Slovakia Recent Politics

by | November 9, 2021

On January 1, 2008, a pension reform came into force that reversed parts of the extensive privatization of pension insurance introduced in 2005 by the previous conservative-liberal government. On April 9th, 2008, the parliamentary majority passed a new media law, which came into force on June 1st, 2008, against strong opposition from the opposition and the press companies and professional associations concerned. The OSCE also criticized the law as a restriction on the freedom of the press. In the presidential elections of 2009, the current incumbent sat Ivan Gašparovič of the vote against the conservative candidate in a runoff vote on 4.4.2009 55.5% I. Radičová (SDKU-DS). Conflicts increased in the governing coalition. According to allcitycodes, the background to this were several corruption scandals in SNS ministries and foreign policy tensions with Hungary regarding the treatment of the Hungarian minority in Slovakia.

The parliamentary elections on June 12, 2010 fell in the middle of the economic recovery phase after the severe recession in 2009. In these elections, the Fico government lost its majority in parliament due to heavy losses by the SNS. Radičová formed a center-right coalition of SDKU DS, SaS, KDH and MH. On July 8th, 2010 a woman became the head of government of the Slovak Republic for the first time. On October 11, 2011, however, it failed in the vote linked to the vote of confidence on the expansion of the euro rescue fund (EFSF) in parliament. Her liberal coalition partner SaS had refused to support her. After SDKU DS, KDH and MH with that of Fico led Smer-SD had agreed on early elections, the EFSF expansion on October 13, 2011 still found a parliamentary majority. In December 2011, eavesdropping protocols of the secret service came to the public under the name “Gorilla”, which exposed corruption and abuse of power by top politicians in connection with the privatization of state-owned companies. The publication sparked massive protest demonstrations against the intertwining of politics and business. In early elections on March 10, 2012, the SMER-SD led by R. Fico was able to win an absolute majority of the seats (83 out of 150 seats). By the “Gorilla Affair” particularly heavily loaded SDKU DS won only 11 parliamentary seats (2010: 28 seats). The by Fico The newly formed cabinet (one-party cabinet, four departments went to non-party members) was sworn in on April 4, 2012. The new government abolished the uniform tax rate of 19% introduced in 2004 in favor of a tiered system and a corporate tax of 23%. In September 2013, Prime Minister Fico survived a vote of no confidence requested by MPs from all five opposition parties. Another vote of no confidence failed on February 13, 2014. On March 29, 2014 the non-party entrepreneur A. Kiska prevailed surprisingly clearly against Prime Minister Fico, who received 40.6% of the votes, in the runoff election for the presidency with 59.4% of the votes. Kiska was sworn in as the new President on June 15, 2014.

In the European elections on May 24, 2014, SMER-SD won with 24.1% of the vote. The KDH received 13.2% of the vote. With a turnout of just 13.1%, the Slovak Republic had the lowest rate of all the countries participating in the election.

Media reports on the award of state contracts to the company of a member of the Minister of Economics led to his resignation on April 21, 2015. Parliamentary elections were held on March 5, 2016. The issues of corruption and the European refugee crisis played a dominant role in the election campaign. The ruling SMER-SD of Fico remained the strongest political force, but suffered heavy losses and lost its previous absolute majority. The second strongest party was the EU-critical party »Freedom and Solidarity« (SaS) with 12.1% of the vote and 21 seats. Fico agreed with the parties SNS, MH and Siet ‘on the formation of a coalition government, which began its work on March 23, 2016. In August 2016, the Siet ‘party lost the majority of its MPs by changing parties and left the government. However, this still retained the parliamentary majority. After the murder of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak (* 1990, † 2018) and his fiancée at the end of February 2018, there were mass protests against the Fico government. The journalist had researched, among other things, alleged links between the ruling party SMER-SD and organized crime. After the domestic political pressure increased, Prime Minister Fico finally announced his resignation on March 15, 2018. president Kiska entrusted P. Pellegrini (Smer-SD), the previous Deputy Prime Minister, with the formation of a new government, thewas sworn in on March 22nd, 2018. The coalition of Smer-SD, SNS and MH continued to exist.

In the presidential elections, the vice-chairwoman of the social-liberal party “Progressive Slovakia”, founded in 2017, Zuzana Čaputová (* 1973) won the runoff election on March 30, 2019 with 58.4% of the vote. The pro-European and liberal lawyer was elected as the first woman to the office of President on June 15, 2019.

In the election campaign before the National Council elections on February 29, 2020, the fight against corruption, felt and the mafia was the main topic. The party »Simple People and Independent Personalities« (OL’aNO) emerged from the elections as the strongest force. Under its chairman, the entrepreneur Igor Matovič (* 1973), it received 25% of all votes (53 seats). The previously ruling »Smer – SD« landed at only 18.3% (10 percentage points less than 2016) and 38 seats. Boris Kollár’s (* 1965) party »SME RODINA« (SR)) won 8.2% of the votes (plus 1.6 percentage points, 17 seats), the ultra-nationalist, right-wing extremist “People’s Party Our Slovakia” (L’S-NS) lost a few votes, but still received 8% percent (17 seats). In addition to an economic upswing, the new government is expected to reform the police and the judiciary and to deal with the scandals of recent years in legal terms. Matovič was commissioned by President Čaputová to form a government and formed a coalition of his party OL’aNO with the parties “SME RODINA”, “Freedom and Solidarity” and “For the People”. His cabinet was sworn in on March 21, 2020.

The swearing-in took place at the time of the corona pandemic, which was rampant worldwide in 2020, which is why a nationwide state of emergency had been declared in Slovakia the week before. For this reason, gloves and breathing masks had to be worn during the swearing-in ceremony. In his inaugural speech, the new head of government formulated the creed that he would “rule with and for the people.”

Slovakia Recent Politics