The Week in Review: Billions Cast Their Ballots

This week saw the close of the most democratic month in human history. For India’s 815 million eligible voters, the long and pricey journey to find a new prime minister was a healthy exercise: voter turnout in April averaged a record high of 68%, which is expected to continue until the final count is announced on May 16.

In Iraq, however, freedom was hard-won. Since the withdrawal of American troops in 2012, corruption, extremism and violence have pushed the country into a downward spiral, threatening to disrupt Wednesday’s elections. But despite UN statistics citing April as unusually violent, voting took place in relative calm.

Democracy’s biggest challenges still lie ahead. Mounting tensions—which is to say horrifying human rights violations, questionable acts of secession and sectarian brutality—cast shadows on the likelihood of legitimate presidential elections later this year in Ukraine, Egypt and Syria.

Every day new reports pour in, and our international community of MagMakers are busy compiling the most newsworthy material. Have a look:

India Elections by Jaideep Vaidya: Focused primarily on Hindu nationalist candidate Narendra Modi, this magazine takes a look at the ascendancy of the BJP, India’s increasingly popular right-wing party.

Middle East News For The Perplexed by marcdubey: If you’re confused—or just overwhelmed—by what’s happening in the Middle East, this guide will keep you updated with news, op-eds from the region’s proponents and critics, and foreign analysis.

Revolution News by mrstnmddx: The revolution is being televised, tweeted and talked about all over the world—as documented in this magazine.

Syria Conflict by Salvatore Riina: The Syrian War has unfolded in horrific terms. What began as a crackdown on peaceful protests escalated into a government launching chemical weapons against its own people. This magazine provides context while documenting atrocities.

Egypt in peril by nu: Not long ago the term “Arab Spring” referred to the spread of Middle Eastern democracy. Protests in 2011 across North Africa, including Egypt, helped remove a number of the region’s dictators. But as this magazine shows, systemic challenges still plague Egyptian politics.

Ukraine 2014 Crisis by msk28: As Europe’s economy began to plummet, few could predict what it meant in political terms. Instead of seeking help from the EU, the Ukrainian president turned to Russia for financial assistance—and then fled while his country rioted amidst suspicions concerning the deal’s integrity. This magazine examines Ukraine’s dissolving boundaries and Russia’s creeping influence.

~ShonaS is curating “Holiday Road (5/2)