Robert Fico’s Smer party has won a clear majority in Slovakia’s general election. With the Statistics Office reporting preliminary results from 100 percent of polling stations, Smer received 44.4 percent of the votes in the March 10 general election. If confirmed, the result will give Smer 83 seats in the 150-seat parliament, a majority of 16 over all other parties. It will be the first time since the end of communism in 1989 that any single party has enjoyed a majority in the Slovak parliament.
Five other parties cleared the 5-percent threshold required to win seats in parliament – but only just: none of them won more than 9 percent. Almost tied for second place, on 8.8 percent and 8.6 percent respectively, were the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) and Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO). Then came Most-Híd on 6.9 percent, followed by the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) on 6.1 percent and Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) on 5.9 percent.
If confirmed, the results would give the KDH and OĽaNO 16 seats each, Most-Híd 13 seats, and the SDKÚ and SaS 11 seats each.
Despite Smer’s clear victory, Fico said he would still initiate coalition talks. “Despite a result that has secured us a majority, we will take steps that we announced before,” Fico said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “It will be necessary to convene roundtable talks of parliamentary parties. It will be necessary to talk about stances towards European challenges ... we will be glad if opposition parties also take such an approach.”
He said that Smer also intends to debate constitutional laws with the opposition.
None of the other 20 parties running in the election won more than 5 percent, although the Slovak National Party (SNS) and the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) came closest, with 4.6 percent and 4.3 percent respectively.
99 Percent – Civic Voice, a new party which ran a lavish billboard- and TV-advertising campaign in the run-up to yesterday’s vote and attracted considerable attention when it scored more than 5 percent in some pre-election polls fared poorly in the real vote, scoring less than 2 percent.
The party of former prime minister Vladimír Mečiar, the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), which dominated Slovak politics in the 1990s and was in government as recently as 2010, attracted less than 1 percent of the vote.
Turnout was considerably higher than expected, with over 59 percent of eligible voters casting ballots. Pre-election estimates by political analysts had forecast that turnout could fall below 50 percent.
Sources: Statistics Office of the Slovak Republic (for more information see: www.statistics.sk), TASR
11. Mar 2012 at 11:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff