Political Peril in Pakistan: Comparing Levels of Violence in the 2013 and 2018 General Elections

On July 25, 2018, Pakistan held its first general election in five years. With the 2013 election described as one of the “bloodiest” in Pakistan’s history (BBC News, May 2, 2013), the 2018 election seems to have followed the trend following high-casualty attacks carried out by the Islamic State and a number of reports of…

Radar-Zimbabwe Pre-Election Report 2018

Zimbabweans go to the polls on 30 July to select the president, members of parliament, and local government representatives. This election season is shaped by several marked differences from previous contests. Many of the parliamentary and council candidates are not party incumbents, and there are many independent candidates. Both of the main parties competing are…

South Africa: Service Delivery at the Center of Violent Protests

2018 has seen modest levels of political violence and protest events in South Africa relative to preceding years. The decrease in events can be explained by a number of factors, including the absence of elections (election violence), the decrease in student protests at tertiary institutions nationwide and the February 2018 change in leadership from the…

The Merger of the FATA and KP: Political Ploy or Positive Change?

On 27 May 2018, members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly voted overwhelmingly to approve the KP-FATA merger bill, which days earlier had been passed through both houses of Pakistan’s National Assembly (Dawn, 27 May 2018). This bill, officially the 31st Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan, will merge the semi-autonomous Federally Administered Tribal Areas…

Election Violence in Indian West Bengal

The ruling Trinamool Congress Party (TMC) secured a comfortable victory in the 2018 West Bengal panchayat (village government) elections on May 14 in India. However, political violence and inadequate security arrangements during the election nomination and polling phases prevented opposition parties and citizens from fulfilling their democratic right to participate in free elections. The different…

Elections and Sectarianism in Iraq and Lebanon

Since the beginning of May 2018, voters in both Lebanon and Iraq have gone to the polls in historic elections. There have been concerns that these elections could spark violence amongst the participating actors due to sectarian tensions and the divisive political landscapes in these countries — as well as pressures from the Syrian Civil…