15:14 22.12.2020


Top-rated World Politicians: Winners and Losers 2020

6 min read
Top-rated World Politicians: Winners and Losers 2020

Anton Rovenskyy, Master of International Relations, International Political Scientist


By their acts and decisions, they determined the fate of the difficult and ambiguous 2020. Who of the world's politicians has earned the title of the “Winner of the year” and who is the “Loser of the year”?


The Winners of the year


Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Turkey)

In 2020, the President of Turkey has successfully played simultaneously on several foreign policy “chessboards” - in Libya, Syria, the Eastern Mediterranean, in the Caucasus. Turkey under Erdogan has become one of the most active geopolitical players, while the ambitions of the Turkish leader are not limited to the above regions, but extend much wider.


Narendra Modi (India)

The Prime Minister of India in the outgoing year showed the master class of truly multi-vector policy. Under Modi’s leadership, India managed to sign an agreement on the exchange of military information with the United States, arrange the supply of Russian S-400, draw the border conflict with China, and also keep its traditional opponent in the face of Pakistan in constant tension.


Xi Jinping (China)

The People’s Republic of China has successfully overcome the coronavirus pandemic and will demonstrate the economic growth by the end of 2020, which will strengthen the position of the Celestial Empire on the world arena. This year, China began to form the largest economic cluster in the world with the participation of Japan and South Korea (The Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership).


Kamala Harris (the USA)

The USA’s Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is one of the most perspective American politicians and will become one of the key players in the future of Washington administration. Hardly a year ago, anyone could have predicted such similar development of events.


Viktor Orban (Hungary)

The Hungarian Prime Minister has become the most prominent opponent of George Soros on the world arena, and, moreover, demonstrates obvious successes on this path. In 2020 Orban made a strong claim to become a leader on right-wing conservative political flank of Europe.


Sadyr Japarov (Kyrgyzstan)

The coup in Kyrgyzstan has become a social lift for many local politicians, who were previously on the sidelines. Sadyr Japarov, who moved from the colony to the chair of acting President and then the Prime Minister is a good example. Japarov immediately began to form the system of government in Kyrgyzstan for himself and he is the favorite of the nearest presidential elections in the republic.


Ingrida Šimonyte (Lithuania)

Ingrida Šimonyte topped the party list of The Homeland Union - Lithuanian Christian Democrats in the elections to the Seim of the Republic of Lithuania. This party wasn’t a favorite of the electoral race, but won, that means to form a parliamentary coalition and government. Consequently, Šimonyte conquered a new career stage, taking the chair of the Prime Minister of the republic, and gained a bridgehead for participation in the presidential elections in 2024.


Maia Sandu (Republic of Moldova)

Despite the fact that, according to legislation of Moldova, the President of the republic performs predominantly representative functions, Sandu's victory in the presidential election is a bit of a help for pro-Western forces during the expected election campaign to the parliament. Time will tell whether they will be able to use it.


Ilham Aliyev (Azerbaijan)

The successful military campaign in Nagorny Karabakh became a great victory for the President of Azerbaijan on the domestic arena. Perhaps, this victory will turn out to be pyrrhic, but so far Aliyev is a triumphant.


Luis Arce (Bolivia)

A year after the overthrow of Evo Morales, Luis Arce confidently took power into his own hands, successfully holding the presidential and parliamentary elections. The coming to power of Luis Arce marked the end of the civil confrontation in Bolivia.


The Losers of the year


Nikol Pashinyan (Armenia)

The loss of Armenia and the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in the military conflict with Azerbaijan plunged official Yerevan into a serious internal political crisis. As a result, the removal of Nikol Pashinyan from the power is a matter of time, but not of principle. Not excluded, that in the future Pashinyan will be forced to go into political emigration, fleeing criminal prosecution after losing the power.


Igor Dodon (Republic of Moldova)

During four years in power, Igor Dodon squandered a significant part of his political capital, and the unfulfilled promises with which he went to the presidential elections in 2016, predetermined his defeat in the election campaign in 2020.


Alexander Lukashenko (Belarus)

Despite the fact that street protests in Belarus did not achieve their goals, Alexander Lukashenko undermined his legitimacy, and also worsened the foreign policy positions of Belarus, that is aggravated by the reduction of the republic's resource base. At the same time, the Belarusian authorities never proposed the concept for resolving objectively existing socio-political contradictions.


Emmanuel Macron (France)

The President of France in the outgoing year did not reach any of the goals, both on the domestic and foreign arena. Amid a pandemic and economic contraction, protests and terrorist attacks continued to shake France, and Macron's foreign policy activity became a series of failures (Libya, Lebanon, Turkey, Armenia). The “Islamic factor” has worsened in France in 2020, that causes the throwing of official Paris.


Ursula von der Leyen (the EU)

During the year in office, the President of the European Commission failed to become a center for developing strategies and making decisions within the European Union. This status quo is unlikely to be changed in the foreseeable future.


Jaroslaw Kaczynski (Poland)

Large-scale protests in Poland in autumn 2020 have shaken the authority of Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the most influential politician in the republic, leader of ruling party “Law and Justice”. Besides that, according to the results of 2020, Warsaw's relations with Brussels have become significantly complicated, and the loss of Donald Trump, on whom the Polish government was guided by, weakens Poland's position on the foreign arena.


Milo Đukanović (Montenegro)

The parliamentary elections at the end of August, as a result of which the Montenegrin opposition formed a parliamentary majority, and then the government, laid the foundation for the erosion of the sole power of Milo Đukanović, who over the past 30 years has concentrated almost all the resources and levers of government in Montenegro. Not much time will pass, and a new political cycle will begin in Montenegro, when political players will model their future “after Đukanović”.


Hashim Thaci (Kosovo)

After years of investigation, the Special Tribunal for Kosovo in the Hague has brought charges against Kosovar leader Hashim Thaci, who is suspected of war crimes in 1998-2000. Thaci was forced to resign from the post of President of the Republic of Kosovo and now risks going to prison for a long time, if not forever.


Benjamin Netanyahu (Israel)

One of the world's worst rates of coronavirus incidence, a permanent internal political crisis, criminal proceedings on suspicion of corruption. Netanyahu ends 2020 clearly on a minor note.


Khalifa Haftar (Libya)

Libyan National Army, led by Khalifa Haftar, suffered a number of painful defeats in 2020. Therefore, Haftar had to say goodbye to plans to become the figure that will unite Libya after years of civil conflict.