Politics of Slovakia
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Politics of Slovakia

Politics of Slovakia takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, with a multi-party system. Legislative power is vested in the parliament and it can be exercised in some cases also by the government or directly by citizens.

Executive power is exercised by the government led by the Prime Minister. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The President is the head of the state. The Economist Intelligence Unit rated Slovakia a "flawed democracy" in 2019.[1][needs update]

History

Before the 1989 revolution, Czechoslovakia was a socialist dictatorship ruled by the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, technically together with the coalition of the so-called National Front. Before the free democratic elections could take place after the revolution, a transitional government was created. 1989 President of Czechoslovakia Gustáv Husák sworn in the Government of National Understanding (Czech: Vláda národního porozum?ní, Slovak: Vláda národného porozumenia) headed by Marián ?alfa and he himself abdicated. It consisted of 10 communists and 9 non-communists and its main goal was to prepare for democratic elections, to establish market economy in the country and to start preparing a new constitution.

On 8-9 June 1990, the Czechoslovakian parliamentary election of 1990 took place. ?alfa's second government was disbanded on 27 June 1990, when it was replaced by the Government of National Sacrifice (Czech: Vláda národní ob?ti, Slovak: Vláda národnej obete), also headed by Marián ?alfa. On 5-6 June 1992, the last elections in Czechoslovakia, the Czechoslovakian parliamentary election of 1992 took place. ?alfa's third government was disbanded on 2 July 1992, when it was replaced by the Caretaker Government of Jan Stráský (Czech: Vláda Jana Stráského, Slovak: Vláda Jana Stráského), headed by Jan Stráský. The caretaker government was disbanded on 31 December 1992 together with the dissolution of the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic.

Due to federalism, immediately after the 1989 revolution, two national governments (one for the Czech Republic, one for Slovakia) were created as well under the federal Czechoslovak government. In Slovakia it was headed by Milan ?i? and it was established on 12 December 1989 and disbanded on 26 June 1990. On 8-9 June 1990, the Slovak parliamentary election of 1990 took place together with the federal Czechoslovak elections. ?i?'s government was followed by the First Government of Vladimír Me?iar (1990-1991), Government of Ján ?arnogurský (1991-1992) and the Second Government of Vladimír Me?iar (1992-1994). On 5-6 June the Slovak parliamentary election of 1992 took place.

Legal system

The Constitution of the Slovak Republic was ratified 1 September 1992 and became effective 1 October 1992 (some parts 1 January 1993). It was amended in September 1998 to allow direct election of the president and again in February 2001 due to EU admission requirements. The civil law system is based on Austro-Hungarian codes. The legal code was modified to comply with the obligations of Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and to expunge the Marxist-Leninist legal theory. Slovakia accepts the compulsory International Court of Justice jurisdiction with reservations.

Executive branch

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
President Zuzana ?aputová Progressive Slovakia 15 June 2019
Prime Minister Eduard Heger Ordinary people 1 April 2021

The president is the head of state and the formal head of the executive, though with very limited powers. The president is elected by direct, popular vote, under the two round system, for a five-year term.

Following National Council elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the president. Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister has to receive the majority in the parliament. From July 2006 till July 2010 the coalition consisted of Smer, SNS and HZDS. After the 2010 elections a coalition was formed by the former opposition parties SDKÚ, KDH and Most-Híd and newcomer SaS. From 2012 to 2016, after the premature elections, whole government consisted of members and nominees of the party SMER-SD, which also had majority in the parliament. The 2016 parliamentary election gave a coalition of parties SMER-SD, SNS and Most-Híd. After the 2020 Slovak parliamentary election, the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities won the election and Igor Matovi? became the Prime Minister.[2]

Legislative branch

Slovakia's sole constitutional and legislative body is the 150-seat unicameral National Council of the Slovak Republic. Delegates are elected for 4-year terms on the basis of proportional representation.

The National Council considers and approves the Constitution, constitutional statutes and other legal acts. It also approves the state budget. It elects some officials specified by law as well as the candidates for the position of a Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Slovak Republic and the Prosecutor General. Prior to their ratification, the parliament should approve all important international treaties. Moreover, it gives consent for dispatching of military forces outside of Slovakia's territory and for the presence of foreign military forces on the territory of the Slovak Republic. Current Chairman of the National Council is Boris Kolár.

Political parties and elections

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal, equal, and direct suffrage by secret ballot.

Presidential election

The president is elected by direct, popular vote, under the two round system, for a five-year term. Two rounds of the last election were held on March 16 and 30, 2019.

Parliamentary election

Members of the National Council of the Slovak Republic (Slovak: Národná rada Slovenskej Republiky), are elected directly for a 4-year term, under the proportional representation system. Like the Netherlands, the country is a single multi-member constituency. Voters may indicate their preferences within the semi-open list. The election threshold is 5%. Latest elections were held on March 5, 2016 [needs update].

2020 parliamentary election

Results of the election, showing vote strength for each party by district.

The ruling coalition comprising Direction - Social Democracy (Smer-SD), the Slovak National Party and Most-Híd, led by Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini of Smer-SD, was defeated by the anti-corruption movement Ordinary People and Independent Personalities led by Igor Matovi?. However, as no party or electoral coalition attained an absolute majority of seats, a post-election coalition was required to form a government.[3][4][5][6] This election was also the first since 2006 where Smer-SD did not emerge as the party with the most seats in the National Council. The coalition of Progressive Slovakia and SPOLU failed to meet the 7% threshold for two-party coalitions to enter the parliament by only 926 votes, surprising analysts, as they had been several percentage points above the threshold required in opinion polls as recently as a few days before the election, and polled above the threshold in exit polls taken on election day. The coalition submitted an electoral complaint with the Constitutional Court on 12 March seeking a recount, although they did not have any expectation it would significantly change the results, and only did so in order to clear doubts about the democratic process.[7]

Slovaquie Conseil national 2020.svg
PartyVotes%+/-Seats+/-
O?ANO-NOVA--ZMENA ZDOLA721,16625.03+14.005334
Direction - Social Democracy527,17218.29-9.9938-11
We Are Family237,5318.24+1.6117+6
Kotlebists - People's Party Our Slovakia229,6607.97-0.0717+3
Progressive Slovakia-SPOLU200,7806.97New0New
Freedom and Solidarity179,2466.22-5.8813-8
For the People166,3255.77New12New
Christian Democratic Movement134,0994.65-0.2900
Party of the Hungarian Community112,6623.91-0.1400
Slovak National Party91,1713.16-5.480-15
Good Choice88,2203.06New0New
Homeland84,5072.93New0New
Most-Híd59,1742.05-4.450-11
Socialisti.sk15,9250.55New0New
We Have Had Enough!9,2600.32New0New
Andrej Hlinka's Slovak People's Party8,1910.28New0New
Democratic Party4,1940.15+0.0700
Solidarity - Working Poverty Movement3,2960.11New0New
Mayors and Independents2,0180.07New0New
Slovak Revival Movement1,9660.07New0New
Voice of the Right1,8870.07New0New
Labour of the Slovak Nation1,2610.04New0New
99% - Civic Voice9910.03New0New
Slovak League8090.03New0New
Total2,881,511100.00-1500
Valid votes2,881,51198.79
Invalid/blank votes35,3291.21
Total votes2,916,840100.00
Registered voters/turnout4,432,41965.81
Source: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic


Other election results:

-EU parliament, see 2009 European Parliament election in Slovakia
-Regions, see Slovak regional elections, 2005
-local authorities, see Slovak local authority election, 2002
-older elections, see Elections in Slovakia

Political parties

The Slovak political scene supports a wide spectrum of political parties including the communists (KSS) and the nationalists (SNS). New parties arise and old parties cease to exist or merge at a frequent rate. Major parties are members of the European political parties. Some parties have regional strongholds, for example SMK is supported mainly by the Hungarian minority living in southern Slovakia. Although the main political cleavage in the 1990s concerned the somewhat authoritarian policy of HZDS, the left-right conflict over economic reforms (principally between Direction - Social Democracy and Slovak Democratic and Christian Union - Democratic Party) has recently become the dominant power in Slovakia's politics.

Judicial branch

The country's highest appellate forum is the Supreme Court (Najvyí súd), the judges of which are elected by the National Council; below that are regional, district, and military courts. In certain cases the law provides for decisions of tribunals of judges to be attended by lay judges from the citizenry. Slovakia also has the Constitutional Court of Slovakia (Ústavný súd Slovenskej Republiky), which rules on constitutional issues. The 13 members of this court are appointed by the president from a slate of candidates nominated by Parliament.

In 2002 Parliament passed legislation which created a Judicial Council. This 18-member council, composed of judges, law professors, and other legal experts, is now responsible for the nomination of judges. All judges except those of the Constitutional Court are appointed by the president from a list proposed by the Judicial Council. The council also is responsible for appointing Disciplinary Senates in cases of judicial misconduct.

Minority politics

International organization participation

Slovakia is member of ACCT (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CE, CEI, CERN, European Audiovisual Observatory, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC[clarification needed], ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS[clarification needed] (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNIDO, UNTSO, UPU, Visegrád Group, WCO, WEU (associate partner), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC

Political pressure groups and leaders

  • Federation of Employers' Associations of the Slovak Republic (Slovak: Asociácia zamestnávate?ských zväzov a zdru?ení) (AZZZ) (President: Rastislav Machunka)
  • Association of Employers of Slovakia (AZS)
  • Association of Towns and Villages of Slovakia (Slovak: Zdru?enie miest a obcí Slovenska) (ZMOS) (Chairman: Jozef Dvon?) - pressure group consisting of almost all Slovak towns.
  • Confederation of Trade Unions of the Slovak Republic (Slovak: Konfederácia odborových zväzov) (KOZ) (President: Miroslav Gazdík)
  • Club 500 (Slovak: Klub 500) (Chairman: Vladimír Soták) - union of Slovak companies employing more than 500 employees.
  • Metal Workers Unions (Slovak: Odborový zväz KOVO) (KOVO) (Chairman: Emil Machyna) - merged with OZ METALURG on 1. January 2010.
  • Republic Union of Employers (Slovak: Republiková únia zamestnávate?ov) (RÚZ) (President: Marián Jusko)
  • Slovak Academy of Sciences (Slovak: Slovenská akadémia vied) (SAV) (Chairman: Jaromír Pastorek) - the highest scientific institution in Slovakia.
  • Slovak Merchant and Industrial Chamber (Slovak: Slovenská obchodná a priemyselná komora) (SOPK)
  • Union of Slovak Pensioners (Slovak: Jednota dôchodcov Slovenska) (Chairman: Kamil Vajnorský)
  • Slovenská ?ivnostenská komora (Chairman: Vojtech Gottschall) (S?K) - it was created by Law No. 126/1998 Z. z. from 12. December 1998.
  • Slovenský ?ivnostenský zväz (Chairmani?márik Stanislav) (S?Z)
  • General Bishop's Office (Slovak: Generálny biskupský úrad) (Director: Du?an Vagaský)

See also

References

  1. ^ The Economist Intelligence Unit (8 January 2019). "Democracy Index 2019". Economist Intelligence Unit. Retrieved 2019.
  2. ^ https://spectator.sme.sk/c/22364638/matovic-government-appointed.html
  3. ^ "Anti-corruption party wins Slovakia election". BBC News. 2020-03-01. Retrieved .
  4. ^ France-Presse, Agence (2020-03-01). "Slovakia election: seismic shift as public anger ousts dominant Smer-SD party". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved .
  5. ^ "Slovakia's anti-corruption opposition party wins election". euronews. 2020-03-01. Retrieved .
  6. ^ Mortkowitz, Siegfried (2020-02-29). "Anti-corruption opposition wins Slovakia election". POLITICO. Retrieved .
  7. ^ Francelová, Nina Hrabovská (12 March 2020). "PS/Spolu has submitted an election complaint. What are the odds the results might change?". The Slovak Spectator. Retrieved 2020.

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