China News Service, February 22. Recently, international crude oil prices have continued to rise.

Singapore's "Lianhe Zaobao" published an analysis saying that rising gasoline prices have pushed up inflation, which may affect the election results in many Asian countries.

  The article said that India, which is currently voting in state elections, South Korea's presidential election on March 9, and Australia's general election and Japan's upper house election in the next few months, will bear the brunt.

  And their governments have taken steps to cushion the blow: India cut retail taxes on gasoline and diesel in November; South Korea cut fuel taxes by 20 percent between October and April; Japan subsidizes refineries to produce motor fuel.

  "If a country experiences low-income growth and high inflation, it's going to be a double whammy with possible economic and political repercussions," said Varma, chief economist for India and Asia ex-Japan at Nomura Holdings.

  India's inflation rate topped 6% in January this year, exceeding the central bank's tolerance limit, while rural wages have not kept up, rising only 3.31% in December from a year earlier.

This poses a serious challenge to the Bharatiya Janata Party led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

  The latest polls in South Korea show ruling party candidate Lee Jae-myung and the main opposition candidate Yoon Sek-yue tied.

Average wages in South Korea rose 4% last year and annual inflation was 3.6% in January, so higher oil prices may not have as much impact on the election outcome as elsewhere.

  In Australia, soaring petrol prices have hit consumer sentiment.

The RBA expects inflation to rise above 3 per cent, higher than the average wage increase of 2.2 per cent in the third quarter of last year.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has until the end of May to dissolve parliament and call a general election.

  Inflation in Japan is expected to be at its highest level since 2008, while average cash receipts in December were down slightly from a year earlier.

The Japanese Senate will re-elect more than half of the seats in July this year, and the result will influence Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's political career.

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