Daniel Noboa will succeed Guillermo Lasso as Ecuadorian president.

On Oct. 15th, Daniel Noboa, a 35-year-old business executive, won the race to be Ecuador’s next president, although due to the circumstances of the election, he will only get a shortened 18-month term. To subsequently win a full term in office for himself, Noboa needs to learn from outgoing President Guillermo Lasso’s failures.

Since his overwhelming victory in India’s May 2019 elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration has doubled down on Hindu nationalism and illiberalism. Meanwhile, the country faces foreign policy challenges, including its relationship with Pakistan and competition for regional influence with China. What will the rest of Modi’s second term bring?

Houthi supporters in Yemen.

For the past year, Yemen has been in a state of limbo, its messy, regionalized conflict on hold but unresolved. And that’s unlikely to change—for the better, at least—soon. Even if Saudi Arabia and the Houthis agree to a formal cease-fire, the country will remain stuck in the liminal space of “no war, no peace” for some time to come.

Supporters of Chilean President Gabriel Boric

Since Chile’s leftist President Gabriel Boric took office, hopes that he will usher in sweeping change have evaporated rapidly. The latest disappointment came earlier this month, when the committee charged with replacing Chile’s outdated dictatorship-era constitution approved a draft that would make the country more conservative.

Maria Corina Machado holds the Venezuelan flag

Last week’s news of a deal between the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the country’s political opposition and—unofficially—the United States guaranteeing a competitive election in 2024 was a temporary win for nearly everyone involved. But we won’t know who the long-term winners are for many months to come.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy speaks to reporters

One of the reasons for the ouster of Rep. Kevin McCarthy as House speaker by so-called MAGA Republicans was their opposition to sending more funding and military assistance to Ukraine amid Russia’s war there. The question this raises is: Why? Why is Ukraine aid such a common cudgel for the MAGA wing of the GOP?

In Nepal, Hindu nationalism is being imported from India.

In Nepal, the emergence of Hindu nationalism coupled with attacks on the country’s secularist credentials hint at an organized effort to increase the salience of religion in domestic politics. The stakes are urgent, as the health of Nepal’s young democracy would suffer if Hindu nationalism makes significant inroads there.

Vehicles drive past a giant portrait of Gen. Qasem Soleimani in downtown Tehran

While the world remains transfixed by the Israel-Hamas war, other trends that could prove as consequential for the future of the Middle East are gaining momentum. In particular, an increasingly visible transformation of identity discourses in the Gulf and Iran is setting the scene for further shocks to the regional order.

People walk through mounds of rubble that used to be high-rise apartment buildings in Aleppo, Syria.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s recent visit to China signaled the diplomatic revival he has long hoped for. But Assad walked away from the trip empty-handed when it comes to financial commitments toward reconstruction of Syria’s still-devastated infrastructure. Worse still for Assad, China isn’t alone in its reticence toward Syria.

Guatemala's politics have taken a turn since Bernardo Arevalo won the most recent presidential election.

Guatemalans have taken to the streets to make sure President-elect Bernardo Arevalo takes office in January as scheduled. The protesters are convinced that Guatemala’s ruling political and economic elites are attempting to undo the results of the country’s recent presidential election—and they have good reason to be alarmed.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of Poland's ruling Law and Justice

Poland’s parliamentary elections on Oct. 15 could cement the ruling PiS party’s hold on power—or usher in its demise. Once again, the election centers on the rivalry between PiS and the centrist Civic Platform party that has dominated Polish politics since the mid-2000s. Warsaw’s partners and allies will be watching closely.

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy has dealt with domestic issues like corruption and democracy.

As Ukraine fast approaches its third year of all-out war, flickers of domestic politics have begun to reappear. That has created a new challenge for Ukrainian members of parliament who want to ensure accountability without undermining the war effort, at a time when support from Western allies is being thrown into question.

The UN recently approved a mission to Haiti, led by Kenya, to combat gang violence.

Last week, the U.N. Security Council established a multinational armed mission to Haiti that many fear will end up being yet another botched intervention there. In fact, the mission has several features that ought to reassure skeptics. Whether it can live up to its full potential will depend on a number of factors yet to be determined.

New Zealand holds its first elections since Jacinda Ardern resigned earlier this year.

New Zealand’s election on Oct. 14 is poised to deliver significant change. The last time the country went to the polls, in 2020, then-Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s successful pandemic response saw her Labour Party rewarded with an absolute majority. Fast-forward three years and New Zealanders now are more grumpy than grateful.

The UN recently approved a mission to Haiti, led by Kenya, to combat gang violence.

Last week, after months of requests from Haiti for international assistance, the U.N. Security Council authorized a peacekeeping mission to fight gangs that have taken over the country’s capital. The question now is whether the force will be enough to make a difference. There’s no shortage of reasons to believe it won’t.

A pro-democracy protest against Tunisian President Kais Saied.

Two constants mark Tunisia under President Kais Saied: Dissidents and opposition politicians continue to be put behind bars, and the economy continues to worsen. And if the government is silencing more and more opposition voices, it is in part because it lacks palatable solutions or a long-term plan for the economic crisis.

Polish opposition leader Donald Tusk speaks during a campaign rally.

With less than two weeks before Poland holds elections, odds favor the ruling Law and Justice party winning an unprecedented third term. In a jaw-dropping irony, however, the party, which often appeals to anti-immigrant sentiment, is now embroiled in a scandal over selling visas to migrants from Asia and Africa.

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