Lindemann Law

Global Super Election Year 2024 1st Half: What You Need to be Prepared For

Since February 2022 at the latest, internationally active companies and entrepreneurs have been painfully aware that political risks are significant. We know from behavioral research that people underestimate events that are unlikely but have a major impact. In addition to the huge impact on the lives of many people, these events will also massively change the business environment of many companies – even in uninvolved jurisdictions.

2024 will be nerve-wracking for supporters of democracy and the rule of law. Several elections around the globe will require a reassessment of the (geo)political risks of all players: states, individuals, economically active companies, foundations and charitable organizations.

January 13: Taiwan

The series began on January 13. In Taiwan, Lai Ching-te, the candidate of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which has been in power in Taiwan for eight years, won the presidential elections. China’s President Xi Jinping does not like Lai, as the newly elected president is clearly in favor of Taiwan’s independence. Xi would have preferred his rivals from the Kuomintang and the Taiwan People’s Party. They stand for rapprochement with China. After the election, the Chinese president clearly expressed his displeasure. As a reminder, he has made it his goal to unite Taiwan with mainland China – by force if necessary. What developments can we now expect? A war would have global repercussions. Taiwan is the world’s largest producer of microchips. An invasion could also trigger an intervention by the USA and a war between the USA and China – with huge geopolitical repercussions.

February 14: Indonesia

On February 14, the world’s third-largest democracy will elect a new president, a new national parliament and various regional governors and parliaments. The extremely popular Joko Widodo has to step down after two terms in office. The clear favorite for the presidency is Prabowo Subianto, a former lieutenant general. He promises to preserve Joko Widodo’s legacy – especially his economic policy priorities. Apart from that, he wants to champion security and defense with a distinctly nationalist flavor. Subianto Gibran has put forward Rakabuming Raka, Widodo’s eldest son, as his candidate for the vice presidency. The authoritarian and dynastic traits of the candidates are hard to deny.

March 1: Iran

Despite the mass protests triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini in September 2022, no change is expected from these elections. The protests were quelled and have since petered out. It is to be expected that candidates who are not acceptable to the current rulers will be excluded from the election. Iran is heavily involved in geopolitics through its support for Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the Houthi rebels in Yemen. The aim is regional supremacy. The election in March will certainly not change this.

March 15 – 17: Russia

Nobody doubts that Vladimir Putin will be elected for a fifth term in office. The thirty or so other official candidates have no chance. The rivals who could have posed a threat to Putin have long been in exile or in prison. What impact can his re-election be expected to have on the war in Ukraine? Will he use his presumably excellent “election result” to further intensify the war efforts, for example with a general mobilization? Or, on the contrary, will he seek a way out after the elections with a stronger back?

April / May: India

The incumbent head of government Narendra Modi has a good chance of winning another term in office. Under Modi and his Hindu-nationalist BJP party, the regime in India is becoming increasingly authoritarian. The largest opposition party, the Congress Party, has formed a broad alliance with other opposition parties. But even so, its chances are not good. The Modi government’s course has so far remained business-friendly. In authoritarian-populist regimes, however, there is no guarantee that this will remain the case. On the contrary: researchers from the University of Bonn and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy show in the renowned journal American Economic Review that a populist government costs the citizens of a country an average of ten percent of gross domestic product per capita over a period of 15 years. They attribute this to the economic disintegration associated with populist rule, declining macroeconomic stability and the erosion of institutions.

May: South Africa

Thirty years ago, South Africa enthusiastically elected Nelson Mandela, the first president of the African National Congress (ANC) More than 80% of eligible voters went to the polls at the end of apartheid. Today, less than 50% are expected. South Africans are turning their backs on politics because of corruption and crime – South Africa ranks 83rd out of 180 on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. There is a growing longing for an authoritarian president who will ensure order. In the absence of clear alternatives, the incumbent President Cyril Ramaphosa will probably be re-elected without enthusiasm. The question is, however, in which direction the country will continue to develop beyond his presidency.

What needs to be done?

It is to be feared that the world after 2024 will be less democratic and more populist. The further fragmentation of economic areas with less free trade and more industrial policy is clear to see. As a company, entrepreneur and individual, you need to be prepared for the unpredictable. Developing scenarios with associated strategies can help you to find your way in any world. Develop realistic scenarios with all the facets they entail. Based on this, develop strategies with which you can prosper in the various scenarios, both professionally and personally.

Do you need support?
  • for your assessment of the geopolitical situation?
  • For an assessment of how geopolitics will affect your business?
  • The development of realistic scenarios with their multifaceted consequences?
  • The development of adapted strategies?

For more information, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help you.

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