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International Elections in March 2024


Four countries held elections in March. Pakistan on the 9th, Russia on the 17th, Slovakia on the 23rd, and Ukraine on March 31st.


Pakistan

Pakistan held general elections on Feb. 8 this year. However, amidst rigging allegations, an economic crisis, and rise in militance presence, Pakistan moved their presidential election to March 9. Asif Ali Zardari was sworn in as president the day after elections, March 10, with a resounding nearly 70% electoral vote. Before winning the presidency, Zardari was involved with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), a center-left party currently the second largest in Senate.


Pakistan, the fifth most populated country on the planet, according to Worldometer, has a Federal parliamentary democratic republic meaning Pakistani citizens elect a bicameral legislator comprised of the National Assembly and Senate.


The legislators in the Assembly and Senate elect a Prime Minister. The Prime Minister holds Executive power in the country while the president cannot run the country directly according to the Pakistani Constitution. The Constitution ratified April 10, 1973, affirms that all laws are to conform with the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Quran and Sunnah, according to Islam, Law, and Identity. Although the president is considered a ceremonial position, the president is “Supreme Commander” of Pakistani armed forces.


Pakistan’s Senate is broken into memberships, allowing a maximum of 100 members, 92 elected by legislators and the remaining seats reserved for woman and religious minorities. The National Assembly is similarly structured with 336 members, 266 elected directly by legislators with remaining seats reserved for woman and religious minorities.


Russia

Despite the ongoing Ukrainian War, Russia held presidential elections from March 15-17. Candidates consisted of Vladimir Putin, running as an independent and Nikolay Kharitonov, running as a communist. No surprise, Putin won elections with an 88% popular vote and Kharitonov at almost 5%. Presidential elections are held every six years. The 2024 election was the country’s eighth presidential election since the fall of the Soviet Union. The first occurred on Jane 12, 1991 where Boris Yeltsin won the popular vote by more than half (59%).


Putin’s win ensures he will rule Russia until 2030, making him the longest serving ruler since former Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin. Most of Putin’s opposition met an untimely fate as they were either jailed or found dead. Alexey Navalny, a prime example served as Russia’s opposition party leader. A lawyer, corruption activist, and politician, Navalny was jailed on Aug. 4, 2023, serving a 19-year sentence.


He was sent to the Village of Kharp, a Russian arctic jail penal colony. His official cause of death was a blood clot, but many held Putin responsible. Shortly after Kharitonov’s death, protests erupted in Russia where thousands of supports and mourners were detained. Kharitonov’s body was returned to his family, and, on March 1, a farewell ceremony was held in Moscow.


Slovakia

Slovakian elections consist of two rounds if neither candidate receives more than half the required votes. On March 23, Peter Pellegrini, former Slovakia Prime Minister from 2018-2020 ran against Ivan Korčok, former Minister of Foreign and European Affairs from 2020-2022. Since neither candidate won a majority, round two elections will be held on April 6. Candidates have until the last day of January to formally announce their candidacy.