Global Political Calendar: Wang Yi, Trump-Abe and EU elections
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends SCO foreign ministers' meeting in Kyrgyzstan, Indian election results are expected, EU parliamentary elections kick off, and Trump-Abe meeting is being closely watched.
Over 2,000 parties and 8,000 candidates are in a contest for 543 seats. This election will choose the 17th Lok Sabha. The members of the largest party or coalition will then choose the prime minister. Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rahul Gandhi's Indian National Congress are the two strongest challengers.
If the BJP repeats its 2014 performance, it should get a clear majority in parliament. If it loses half the seats, the BJP is dependent on its allies to form a government. If it loses more than half the seats, then even Modi's coming back to power is uncertain.
Opinion polls say the BJP is still the front-runner, but it is likely to return with fewer seats.
EU parliamentary elections
Citizens of the EU will vote in an unusually consequential set of elections from May 23 to 26. More than 350 million eligible voters can cast ballots across the bloc's 28 countries – assuming elections in the UK go ahead – for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), who will serve five-year terms.
Once elected, MEPs are organized by transnational groups that reflect their political affiliation. The current parliament has eight groups. The party with the largest number of seats gets to appoint the president of the European Commission, a position currently held by Jean-Claude Juncker.
With Brexit looming and nationalist populism on the rise, this year's election is seen by many as decisive for EU's future.
U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump will travel to Japan from May 25 to 28 and will be the country's first state guests to meet Emperor Naruhito.
Trump will also hold talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The pair may discuss trade, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), as well as U.S.-Japan alliance.
During the trip, the Trumps are also expected to attend a state banquet to be held at the Imperial Palace, and Trump may watch sumo at an upcoming tournament and inspect an Izumo-class helicopter carrier, Japan's largest postwar class of naval vessels.
The U.S. president will likely travel to Japan again for the Group of 20 summit in Osaka in June.
Monday: Wang Yi visits Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia (to 27), Brazil's Vice President Hamilton Mourao continues visit in China (to May 24).
Tuesday: Wang Yi attends SCO Council of FMs meeting, EU General Affairs Council meeting takes place in Brussels, general election kicks off in Malawi.
Wednesday: No major political events.
Thursday: European Parliament election kicks off (to May 26), President of Finland Sauli Niinisto meets President of Slovenia Borut Pahor and other high-level officials (to May 24), India's election results are declared.
Friday: Local, European and referendum elections take place in Ireland.
Saturday: Trump visits Japan (to May 28).
Sunday: Belgian Chamber of Representatives election kicks off.