Election Year 2024: Will Voting Save or Destroy Democracy?

Election Year 2024: Will Voting Save or Destroy Democracy?

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Due to economic instability and problems related to immigration issues, right-wing and populist trends are gaining ground across Europe. These signs do not bode well for democracy. The right has done well so far in Finland and Portugal. Similar signs were seen in the Netherlands elections last November. Many observers also believe that the right wing will perform well in the elections to be held in Austria, Belgium and Croatia this year. Similar fears loom over the crucial European Parliament elections to be held in June.

Elections are being held in 70 countries this year, this should have been a matter of joy for the supporters of democracy. But what has been the experience of the elections held in the last four months? Many elections have set a very bad example for democracy. And can one be very hopeful about the elections to be held in the coming days?

As I mentioned earlier, in countries (not independent or partially independent) where autocratic or semi-autocratic people are in power, the results of elections are known in advance. This has been proved by the elections held in the last four months. It is hard to believe that the opposite will happen in the coming elections. There is a risk of rigging and irregularities even in countries where elections are expected to be competitive.

Now if the far right rises in the EU Parliament and in European countries where free and fair elections can be expected, and if the US elections in November seal Trump's victory, the collapse of democracy could be complete in 2024. Will go.

The year 2024 is definitely a year of tough test for world democracy. The worldwide concern and anxiety over the disintegration of democracy could play a role in changing the current state of despair and frustration. Also, predicted election results can sometimes change. There are times when irregularities, rigging and one-sided election drama are ineffective. There is no doubt that democracy is going through difficult times, but if we keep history in mind, there are many reasons to remain hopeful. After all, democracy continues to move the world towards greater democracy.

* AKM Zakaria is the Deputy Editor of Prothom Alo and can be contacted here [email protected]

*This column appeared in the print and online editions of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten for the English edition by Ayesha Kabir.

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