We’re wrapping up our section about elections happening all around the world in April. If you missed Part One of our world election coverage, you can check it out here.
Algeria: Algeria was all set for elections on April 18th, but it turned out to be a tumultuous month for the country. Citizens revolted against the current president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and forced his resignation, thus creating a government temporarily headed by Abdelkader Bensalah. Elections are often planned well in advance, but when political conditions change, countries sometimes choose to reschedule elections to more stable times. For now, the resignation of president Bouteflika is seen as a bloodless win, which means that people’s protests did not spark any violence.
Interesting Fact: Algeria is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea on one end and the Sahara Desert on the other. Due to its unique position on the map, the country’s languages and architecture have French, Turkish, Arabic and Roman influences!
Benin: Election rules sometimes change! In the country of Benin, new rules imposed on parties running in the elections meant stricter criteria on the country’s many small political parties. But something else changed: The only two parties that were allowed to run in the elections (per the new rule) were parties that supported the current president. No opposition parties were allowed to compete. The people, as expected, were not happy.
Interesting Fact: Benin gained independence from France in 1960 and was the first country in the 1990s to move from a dictatorship to a more democratic model (various parties that could potentially lead the country).
India: As the largest democracy in the world, India will begin elections in April, running through seven phases across the country, until sometime in May. The final vote count will be on May 23rd, when the winner will be announced. The two big parties competing in the election are the current ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the Indian National Congress (INC).
Interesting Fact: India has the second largest population in the world at 1.35 billion (China has the largest, at just over 1.4 billion). The country has twenty-two major languages and multiple religions. Fun fact? There might be twenty-two major languages in India, but there are more than a hundred spoken across the country!
Andorra: In Andorra’s elections on April 7th, the largest ruling party, Democrats of Andorra, lost their majority and had to form a coalition (a group with other smaller parties) to remain in power. The country also has two co-princes who remain the heads of state but are purely honorary positions. Andorra’s prime minister, Antoni Martí, is still the country’s leader.
Interesting Fact: In terms of elevation, Andorra has the highest capital city in Europe. The country relies heavily on the tourism industry. Another interesting fact? Andorra has no army of its own, choosing instead to get support from France and Spain, its closest neighbors!
Israel: Benjamin Netanyahu won the elections conducted earlier in April. Read our coverage here!