In our October travel safety roundup we examine political turmoil in two of the world’s most established democracies – the US and the UK.

Elections are also scheduled to take place in a number of countries around the world this month.

Religious events such as Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, Diwali and Arba’een are also due in October.

Summer has officially ended in the northern hemisphere, with cooler conditions coming to many areas.

However, there are numerous parts of the world still very popular with travellers, such as the Mediterranean and South East Asia.

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Brexit

The pace and tensions associated with Brexit are unprecedented in British politics. The United Kingdom is in a period of great uncertainty, with questionable leadership and constitutional flexibility being tested to its limits.

While Prime Minister Boris Johnson claims that the country will leave the European Union with or without a deal on the 31st October, many politicians are calling for a no-deal departure to be ruled out. The prime minister may even be removed from power.

He has lost several votes called in the House of Commons and he is widely accused of lying and now even sexual assault. Furthermore, the Supreme Court has found that he acted unlawfully in proroguing parliament, even misleading Her Majesty the Queen in the process.

The coming month will be absolutely tumultuous and it still remains uncertain whether the country will actually leave the EU at all.

Impeachment

Not to be outdone in challenging leadership, the president of the United States Donald Trump faces impeachment. Voter support for the process is reportedly on the increase according to recent polls.

A judicial committee will now review evidence. This includes an allegedly incriminating phone call made to Ukraine president Volodomyr Zelensky, released in a whistle-blower report. The committee will rule that either there is insufficient evidence to proceed or it will submit its findings to the Full House to vote on the matter.

If both houses vote to impeach the president a series of procedures, reviews and prosecution protocols will be activated, resulting in a vote in the Senate to either clear Trump or remove him from office, presumable replacing him with Mike Pence as president.

The debate is likely to polarise US society further and is highly likely to weaken the country’s international standing.

Tunisian elections

Elsewhere in the democratic world, Tunisia holds legislative elections on the 6th October, with the possibility of second-round presidential elections takin place on the same day. The resulting coalition government is likely to be weak and fragmented and will struggle to pass meaningful legislation required to bolster the economy and create jobs, thus prolonging the economic and social problems facing the country.

Poland poles

Poland could turn the tide on a seeming global trend when the country votes on the 13th October. The ruling right-wing populist party could see its support shrink, allowing an opportunity for leftist parties to form a new governing coalition.

Given the rise in populist parties in many parts of the world in recent years, the Polish election may demonstrate that the influence of these parties may gradually run their course, as populations begin to realise that in the end, populism doesn’t solve the problems it so conveniently pretends it can.

Mozambique tensions

Mozambique holds general elections on 15th October, with the risk of sporadic violence by the armed wing of rebel group RENAMO. The general security climate also remains very hostile for local journalists, activities and other members of the country’s civil society, especially those seen as being overly critical of the government.

Continuity in Bolivia

Evo Morales looks likely to win a fourth term when Bolivia holds elections on the 20th October. The opposition is too fragmented and lacks popular support, while crucially, the economy is still performing relatively well, which appears to be the main reason the Morales’ constitutional term limit extension is not stoking the same unrest that similar moves have stoked in other parts of the world in recent years.

The end of Argentinian austerity

Alberto Fernandez and running mate Cristina Fernández de Kirchner are likely to win the elections in Argentina scheduled for the 27th October. This will almost certainly spell an end to the austerity measures of current leader Mauricio Macri, which in turn could prompt the IMF to stop financially assisting the country and prolong the economic challenges facing the country for years to come.

Elections elsewhere

Uruguay also heads to the polls on the 27th October. As a fairly well evolved democracy the outcome is difficult to predict but the country is likely to be led by either centrist candidate Daniel Martinez or conservative Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou. Both are pro-business and neither are particularly radical.

Canada, Botswana and Haiti are also holding elections this month.

Weather

The month of October normally starts to see colder, wetter conditions in parts of northern Europe and North America.

Many parts of South Asia such as India and Bangladesh experience a mild, dry and pleasant ‘winter’ from now until March following the end of the monsoon season.

Several parts of the Middle East such as around the Persian Gulf remain very hot, but the temperatures usually begin to ease noticeably at this time of year.

Standard Weather Changes

The following countries and territories also mark notable weather changes this month:

Cote D’Ivoire: the hot, wet season which began in June normally ends this month.

Cuba: the rainy season which began in May normally ends this month.

DRC: the rainy season which began in April in areas north of the equator normally ends this month.

El Salvador: the rainy season which began in May normally ends this month.

Kosovo: parts of the country can start to experience heavy rain and snowfall from now until December.

Malaysia: the north-east monsoon normally begins this month and lasts until February.

Northern Mariana Islands: the rainy season which began in July normally ends this month.

Sao Tome and Principe: the rainy season normally begins this month and lasts until May.

South Sudan: the rainy season which began in May normally ends this month.

Sri Lanka: the southwest monsoon, which began in June, normally ends this month.

Tonga: while cyclones can occur all year round they become more likely between now and April.

Zambia: the rainy season normally begins this month and lasts until April.

Where to go

Popular travel destinations at this time include the Mediterranean and Middle East (including Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Israel), Latin America, South and South East Asia, East Africa and the wider Indian Ocean.

The weather in Lebanon can be lovely at this time of year. Not too hot and usually fairly dry, conditions can be ideal for exploring Beirut’s nightlife or some of the many cultural sites around the country.

Naturally, the weather is usually similarly pleasant in neighbouring Israel at the same time. The conditions are perfect for outdoor pursuits such as visiting some of the country’s national parks. However, note that facilities can be busy, flights expensive and many businesses shut around the holy period of Rosh Hashanah, which has begun at the time of writing.

Key Dates

1 October
Cyprus: Independence Day
Israel: Rosh Hashanah
Nigeria: Independence Day

2 October
Guinea: Republic Day
India: Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday

3 October
Germany: Day of German Unity
Honduras: Francisco Morazán’s Birthday
South Korea: National Foundation Day

4 October
Lesotho: Independence Day
Mozambique: Day of Peace and Reconciliation

5 October
Honduras: Army Day
Portugal: Republic Day

6 October
Egypt: Armed Forces Day
Turkmenistan: Day of Commemoration and National Mourning

8 October
Peru: Battle of Angamos Day

9 October
Ecuador: Independence of Guayaquil Day
Islam (Shi’ite): Arba’een
Uganda: Independence Day

10 October
Kenya: Moi Day
Taiwan: National Day

12 October
Equatorial Guinea: Independence Day

14 October
Canada: Thanksgiving
Georgia: Day of Svetitskovloba
Judaism: Sukkot

18 October
Azerbaijan: Independence Day

20 October
Guatemala: Revolution Day
Kenya: Mashujaa Day

23 October
Hungary: Republic Day

24 October
Zambia: Independence Day

26 October
Austria: National Day

27 October
St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Independence Day
Turkmenistan: Independence Day
Worldwide: Diwali

28 October
Czech Republic: Foundation of the Independent Czeochoslovak State Day
Greece and Cyprus: Okhi Day

29 October
Turkey: Republic Day

31 October
United Kingdom: Brexit deadline

We hope you have safe travels ahead!

Brexit, impeachment and a host of polls
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