Turbulence: Power shifts and revolution
In this photo gallery, we look at the world of politics, which has been nothing less than “turbulent” in 2020. Leadership changed in Japan and the United States, bringing both hope and skepticism. Meanwhile, everyday citizens got political and took to the streets, shouting so loud that even face masks couldn’t muzzle their voices. The stage is set for change, but it remains to be seen what 2021 will bring.
Sudden departure: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was unable to preside over the Tokyo Olympics, and announced his resignation over poor health in August. Although his visits to the hospital were concerning, the announcement still came as a surprise to many. He has had a difficult year, with unresolved scandals and the coronavirus pandemic putting a damper on his attempts to reinvigorate the economy and revise the postwar Constitution. However, he made history this summer when he officially became the country’s longest-serving prime minister. | REUTERS
Yoshihide Suga stands to a round of applause in the Lower House after being selected to be the new prime minister of Japan in September. If he looks serious, that’s because he has a challenging job ahead of him in leading the nation during such an uncertain time. He was initially welcomed, with an approval rating of 65%, but this has since plunged to 42% amid criticisms of the Go To travel campaign and a rise in new cases of COVID-19. | REUTERS
Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris locked hands in celebration after it looked like they won the U.S. election in November, even though the results were only confirmed in their favor in December. The win brings an end to four years of Donald Trump in the White House, but as he has yet to concede it doesn’t look like the Republican candidate will be stepping aside anytime soon. Regardless of what Trump does, his legacy remains embedded in the social and political fabric of what is an almost evenly divided country. | REUTERS
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Cecil Airport in Jacksonville, Florida, on Sept. 24. | REUTERS
Amid the drizzling rain, a man walks toward three riot buses forming a wall in Bangkok. The headlights shine and reflect off the wet asphalt, illuminating the dark sky with a purplish hue. There is a calmness in his step as he is certain of the need for change in Thailand. It is an act of defiance fuelled by antigovernment protests against the Thai monarchy. | REUTERS
People remained undeterred in their conviction for change this year, despite the dangers of gathering in groups brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Minsk, protesters unfurl the former national red-and-white flag calling for President Alexander Lukashenko to resign after he won what is believed to be a rigged election. | BLOOMBERG
Democracy activists in Hong Kong struggle against the injustice of a new national security law seen as bringing the city under tighter control from Beijing. | REUTERS
Protesters in the United States voiced their anger over the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis this summer, leading to an extended period of marches, protests and, sometimes, riots that saw a wide political divide in the country grow even wider. | AP
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson stands socially distant from French President Emmanuel Macron in June — an image that could represent the British leader’s efforts to distance his country from Europe through ongoing Brexit negotiations. Regardless of how discussions play out and despite the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine, the U.K. is now back in lockdown as a much more contagious variant of the coronavirus began to spread, prompting many nations to block all travel to and from Great Britain.
An attendee holds a QAnon flag before a campaign rally for U.S. President Donald Trump in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on Sept. 8. | BLOOMBERG
Amy Coney Barrett, U.S. President Donald Trump’s nominee for associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, holds up a blank notepad during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Washington on Oct. 13. | BLOOMBERG