Elections

Afghan women wait in line to vote at a polling center for the country’s legislative election in Herat province on Oct. 20. (Hoshang Hashimi/AFP/Getty Images)

Afghanistan’s Strongman Democracy

Flawed and messy as it was, the vote was still good for democracy.

Members of the Cameroonian Gendarmerie patrol in Omar Bongo Square in Buea, Cameroon’s majority-Anglophone southwestern province’s capital, during a political rally for incumbent President Paul Biya on Oct. 3. (Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images)

Cameroon’s Paul Biya Gives a Master Class in Fake Democracy

One of the world’s most experienced autocrats has clinched another seven-year term by bending the rules of the game in his direction in ways both old and new.

Kandahar Police Chief Abdul Raziq poses during a graduation ceremony at a police training center in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, on Feb. 19, 2017. (Jawed Tanveer/AFP/Getty Images)

The Taliban Just Won a Key Battle for Afghanistan’s Future

The killing of a strongman police chief creates a dangerous power vacuum.

Far-right Brazilian presidential frontrunner Jair Bolsonaro at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro on Oct 11. (Mauro Pimentel/AFP/Getty Images)

The Sad Decline of Brazil’s Political Establishment

Voters are manifesting their profound unhappiness with the status quo. Jair Bolsonaro is the result.

Russian President Vladimir Putin waits to greet the South Korean prime minister ahead of their meeting on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, on Sept. 12. (Sergei Chirikov/AFP/Getty Images)

Russians Don’t Like the Kremlin’s Election Interference Either

In one gubernatorial race, a scandal might be a sign of Putin’s decline.

A photo taken on Sept. 10, 2018 in Stockholm shows a selection of front pages of Swedish newspapers in Stockholm a day after the general elections. (Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images)

Sweden’s Far Right Has Won the War of Ideas

An election fought on the Sweden Democrats’ terms leaves the far-right party in control of the country’s agenda.

Bolsonaro waves at the crowd during a campaign rally in the district of Ceilandia in Brasilia, on September 5, 2018. (Evaristo SA/FP/Getty Images)

How a Candidate’s Stabbing Will Further Radicalize Brazil

Right-wing populist Jair Bolsonaro’s wounds will heal, but the country’s politics will never be the same.

Susanne Engman illustration for Foreign Policy

Swedes Can’t Go Home Again

In the run-up to Sweden’s election, one word explains why the country used to feel like a family—and why it now feels adrift.

A supporter of Congolese leader Joseph Kabila holds a picture of the president outside Parliament in Kinshasa on July 19.

Did Kabila Just Bring Democracy to Congo?

The country’s strongman plans to step down, but the United States must tread carefully.

Zimbabwean police officials look at detained civilians as they stand in an armored vehicle outside MDC party headquarters in Harare on August 2, 2018.

Zimbabwe’s Opposition Is Under Attack. It Should Seek a Unity Government Before It’s Too Late.

Zanu-PF has proven time and again that it will resort to violence to stay in power. The MDC Alliance must pursue a coalition deal with President Mnangagwa, or more lives will be lost.

A vendor scurries for cover as soldiers disperse demonstrators in Harare on Aug. 1. Protests erupted in the Zimbabwean capital over alleged electoral fraud. (Zinyange Auntony/AFP/Getty Images)

Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe Is Old Wine in a New Bottle

The government’s crackdown proves that the ruling party will hold on to power by any means necessary.

The chairman of Turkey's  Republican People's Party (CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu (R), speaks with Muharrem Ince (L), as they attend the Party's 36th ordinary congress in Ankara, on February on 3, 2018.

Turkey’s Opposition Lost to Erdogan, Then It Lost Its Mind

Since the June election, the country’s various opposition parties have collapsed into chaos, leaving the president without a credible challenger.

Pakistani cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan comforts a Kashmiri woman during a visit to Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani-administered Kashmir in November 2005.

All the Prime Minister’s Women

Female members of Imran Khan’s party claim that Pakistan’s new leader has their interests at heart. Does he?

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen (C) casts his vote during the general elections as his wife Bun Rany (centre L) looks on in Phnom Penh on July 29, 2018. (MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Fake Monitors Endorse Cambodia’s Sham Election

Dubious electoral endorsements are becoming normal for dictators worldwide.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Johannesburg on July 27. (Mike Hutchings/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s Time for the United States to Push for a Better Zimbabwe

Monday’s election is an opportunity for Washington to come down on the side of accountability and constitutional rule.

Former Pakistani Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif, Benazir Bhutto, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and Shaukat Aziz. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images/Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images/Aamir Queshi/AFP/Getty Images/AFP/Getty Images)

No One Has Ever Completed a Term as Pakistan’s PM

A checkered democratic history, from 1947 to the present day.

A pedestrian lights a cigarette as he walks past banners with portraits of Turrkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and the leader of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahceli in Istanbul on June 19.

Get Ready for a More Aggressive Turkey

Erdogan’s new partner in parliament — the ultranationalist MHP — will make Ankara a more belligerent and intransigent ally.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa (L) gives a speech after being officially sworn in during a ceremony in Harare on November 24, 2017.

Zimbabwe Needs Genuine Democracy, Not Window Dressing

As the country prepares for the first post-Mugabe elections, the United States and its allies must use all the leverage they have to demand genuine reform.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan holds his ballot before casting his vote for Turkey's legislative election at a polling station in Istanbul on June 7, 2015. (Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images)

Erdogan Has Mastered Democracy

For all the deserved criticisms of Turkey's president, the man knows how to win an election.

A supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders yells at a Trump supporter at MLK Jr. Park on Aug. 27, 2017 in Berkeley, California. (Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

America’s Uncivil Protests Are Straight Out of Latin America

Donald Trump’s domestic critics are following South America’s successful anti-strongman playbook.

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