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Ballot box binge: Votes loom in coming days from Mongolia to Iran to Britain in a busy election year

Even in a busy year of elections around the world, the next few days stand out.

Over the next week, voters go to the polls in fledgling democracies like Mauritania and Mongolia, the Islamic Republic of Iran and in stalwart democracies — former imperial powers — Britain and France.

In the U.S., President Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump were participating Thursday in the first of two TV debates before their expected November standoff.

The voters in the upcoming elections face hard choices that could reorient the world at a time of war in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; mutual suspicion among some big powers; and growing public anxiety over things like jobs, climate change, taxes, inflation and the rise of AI.

National elections are taking place in more than 50 countries this year. India, Mexico and South Africa ushered in political change or ballot-box surprises. Russia did not.

Here’s a look at the flurry of balloting over the next few days in countries that collectively hold some 225 million people in Europe, Africa and Asia:


In Iran on Friday, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is looking for a successor for his hard-line protégé, President Ebrahim Raisi, who died last month in a helicopter crash.

Two hard-liners — former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and parliamentary speaker Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf — are among candidates that include Masoud Pezeshkian, a cardiac surgeon seen as a reformist who has lined up with supporters of relatively moderate former President Hassan Rouhani.

Over 50 countries go to the polls in 2024

  • The year will test even the most robust democracies. Read more on what’s to come here.
  • Take a look at the 25 places where a change in leadership could resonate around the world.
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