko Widodo is running for re-election and is expected to win comfortably.
Interesting Fact: This election season, sixteen parties will be competing, out of which four parties are new to the elections. This will be the world’s biggest single-day election!
Finland: Elections in Finland led to a winner that is a combination of three different political parties. The general elections were conducted earlier in April, and even though five of the six parties wanted to create a coalition and exclude the sixth party—called the Finns party—the final result included the Finns party after all.
Interesting Fact: Finland’s elections were pretty close—the social democratic party won with 17.7 percent of the votes, while the next contender won 17.5 percent! This was the first time in Finland’s history that no party secured more than 20 percent of the votes.