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The 20 protagonists who have marked international political news in 2022

The year 2022 has been marked by a series of international political figures:

VLADIMIR PUTIN

The Russian president materialized his threats and launched an invasion that has left thousands dead and millions displaced. Putin, who has come to put the possible use of nuclear weapons on the table, has increased internal repression to contain the discontent of the population.

VOLODYMIR ZELENSKY

The president saw how his figure resurfaced internationally as a result of the conflict with Russia, which led ‘Time’ magazine to choose him along with the “spirit of Ukraine” as the most relevant person of the year. Zelensky has focused his efforts on bringing kyiv closer to NATO and the EU despite threats from Moscow.

LIZ TRUSS

Truss, who became prime minister in September after Boris Johnson resigned, became the shortest-serving person in British history just over a month later. The earthquake caused by his ‘mini budget’ led to doubts about his management capacity and finally his removal from power.

XI JINPING

Xi has cemented his control of the Asian giant after winning a historic third term as general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and reshaping the Standing Committee to surround himself with allies. Likewise, he has hardened his tone against the US and Taiwan, raising fears of a rise in tensions in the area.

GIORGIA MELONI

One of the main faces in European politics has been Meloni, who has materialized the rise of the extreme right in Europe after becoming the first woman to hold the position of prime minister in the transalpine country. Thus, she heads the most right-wing government in Italy since the IIGM after taking advantage of the political chaos of recent years.

DONALD TRUMP

The former US president has remained in the political front row since his departure from power in the midst of the assault on the Capitol in January 2021 and since then he has tried to promote his candidacy for the 2024 elections. His figure has suffered various setbacks, including the results of the ‘midterms’ and the seizure of classified documents that he took to Mar-a-Lago after leaving the White House.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU

Netanyahu has staged one of the main returns to power after Likud’s victory in the November elections, which will allow him to return to office just over a year later. ‘Bibi’, who faces corruption charges, has assembled the most right-wing coalition to date, with several far-right and ultra-Orthodox parties threatening to escalate tensions with the Palestinians.

THEODORE OBIANG

The Equatoguinean leader has achieved a new mandate by obtaining 95% of the votes in elections rejected again by the opposition. Obiang, who has led the country with an iron fist since he overthrew his uncle Francisco Macías Nguema in 1979, has rejected criticism and stressed that he has “overwhelming” support for being “the guarantor of peace.”

EMMANUEL MACRON

Macron managed to prevail over Marine Le Pen to revalidate his mandate, although he received a setback in the parliamentary elections due to the irruption of the left, with Mélenchon at the helm. Likewise, he has been one of the leaders who have maintained the greatest number of contacts with Putin to try to seat the Russian president at the negotiating table.

SANNA MARIN

The Prime Minister of Finland has been another of the faces of this 2022 after criticism against her for leaked images about her participation in her parties, although the authorities ruled out illegal practices. Marin defended her right to have fun and even underwent tests to prove that she had not used drugs.

JENS STOLTENBERG

The NATO secretary general saw his mandate extended until September 2023 in March, about a month after the start of the Russian invasion, which he described as “the biggest security crisis in a generation.” The war raised doubts about his succession, which was to materialize at the NATO summit in Madrid.

GUSTAVO PETRO/FRANCIA MARQUEZ

Petro became one of the faces of the Latin American left after achieving victory in the presidential elections in Colombia, which meant the entry of a leftist into the Casa Nariño for the first time in history. The president attended in tandem with Francia Márquez, who became the first African-American woman to hold the Vice Presidency.

GABRIEL BORIC

Another of the most relevant faces in Latin America has been the also leftist Boric, who in March was sworn in as president of Chile, thus becoming the youngest president in the country’s history. Boric revealed a government that exceeds gender parity, although it has faced a major stumbling block after the failed constitutional referendum in September.

LULA DA SILVA

The Brazilian leftist leader has won a historic third term after a campaign marked by polarization. Lula, who already led the country between 2003 and 2010, has staged a triumphant return after more than a year and a half in prison after being convicted of corruption, charges that he rejected at all times and that he linked to political persecution.

ELIZABETH II / CHARLES III
The United Kingdom has experienced the first monarchical succession in 70 years after the death at the age of 96 of Elizabeth II, who had been on a throne for nearly 73 years that is now occupied by her son, Carlos III. The monarch who was crowned in February 1952 after the death of her father, George VI, maintained her official activities until days before her death at Balmoral.

IMRAN JAN
Jan, who became Pakistan’s prime minister in 2018, has become the first to be ousted in a vote of no confidence. The politician, who went so far as to denounce a US plot — statements he has retracted — survived an assassination attempt in November after being shot during a protest.

PEDRO CASTILLO/DINA BOLUARTE
Castillo has been another fallen figure after being dismissed after trying to dissolve Congress to prevent a vote of no confidence against his government, shaken by instability. The former president, arrested hours later, has been succeeded by Dina Boluarte, who has shown her intention to call elections in 2024 amid protests that have already left 30 dead.

CRISTINA FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER
Fernández de Kirchner, now vice president of Argentina, has been sentenced to six years in prison and life disqualification for corruption. The ‘Peronist’ politician also survived an assassination attempt after a man tried to pull a gun inches from his face near his home.

MAHSA AMINI
Mahsa Amini has become the face of anti-government protests in Iran following her death in her custody after being arrested for allegedly misdressing her. The protesters denounce the repressive role on women’s rights, in the midst of a violent repression that has left more than 400 dead, according to several NGOs.

VIKTOR ORBAN
The Hungarian prime minister has maintained a discordant position within the EU this year, even proposing to eliminate the European Parliament after the corruption “scandal” over alleged bribes from Qatar. In the midst of these tensions, the European Commission has proposed freezing funds to Budapest due to the lack of reforms to strengthen the rule of law.

MOHAMED VI
The King of Morocco has been another of the faces of international politics after Spain’s decision to support the autonomy plan for Western Sahara, a turn criticized by the Polisario Front. The monarch, who has defended the “Moroccanity” of the former Spanish colony, has been one of the promoters of the contacts to reinforce Rabat’s territorial claims over this territory.

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