2017 SHOCK PREDICTIONS: How eight key global events could CHANGE the world this year

ELECTIONS around the world could bring more political earthquakes as Brexit talks and Donald Trump’s presidency begin.

Last year was dominated by the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s election as well as terror attacks in Europe and the Zika outbreak.

Here is a look forward to landmark elections and other key events that could bring political upheaval and change the world in 2017.

January: Donald Trump takes office 

After being inaugurated as US President later this month, Mr Trump will set about making sweeping changes and undoing much of Barack Obama’s legacy.

The world is watching to see how he responds to Russia after Mr Obama expelled Russian diplomats over suspected meddling in the US election.

Israel is keen to build a strong relationship with Trump after outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry denounced its settlement activity.

Early 2017: Peace talks, fighting in Syria

The fragile ceasefire, brokered by Russia and Turkey, could lead to peace talks to end half a decade of bloody fighting.

If the truce between rebel troops and the Syrian Government holds, there are due to be talks in Kazakhstan this January.

Meanwhile the offensive against ISIS will continue in 2017 with a push to recapture the terrorist group’s stronghold of Raqqa.

March: Britain triggers Article 50

British Prime Minister Theresa May plans to trigger Article 50 – the legal step that triggers Brexit talks – by the end of March.

Article 50 starts the timer on two years of EU exit talks as the UK transforms its relationship with Europe and the rest of the world.

Britons are waiting to find out what the Brexit deal could look like and what impact it is likely to have on the economy.

Geert Wilders Getty

Geert Wilders speaks to members of the public in Australia in 2013

March: Dutch election

Elections in the Netherlands could signal the rise of far-right populism across Europe if Geert Wilders wins.

Mr Wilders is the leader of the controversial Party for Freedom (PVV) which is leading in the polls ahead of the general election.

The anti-Islam MP has pledged to close down mosques, ban the Koran and hold a referendum on the country’s EU membership.

April and May: French election

National Front leader Marine Le Pen has seized on the Brexit victory and Mr Trump’s election in a bid to further her own presidential ambitions.

Her centre-right rival Francois Fillon is the favourite to win, just as the Remain campaign and Hillary Clinton were early on in 2016.

Ms Le Pen wants France to leave the EU and her election would be an enormous blow for the embattled European bloc.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani faces opposition from hardliners as he prepares to stand for re-election in May.

The election result will shape Iran’s future foreign policy and will have a far-reaching influence on the Middle East and other parts of the world.

Mr Rouhani’s nuclear deal with America and other world powers led to the lifting of sanctions. He has said Iran will not let Mr Trump rip up the deal.

Autumn: German election

Longtime German Chancellor Angela Merkel is a bastion of the EU and one of the world’s most powerful leaders.

If Mrs Merkel loses the next election, it will be a massive blow to the EU and the liberal world order in the West.

Russia could try to turn public opinion against Mrs Merkel this year after allegedly helping Mr Trump in the US election.

Autumn: China’s Communist Party congress

Chinese leader Xi Jinping will attempt to consolidate his power at the Communist Party of China congress towards the end of the year.

China is playing an increasingly influential role on the world stage at a time when Mr Trump may try to make America more isolationist.

The global economy is also set to be affected by China’s economic slowdown after many years of rapid growth.

Article Written by Alice Foster of Express