The change of government in Slovakia and its reflection in Brussels
On Saturday 29 February, Slovakia held their general election where corruption was the main issue, inspiring two-thirds of eligible voters to cast ballots. Following the eight-year mandate of centre-left SMER-SD (S&D), under Prime Ministers Robert Fico and Peter Pellegrini, in coalition with right-wing and far-right parties, there will be a change of government in Bratislava.
The most stunning outcome of the election is that nearly 30% of cast votes went to parties and coalitions which failed to pass the threshold of 5% for parties and 7% for coalitions, meaning that those who made it to the Parliament benefited from substantial redistribution of seats.
The second, arguably more alarming outcome of the election, is that a quarter of all the votes went to far-right, nationalist and right-wing populist parties.
The results show the coalition led by OLANO as the clear winner of the election with a quarter of the votes and 53 out of 150 seats in the Parliament. The party’s leader, Igor Matovič, is expected to become the next Prime Minister, possibly in a minority government with the support of ECR member SaS (Freedom and Solidarity), and For the People party, of the former President Andrej Kiska.
This consolidates the EPP’s stronghold in Central Europe once again. OLANO is presumed to join the EPP party, meaning that its only MEP, Peter Pollák, could see a much more prominent role in the rest of the mandate.
Following the defeat of the EPP-led government in Ireland, which is likely to be replaced by an ALDE/RE government, and the EPP-ALDE coalition agreed in Slovenia after the resignation of their liberal (LMS, RE) Prime Minister Marijan Sarec, the situation in the European Council will likely be: EPP 11 [DE, RO, GR, AT, HU, SK, HR, BG, CY, SI, LV], ALDE/RE 7 [FR, NL, BE, LU, CZ, IE, EE] PES/S&D 6 [ES, PT, MT, SE, FI, DK], ECR 1 [PL] with 2 independents [IT, LT].