Five Key Elections In The First Half of 2021

Guy Walker
. 5 min read
With dozens of elections planned in the next six months, WatchKeeper have highlighted five key elections that could see protest or violence.
From the storming of the US Capitol building on January 6th to the violence of Uganda’s general election campaign, 2021 has already been witness to major elections, protests and violence.
With dozens more elections planned in the next six months, WatchKeeper have highlighted five key elections that could see protest or violence.
Five Key Elections to Watch
1) 23 March — Israeli Knesset Election
Israel’s unity government was formed in response to an inconclusive election result and the coronavirus pandemic last year. It was never expected to last. True to expectation, Netanyahu and Gantz’s government failed to resolve a state budget row in December. Israel now faces its fourth election in just two years. It is expected to be a turbulent one.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is under increasing political and personal pressure. He is on trial for alleged corruption while his former protege Gideon Saar has formed a new party that is popular among Netanyahu’s core voters. However, the country’s effective vaccination programme appears to have given Netanyahu a popularity boost.
Polls show that Netanyahu’s Likud party is expected to win the most seats in the Knesset, but they will likely fall short of the 61 seats needed for a majority. Tensions are already high in Israel with frequent protests against the Prime Minister. When combined with a close election, protests and possibly violence, are highly likely.
2) 11 April — Peruvian General Election
2020 was a year of unprecedented political instability for Peru. In November, the Southern American country saw three presidents within a one-week period. Scandals involving alleged corruption and mass protests dominated the country.
Interim president Francisco Sagasti now faces a daunting few months ahead of April’s election. COVID-19 has killed over 41,000 Peruvians and despite historically being one of Latin America’s best-performing economies, 2020 saw the country’s economy shrink by 11.6%.
Although there are a record 22 candidates running, high levels of dissatisfaction with national politics persist. The election could act as a catalyst for protests that call for wider social, political and economic changes. Violence and disruption, as seen in November, is possible.
3) 6 May — Scottish Parliament Election
Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic have caused a turbulent start to 2021 in the United Kingdom. The May local and regional elections across the United Kingdom will act as an important indication of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party’s popularity.
Considerable attention will be on the Scottish Parliamentary elections. After years of calling for a second Scottish Independence referendum, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is hoping for a Scottish National Party landslide. She argues this would provide her with a stronger mandate to pressure Westminster.
The political implications of the elections could be major for the premiership of Boris Johnson and the future of the Union. With these crucial elections likely to coincide with eased coronavirus restrictions, there is an increased chance of protests.
4) 5 June — Ethiopian General Election
Like many other nations, Ethiopia was due to have its general election in August 2020 but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the House of Representatives to postpone the election until 2021.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who was awarded the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, has come under increasing domestic and international pressure. His Prosperity Party, a new pan-Ethiopian party formed out of his government coalition, faces challenges from smaller ethnic and regional parties. This has sparked an armed conflict in Tigray, in which thousands have been killed and at least a million have been displaced.
Amidst existing political and ethnic violence, organisations and personnel should stay wary as the election will undoubtedly see heightened tensions, major travel disruption and serious violence.
5) 18 June — Iranian Presidential Election
This year, Iran will have its thirteenth presidential election. The incumbent president, Hassan Rouhani, won reelection in 2017. However, he has now reached the constitutional term limit.
While not entirely at fault, Rouhani leaves the country in a precarious position. Iran has had the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the Middle East, high inflation and has entered the third consecutive year of recession. The political implications of these events are likely to emulate last year’s parliamentary elections, which saw conservatives make gains from the reformist and pragmatist political blocs.
Over the last two years, serious civil unrest has not been uncommon. It is possible that the heated political environment, combined with existing economic and social woes, could spark further violence and protests.
How WatchKeeper can protect your organisation from protests or violence
WatchKeeper allows organisations and government agencies to achieve complete situational awareness. Our platform seamlessly synchronises organisations’ internal data alongside external risk feeds. All of this is done on a single mapping display.
This means data on assets, personnel and supply chains is not siloed in different departments, while also ensuring that external risk information is not limited to disparate webpages. Instead, WatchKeeper’s platform unifies this data to support rapid decision-making before, during and after a critical event.
To find out more about WatchKeeper’s platform, its features, and how it could protect your organisation from protests and violent incidents, please visit or email
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