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Elections with some surprises

Feature Photo The municipal elections held on November 15 confirmed the ruling Smer party of Prime Minister Robert Fico as the most popular in Slovakia, as they won more mayoral positions than in 2010. The elections also confirmed the trend of independent candidates' popularity, as many of them won mayoral posts in more than one third of the nation's municipalities, including Bratislava. The biggest surprise was the resignation of Pavol Paška of Smer from the post of the Speaker of Parliament during the election night. 16 Nov 2014 More Feature Photos
Independents surge, Smer gains on opposition FEEDING on voters’ frustration with traditional parties, independent candidates led the way in municipal races on November 15, taking some 38 percent of the mayoral seats across the country. Bratislava went to an independent candidate, Ivo Nesrovnal, who in a closely watched race defeated the incumbent Smer-backed independent Milan Ftáčnik, and Milan Kňažko, who also ran as an independent backed by a number of opposition parties. 20 Nov 2014 More from Politics & Society
Pavol Paška of Smer resigns A SURPRISING moment came during the election night when Pavol Paška of Smer announced his resignation from the post of speaker of parliament. Paška’s departure came on the heels of a widely criticised tender for purchasing an overpriced CT scanner in Piešťany Hospital of Alexander Winter, resulting in two protests against him in Bratislava and Košice, the TASR newswire reported. 17 Nov 2014 More from Politics & Society
Civil society still lagging Quarter century after communism public still slow to engage MORE THAN four decades of a totalitarian regime taught the average Slovak to do their best to avoid public affairs. A quarter century later those dormant civic instincts are only just starting to wake up. 13 Nov 2014 More from Politics & Society
Student veterans recall 1989 Students were an important part of revolt STUDENTS had crucial roles in the Velvet Revolution as they were the first targets of riot police, organised subsequent protests and helped to persuade the rest of the public to get involved. Onetime student leaders look back fondly on those days. 17 Nov 2014 More from Politics & Society
Twenty–five years of freedom TWENTY-FIVE years after the protests that helped launch the Velvet Revolution in what is now Slovakia, people in the country see November 17, 1989 as one of the positive events of their history, but remain wary of social and job insecurity, according to a survey by the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) in cooperation with the Focus polling agency and the Czech Public Opinion Research Centre. 17 Nov 2014 More from Politics & Society
CT scandal rocks politics PRIME Minister Robert Fico was unable to calm the storm around the shady purchase of an overpriced computer tomography (CT) device by a financially ailing hospital in Piešťany as he sacked Smer nominee Zuzana Zvolenská from the post of Health Minister and Renáta Zmajkovičová, a key Smer official, who sat at the top of the hospital’s supervisory board, as parliamentary Deputy Speaker. The opposition is calling for the head of Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška for what they call his links to the firm Medical Group SK, which won the dubious tender. 17 Nov 2014 More from Politics & Society
Free trains with costs THIS YEAR November 17 is special, apart from recalling the 25th anniversary of the fall of the communist regime, nearly half of the nation will be able to travel for free on most domestic trains from this date on. The discounts come as part of a €250 million social-economic package that Prime Minister Robert Fico says is designed to compensate for recent years of austerity, but the policy has its fair share of critics too. 17 Nov 2014 More from Business
Precarious progress Editorial THOSE who were students in November 1989 were fortunate enough to inhale the first sips of freedom on Slovakia’s squares while watching the corroding regime crumble are now into their mid-forties. Their children no longer understand references to pre-Christmas queues for mandarins and bananas, excruciating passport controls with police officers looking into bags to make sure travellers did not surpass the quota on candies purchased in Hungary, or May 1 parades in pioneer uniforms. They are the last generation to measure boredom in school by classes about “scientific communism”, but they are also the generation who still were able to catch the first train to foreign countries and opportunities their parents – the so-called Lost Generation – never dreamt of. 17 Nov 2014 More from Opinion
Approaching the November events Spectator College A glossary of words as well as an exercise related to this article are also published online. 17 Nov 2014 More from Spectator College
Eric R. Anderson
Countrywide Events Western SLOVAKIA 17 Nov 2014 More from Culture & Society
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Quote of the Week
“I have sleeping mats here for my colleagues.” SaS MP Ľubomír Galko said, showing media how he is prepared for the discussion held before the vote of no-confidence in PM Robert Fico, which ultimately lasted nearly 50 hours.