An astonishing political transformation has taken place around the world over the past three decades. Today, a majority of countries are electoral democracies. […] Clearly, there is a lot more to democracy than elections — but elections are among its most visible elements, and they have become almost universal.[1]

The House of Commons Library is writing a series of briefings on international elections.

We intend to produce regular reports on a range of elections – mainly presidential, but also key legislative elections – from around the world.

These papers will be published soon after the election takes place and will provide comprehensive and up to date coverage of:

  • The main leadership contenders – their proposed policies and their background
  • The context in which the election takes place – what are the main political and economic forces at play
  • A history of recent elections in that country
  • A brief analysis of the winning leader and their party
  • We will also look at possible implications of the outcome.

Through our series you can keep up to date with elections throughout the world. Recent briefing papers covered elections in Côte d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Bolivia, New Zealand and Belarus.

Upcoming briefings will cover elections in Myanmar and the US Presidential election.

Côte d’Ivoire: 2020 presidential election

Côte d’Ivoire held a presidential election on Saturday 31 October 2020.

Tanzania: 2020 presidential election

A general election was held on mainland Tanzania and the semi-autonomous Zanzibar on Wednesday 28 October 2020.  As well as electing a president and vice-president, the electorate also voted for members of the National Assembly.

Bolivia: 2020 presidential election

Bolivia held elections on Sunday 18 October 2020. As well as electing a president and vice-president, the electorate also voted for members of both houses of Congress.

New Zealand: 2020 general election

New Zealand held a General Election on Saturday 17 October 2020, with advance voting beginning two weeks earlier, on 3 October. Originally planned for 19 September, the election was postponed due to Covid-19.

Belarus: 2020 presidential election

Belarus held a presidential election on Sunday 9 August 2020. In the weeks leading up to the election there were large rallies against the incumbent president. Protests continued after the election amid allegations of widespread vote-rigging as President Lukashenko secured a sixth term in office.

[1] Why elections matter: assessing the quality of governance in emerging democracies, Overseas Development Institute, January 2013


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