Morning Brief: India votes

Top Story Five weeks of elections have kicked off in the world’s largest democracy as more than 140 million Indians in 124 constituencies head to the polls today. This is the first of round of elections in which 714 million people are eligible to vote. Final results are expected on May 16. With no unifying ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
586699_090416_india2.jpg
586699_090416_india2.jpg
An Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldier stands guard as voters queue at a polling station in Suchit Garh on the outskirts of Jammu on April 16, 2009, during the first phase of India's general elections. India today kicked off month-long elections, with all signs pointing to a splintered result and government by an unsteady coalition that would struggle to see out a full term. Neither of India's two main national parties -- the incumbent Congress and the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) -- is seen as capable of securing an absolute majority in the five-stage elections which will conclude on May 13. AFP PHOTO/Tauseef MUSTAFA (Photo credit should read TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images)

Top Story

Five weeks of elections have kicked off in the world's largest democracy as more than 140 million Indians in 124 constituencies head to the polls today. This is the first of round of elections in which 714 million people are eligible to vote. Final results are expected on May 16.

With no unifying issue and a host of smaller parties picking up votes, neither the ruling Congress Party nor the Hindu nationalist opposition party BJP appear likely to finish with a majority. This would leave India with an shaky coalition government.

Top Story

Five weeks of elections have kicked off in the world’s largest democracy as more than 140 million Indians in 124 constituencies head to the polls today. This is the first of round of elections in which 714 million people are eligible to vote. Final results are expected on May 16.

With no unifying issue and a host of smaller parties picking up votes, neither the ruling Congress Party nor the Hindu nationalist opposition party BJP appear likely to finish with a majority. This would leave India with an shaky coalition government.

The process has been marred today by attacks from Maoist rebels throughout central India. Five election workers have been killed in bombings and eight others kidnapped. Thousands of police have been deployed to prevent further attacks.

Preeti Aroon has more in this week’s FP photo essay.

Middle East

Meeting with U.S. envoy George Mitchell, Israeli President Shimon Peres dismissed the possibility of his country attacking Iran. Mitchell reiterated the U.S. commitment to a two-state solution in a meeting with new foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Sixteen Iraqi soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber near Baghdad.

Dubai’s ruling family has become embroiled in a very public scandal after allegations of swindling.

Asia

China recorded its slowest growth on record in the first quarter of this year.

Exiled Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra urged Thailand’s political factions to reconcile as he was granted a Nicaraguan passport, complicated the current government’s efforts to extradite him.

UN nuclear inspectors have left North Korea after being expelled by the regime.

Americas

As he travels to Mexico City today, President Barack Obama vowed to crack down on the finances of drug traffickers.

Colombia’s most wanted drug lord has been captured by authorities.

Brazilian President Lula da Silva once again lashed out at rich nations for causing the global financial crisis, likening the world economy to the Titanic.

Africa

Freed U.S. ship captain Richard Phillips arrived safely in Kenya as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rolled out a new plan for fighting piracy.

Zimbabwe’s government will carry out an investigation of the seizures of white-owned farms. 

Ethiopia’s opposition parties held a rare rally to protest the imprisonment of one of their leaders.

Europe

Russia has officially ended its counterterrorism operation in Chechnya.

Moscow is demanding that NATO military exercises in Georgia be suspended or cancelled.

French fishermen who were protesting EU fishing quotas have lifted their blockade of English Channel ports.

TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

Tag: India

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.