Battling for votes and seats: Decisive elections in 2019
From North Korea to Israel – 2019 will see important elections in several parts of the world. Discorsivo has assembled the electoral battles and campaigns one should look out for.
Despite democracy being under attack in many countries, 2019 will witness again the execution of a fundamental democratic procedure, namely the right to cast a vote in free and open elections. Find below a non-exhaustive list of this year’s noteworthy electoral processes around the world.
The big one takes place in May: The European elections – in which the citizens of all EU member states choose their representatives for the European Parliament in Brussels and Strasburg – will attract attention not just for the sheer size of the electorate (512 million people) but most importantly for the battle between pro-Europeans and populist forces. Expect Brexit and fake news to become major issues in the preceding debate.
Before that, Finland, Estonia and Moldova still have to hold parliamentary elections. Furthermore, four German federal states will vote on their Landtag, and it remains to be seen if Merkel’s slow retreat from power has any implications for the results of her Conservative party there.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a decisive election. In April, Israelis are called to elect a new Parliament, and Netanyahu’s party might potentially be kicked out of government.
2019 will be a politically exciting year for many African states. The citizens of Nigeria, Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa and Mozambique will get to participate in general elections, and in Tunisia both parliament and president will face electoral scrutiny at the end of the year.
The largest democracy in the world will hold a general election: India. Another noteworthy election will take place in Afghanistan, where security concerns are going to dominate the electoral process. In any case the new President will take over a country that still faces a myriad of challenges. Interestingly, North Korea officially has parliamentary elections scheduled as well, though one might wonder if fairness and transparency will accompany the entire procedure.
The absence of either presidential or midterm elections means that the United States can enjoy electoral calm this year, before 2020 will see a hot campaign for head of state – possible contenders are already lining up. Canada will be subject to some regional and federal elections, but generally nothing that will cause extensive media coverage abroad.
The South American continent will experience a hot autumn, apart from the tensions in Venezuela which have already rocked the entire region. Argentina, Bolivia and Uruguay are all set to hold general elections in October this year, as are Panama and Guatemala, if only during spring. At the Southernmost tip, the Falkland Islands will organize a referendum on its electoral system in November.
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