The parliamentary elections in June 2010

Vladimír Bilčík

Much of Slovakia’s domestic debate in recent months has been dominated by the parliamentary elections held on 12 June 2010. The result of the elections has brought about a change in government. While SMER-Social Democracy (SMER-SD), the party of the outgoing Prime Minister Robert Fico, won the election by a decisive margin of 34.79 percent of the vote, it was not able to recreate its current coalition, since the Slovak National Party (SNS) received only 5.07 percent of the total vote and the People’s Party – Movement for Democratic Slovakia (ĽS-HZDS) failed to enter parliament altogether. At the same time, Robert Fico was not able to create a coalition government with any other political party since the remaining four centre-right parties that entered parliament decided to form a coalition government. The Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ-DS) received 15.42 percent of the vote and its electoral leader Iveta Radičová is in line to be Slovakia’s first female Prime Minister. SDKÚ-DS coalition partner will include the liberal Freedom and Solidarity (SAS) with 12.14 percent of the vote, the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) with 8.52 percent and the new multiethnic Hungarian dominated party Most-Híd (Bridge) with 8.12 percent. The new coalition will control 79 seats out of the total 150 seats in the new parliament. The coalition, composed of four political parties, will be internally fragile and face solid opposition in parliament, as well as difficult challenges in trying economic and social times, but it has the potential to last the full electoral term of four years, as Slovakia’s politics are now used to managing difficult and unstable coalitions. Much will depend on the skills of the designated Prime Minister Iveta Radičová in this case.