Super election year increases risk of political violence


US elections: Joe Biden vs Donald Trump

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SECURITY is a concern in many territories amid an unprecedented “super-cycle” of elections in 2024.

This as almost half the world’s population will go to the polls before the year is out.

This is according to a new report from Allianz Commercial, which points out to the threat of localised unrest and the wider-reaching consequences of electoral outcomes on foreign policy, trade relations and supply chains.

The headline election will be in the United States in November, when a narrow result could inflame existing tensions.

The European Parliament elections in June could also deepen divisions, if radical-right parties gain votes and seats.

“So many elections in one year raise concerns about the fueling of polarization, with tensions potentially playing out in heightened civil unrest,” said Srdjan Todorovic, Head of Political Violence and Hostile Environment Solutions at Allianz Commercial.

The organisation warned polarisation and unrest within societies are fueled by fear and undermine trust in institutions and challenge people’s sense of a common purpose built on shared values.

“We also expect to see increased unrest around environmental issues in future, not only from activists, but from those who are pushing back against government climate mitigation policies,” Todorovic said.

The year 2024 sees many African countries scheduled to have elections.

Most of the elections will be in Southern Africa including Botswana, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, and South Africa.

West Africa will hold the second most in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea Bissau and Mali.

In North Africa, Mauritania, Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia are set to host elections. Ethiopia, Somalia, and South Sudan, Chad, and Rwanda in Central and Eastern Africa are scheduled to cast votes.

The South African elections in May are seen as a potential flashpoint.

Polls indicate votes for the ruling African National Congress (ANC) could dip below 50 percent, forcing it into a coalition – a first at the national level – after being in power for 30 years.

Etienne Cheret, Regional Practice Group Leader, Crisis Management France and Africa at Allianz Commercial, noted South Africa suffers from high unemployment, particularly among the young, and significant wealth inequality.

Crime, corruption and electricity blackouts have caused widespread frustration.

“There is already a high level of disillusionment among the population, so we are watching the situation very closely,” Cheret warned.

– CAJ News

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