Asian Insider: Voting in the world’s largest democracy | What does it mean to be South-east Asian?

Dear ST reader, 

India goes to the polls on April 19 – the start of its seven-phase general election, which runs till June 1. The results will be out on June 4.

Many opinion polls have predicted a win for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party and a third term for Mr Modi. But whether he will be able to meet his ambitious target of 370 parliamentary seats out of the 543 being contested remains to be seen. Here’s all you need to know about the world’s largest democratic exercise.

Singapore will have a new prime minister on May 15, with Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong set to take over from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on that day. PM Lee will take on the role of senior minister in the new Cabinet.

Is a snap general election on the cards? While some political observers say a general election is likely to be held by the end of 2024, others suggest it may take place after the Budget in February 2025. DPM Wong has until November 2025 to hold the next election.

Meanwhile, Israel-Iran tensions have threatened to overshadow the Gaza war, even as deadly bombardment continues to rage in the besieged territory. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said his country reserved the right to protect itself after Iran’s attack on April 13, and that it alone would decide how to do so. 

Israel started the current cycle of confrontation when it killed top officials in Iran’s military in a missile attack on the Iranian consulate building in the Syrian capital of Damascus on April 1. Analysts say an anticipated Israeli counter-strike on Iran will bolster Tehran’s regime by stoking nationalistic sentiment within Iran.


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