Two years have passed since the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) party led a new coalition into government in Slovakia.
The time since then was mostly dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the effort to end it through vaccination. But just when it seemed the threat from the pandemic might be about to recede, the war in neighbouring Ukraine began, leaving Slovakia scrambling to handle the refugees fleeing across the border.
“The two years of rule so far have been the most challenging in the modern history of Slovakia,” wrote Prime Minister Eduard Heger on Facebook on March 21, the day of the two-year anniversary of the current government. “The next term will be crucial in determining whether we return to a government of corruption and decay or continue to move forward.”
Even though observers applaud the government for its strong and unanimous support for Ukraine, they note that the government could have done more to fulfil the anti-corruption pledges which helped propel OĽaNO to victory in the February 2020 election.
Fight against corruption: Could do better
Not even one-third of the government’s anti-corruption pledges have been fulfilled as of the current halfway point in its tenure, according to the Let’s Stop Corruption Foundation, an NGO, in its evaluation of the administration’s first two years.
Observers note that the biggest change visible under the four-party coalition of OĽaNO, Sme Rodina, Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) and Za Ľudí is that the police now have “untied hands” to investigate suspicions of corruption at the highest levels of the state and its institutions.