What to expect in 2019?

Five things that will shape Slovakia this year.

(Source: <a href="https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/2019-inscription-made-from-sparklers_3397825.htm">Designed by Freepik</a>)

The events of 2018 have prompted observers to be cautious when making any forecasts about the upcoming year in Slovakia.

“It is hard to say what 2019 will bring,” the political analyst Grigorij Mesežnikov from the Institute for Public Affairs non-governmental think tank told The Slovak Spectator. “If you had asked me one year ago, I would not even remotely think that a journalist may be murdered in Slovakia due to his work.”

Still, there are some events that are sure to take place and shape Slovak political life in 2019. These are the main ones:

1. Presidential election

The Slovak public will learn the name of its new president in spring 2019, after current President Andrej Kiska announcing that he will not run for election again. The exact date has not been stated, but it is expected to take place in March or April. Parliament's Speaker Andrej Danko, who announces election dates in Slovakia, hinted earlier that March 16 is likely going to be the election day.

Read also:Lajčák leads presidential polls, but he refuses to run

15 people have already announced their candidacy. Yet the Slovak public do not know the names of the candidates for the ruling Smer (reportedly still attempting to persuade Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák to run) and the Slovak National Party (SNS).

However, observers assume that SNS leader Danko wants to run himself, only waiting for Smer to announce its candidate. Danko himself stated before Christmas that if his party made him run as its presidential candidate, there will be no campaign nor ambition to win.

The presidential election will indicate the distribution of forces between the “democratic mainstream” and the antisystem, Mesežnikov opines.

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