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International Elections and Leaders: September 2018 Update

Ibrahim Keita and Soumalia Cisse Mali’s Presidential Election
Ibrahim Keita (right) defeated perennial rival Soumalia Cisse (left) in Mali’s controversial run-off round to secure a second term as president. Source: AFP via Getty Images

The REIGN Dataset (Rulers, Elections, and Irregular Governance) covers political conditions in every country each and every month. We update the data set monthly to reflect the most recent political events, such as coups, world elections, and changes in political leadership. We also provide monthly election coverage and track leadership changes in a series of updates called International Elections and Leaders.

International Elections

August proved to be a break in this year’s election schedule. Only Mali conducted a national election, in the form of a runoff round on August 12th between incumbent Ibrahim Keita and three-time contender Soumaïla Cissé. Keita was declared the winner with 67 percent of the vote amid controversies over alleged vote fraud and anti-election violence conducted by militant jihadists.

New Leaders

Two new leaders took office during the month of August. Ivan Duque was sworn in as Colombia’s 33rd president on August 7th. Duque’s tenure has the potential to reshape Colombia’s domestic politics and regional interests. The new president has already taken aim at Venezuela by withdrawing from the Union of South American Nations regional bloc, which he has accused of supporting a dictatorship in Venezuela.

In Pakistan, former cricket star Imran Khan officially assumed the office of prime minister on August 18th after receiving 176 votes in parliament. His victory over opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif is part of a global trend in the rise of “maverick” politicians, and he has stated that he plans to tackle systemic corruption and implement an ambitious set of governmental reforms.

Events to Watch in September

Two major elections that could result in changes in leadership are planned for September. First, the Maldives will hold its presidential election on September 23rd. The election is surrounded by controversy as opposition candidate Mohamed Solih has publicly accused incumbent president Abdulla Yameen of attempting to rig the election. In Europe, Sweden will hold its general election on September 9th. This coming election has the potential to shift Swedish politics further to the right as the Swedish Democrats Party is forecasted to win at least 20 percent of the vote.

Finally, Slovenia’s parliament has approved Marjan Šarec, a former television actor and comedian, to take over the helm of government as prime minister. The nomination comes from a series of center-left minority parties that are seeking to sideline the right-wing Slovenian Democratic Party. Šarec has yet to officially take power, so watch for further developments in Slovenia during the month of September as the incoming PM seeks to gain approval for cabinet nominations.

Interested in more election coverage? Visit the REIGN Dataset page, or read the most recent update on international elections and leaders.