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And now, the EU

June 11, 2024

MANILA – Last week I wrote a midyear evaluation of 2024, dubbed as a global year of elections with half of the world’s adults voting in national elections. Last weekend was frenzied with final results streaming in for two important elections, in India and Mexico.

The Mexican election was interesting gender-wise, with the two leading candidates being women. The polls predicted that Claudio Sheinbaum, whose party was in power, would win and indeed she did but there was more to her than her gender: she had been the equivalent of a mayor for Mexico City, one of the world’s largest mega-cities, she was the first Jewish (a secular one) to become a Mexican president and the first president to come with impressive credentials of a climate scientist.

Yet, the stock market tumbled when she won because business people were nervous about having a leftist win, one who would carry on the policies of her predecessor, also from the left. She will have to be a tough president, tackling widespread violence, including femicide, with an average of 10 women murdered each day in Mexico.

Halfway across the world, the stock market tumbled, too, with elections, this time in India. The incumbent, Narendra Modi, was running for a third term and was confident his coalition would capture 400 of the 543 seats in India’s Parliament. Instead, the coalition got a mere 292 seats. Modi had become too confident and authoritarian during his term and the world’s largest democracy reacted, holding him accountable for continuing poverty and inflation.

Modi tried to capitalize on anti-Muslim feelings to get votes but in the end, his party lost even in the constituency of Faizabad, home of the city of Ayodhya where he had, in January this year,