The year 2019 promises to be impressive, in terms of elections. So far, the list looks more solid than in 2018, but often special elections are held (the United Kingdom is one of the likely cases). So, I would not rule out that this will be one of the most intense years regarding the most interesting electoral processes.
Ukraine, of course, is of the utmost interest, where both the presidential elections in March and the parliamentary elections in the fall will be held, unless anything extraordinary happens. Less than three months are left before the elections, but one can't surely tell the winner, even if several candidates have a small chance! And in any case, the already very interesting election will become even more interesting thanks to comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, who announced his participation in the elections just before the New Year. No matter how we treat him and how we regard his chances, we can probably agree with one thing: his participation in the elections makes the whole process more interesting.
Most likely, in the second round will be the two "orange" candidates. So for the first time in the history of the Ukrainian elections there will be a second round, when one candidate does not actually represent the South-East "ideologically." Although surely one of the candidates in the second round will gain a higher percentage of votes in the center and in the West of Ukraine. We certainly can look at the electoral geography of Ukraine in a new way. In the fall parliamentary elections will be held. Remembering the completely sensational victory of the "Narodnyi Front" in the past, we can expect everything, but there is no point in guessing before the presidential election.
Well, the second most important event is the elections to the European Parliament at the end of May. Immediately in a whole bunch of countries, elections will be held on party lists. I call such events “a holiday of electoral geography”: a list of interesting electoral cards is expected here.
On February 24, parliamentary elections will be held in Moldova, which are likely to be an important event. The Socialist Party can get an absolute majority in the parliament, and then it will have all the levers of power in the country, and the geopolitical course of Moldova will definitely change in favor of Russia. But still the situation for the center-right parties is not hopeless. They can get a majority of votes, but this is less likely.
I’m somewhat intrigued by the referendum in Cuba on February 24 on several important issues at once: legalization of private property, a two-times limit for the president’s five years, return of the prime minister’s post and even the definition of marriage as a union between two people, which obviously should lead to same-sex marriages recognition. The last referendum in Cuba was in 1976. There is a one-party system in the country, so there is no competition in parliamentary elections. But maybe there will be something interesting besides 99% of votes? Let’s see.
In October, the presidential elections should be held in Bolivia. In Latin America, right-wing forces have recently been seeking one victory after another, maybe Evo Morales will finally lose the election? Regarding the polls, the former vice president and president, Carlos Mesa, is a strong competitor.
In addition to Ukraine, parliamentary elections will be held in Poland in November. The rating of the ruling Law and Justice party is stable, the Civil Platform is also stable in the second place. But there are a few more months before the election, let's see what new political forces will make themselves known, after all, this happened more than once during the Polish elections.
In 2019, Israel’s parliamentary elections are to be held, which is always interesting. Likud consistently ranks first in the ratings, but in comparison with the previous elections, the liberal Yesh Atid has improved its position.
In Romania presidential elections will be held at the end of 2019. Klaus Johannis will probably go for a second term, but he will definitely resist a strong competition. Although there are two likely candidates, including the mayor of Bucharest, Gabriela Firia. Geographically, Romania is also often very interesting because of its historical boundaries.
In November, Greece would have to go through elections. After the triumph in the last election, Syriza party lost the leadership in the ratings because of the right-wing New Democracy. But the situation is not hopeless for it.
In the autumn there will be another series of regional elections in Russia. The regional elections held in 2018 were not the most successful for the authorities: several defeats and a scandal in Primorye. And this is despite the fact that in a number of regions the electoral field was completely “cleared out”: authorities agreed with the communists not to nominate a candidate or simply did not allow a communist to participate (Vladimir region). In the voting on the most interesting elections of 2018, the regional elections in Russia shared the first place with the presidential elections in Brazil, so it is likely that the new voting cycle will also be interesting.
2019 is not the year of the elections, but the year of the election campaign in the USA. The campaign before the democratic primaries will continue all year. There will be some competition for Trump in the Republican primaries, but the situation would be quiet unless there is something extraordinary. But the democratic primaries promise to be simply spectacular, probably at the level of republican ones in 2015-2016. The list of potential candidates is so huge - it seems, a half of the Democratic faction in the Senate is considering running for president.
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