The level of democracy in Slovakia stayed put in the second half of 2011, with a mark of 2.6 in the twice-yearly Barometer survey carried out by the Public Affairs Institute (IVO), the think tank's president and political analyst Grigorij Mesežnikov said on Thursday, February 9, as reported by the TASR newswire.
"Some areas saw a deceleration, while positive trends that were observed after the 2010 general election were stopped altogether in other areas [in the latter half of last year]," said Mesežnikov. Analysts frowned on a government amendment to the constitution that made it possible for Prime Minister Iveta Radičová's cabinet to continue to govern until the early election in March. "We view the way in which this amendment was adopted as extremely inappropriate for a country with consolidated democracy, as the constitutional amendment was okayed within a span of several hours amidst fast-tracked proceedings and was in fact an MP's proposal," he added.
That said, Slovak democracy received an overall grade of 2.6 for the whole of 2011, which is the best result since the survey came into being in 2008. IVO said this was largely because a non-authoritarian manner of governing prevailed and the opposition parties were not marginalised. The five walks of life monitored by IVO for evaluating democracy are: the rule of law; the legislature; respect for human and minority rights; the independent public service media; and foreign policy in terms of the euro and transatlantic integration. The marks range between 1 and 5, with 1 representing the optimal state of democracy based on standards and comparative criteria in the EU and the Council of Europe.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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