The first voting booths opened in the UK and the Netherlands this morning. In the next four days 400 million Europeans will have the right to choose who will be in charge in Europe. I just went to the local booth to participate with my vote. Expectations for participation of the qualified voters shows a dramatic figure of 25% in the Netherlands. Amazing! People do not realize how lucky we are to live in a democracy. In India they do. Last month the figures proved this.
In India 814 million people were eligible to vote with an increase of 100 million young people since the last election in 2009, making this the largest-ever election in the world. The election was held to constitute the 16th Lok Sabha, electing members of parliament for all 543 seats. More than 500 million people voted (66%). Around 23 million people (2.7%) were aged 18-19 years.
Democracy of India
The results were declared on 16 May. The counting exercise was held at almost 1,000 counting centres. The BJP, the party of Narendra Modi, won a sweeping victory, taking 282 seats out of 543. The second time that an Indian party has won enough seats to govern without the support of other parties. It was also the second-worst defeat of a sitting government in independent India.
Politics and business
Yesterday I particpated in a NICCT (Netherlands Indian Chamber of Commerce and Trade) meeting about the influence of this new government for doing business in India. Over all the conclusion was that Narendra Modi shows high aspirations. His fresh approach and inspiring leadership seems healthy for a new route forward on the path of prosperity. Let’s hope so. I share the proudness of the democratic spirit. In India and in Europe.