Predictable Predicaments: What to look out for in 2023…

As we enter a new year, we take a look at what political events are scheduled to take place.

As 2022 has shown us, you can never really know what is going to happen in the political and constitutional sphere, (FYI Professor Goodwin predicts that Rishi Sunak will make it through a whole year as Prime Minister, check out our socials for more lecturer’s 2023 predictions!), but there are certain events that are as guaranteed as they can be.

One of the most monumental events in 2022 was the death of Queen Elizabeth II, which means that one of the most monumental events of 2023 will be the coronation of her heir, King Charles III, and the Queen Consort, Camilla.

Charles will be crowned on May 6th and this event will be the first coronation the majority of Britons have seen in their lifetimes. The coronation comes at a time when the relevance of the British Monarchy has been called into question, with a quarter of Britons believing that it should be abolished (YouGov 2022). Regardless, it’ll undoubtedly be a historic moment that should not go ignored.

Just a day later, May 7th will see Thailand hold a general election. Thailand has been given a Freedom House Score of just 29 out of 100, with political rights only being scored 5 out of a possible 40 points (Freedom House 2022) and it has been questioned whether Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will dissolve the House of Representatives before the election can take place. Despite this, Thailand’s Electoral Commission has scheduled the elections for May 7th, so we will simply have to wait and see if they will go ahead, and even more importantly if they do so without corruption.

NATO will hold its 33rd summit on 11th – 12th July in Vilnius, Lithuania. This will clearly be a very significant event for international relations, as war continues to rage on in Ukraine, and NATO describes the current global political climate as ‘the most complex and unpredictable security environment since the Cold War.’ Perhaps even more significantly, Finland and Sweden are expected to join the summit, after applying to join NATO in May 2022 in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

‘Without electoral reforms, it is likely that the regime will win yet another landslide victory.’ – Dr Kuzi Zigomo

Another country that will hold a general election in 2023 is Zimbabwe, the second election after the downfall of Robert Mugabe and is scheduled for July or August. Much like Thailand, Zimbabwe has a low political rights score, just 11 out of 40 (Freedom House 2022), and it is unclear whether the election will be free, fair and credible. Our very own Dr Kuzi Zigomo has explained the current political situation in Zimbabwe, as well as the significance of this election here.

Nigeria, Turkey, Argentina and Pakistan also have elections scheduled in 2023, read more about them here.

So, just like 2022, it is obvious that 2023 is bound to be politically significant, and as we near a year since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we also must wonder what the future holds for Russia and its relations with the West.

What do you think will be the most significant political event of 2023?