April may traditionally be the cruellest month, but in 2014 it will also be the most democratic the world has ever seen. More than a billion people are eligible to vote in a sudden flurry of national elections in some of the world’s largest – and newest democracies. As well as the 800 million eligible to casts their ballot in India from 7 April, another 190 million have the right to vote in Indonesian elections on 9 April. In terms of size of electorate, India and Indonesia are the world’s first and third largest democracies. The US is second.
Twelve million Afghans are eligible to vote in presidential elections on 5 April, though less than a third have registered so far, while millions of Iraqis will be invited to cast ballots in a parliamentary poll on 30 April. Algeria will call on its 21 million voters to decide on 17 April about whether to give President Abdelaziz Bouteflika a fourth term. And smaller electorates in Hungary, Macedonia and Guinea-Bissau will also be able to exercise their democratic right next month.