Politics of Slovakia

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politics and government of
Slovakia

Politics of Slovakia takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, with a multi-party system. Legislative power is vested in the parliament and it can be exercised in some cases also by the government or directly by citizens.

Executive power is exercised by the government led by the Prime Minister. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The President is the head of the state.

History

Before the 1989 revolution, Czechoslovakia was a socialist dictatorship ruled by the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, technically together with the coalition of the so-called National Front. Before the free democratic elections could take place after the revolution, a transitional government was created. 989 President of Czechoslovakia Gustáv Husák sworn in the Government of National Understanding (Czech: Vláda národního porozumění, Slovak: Vláda národného porozumenia) headed by Marián Čalfa and he himself abdicated. It consisted of 10 communists and 9 non-communists and its main goal was to prepare for democratic elections, to establish market economy in the country and to start preparing a new constitution.

On 8–9 June 1990, the Czechoslovakian parliamentary election of 1990 took place. Čalfa's second government was disbanded on 27 June 1990, when it was replaced by the Government of National Sacrifice (Czech: Vláda národní oběti, Slovak: Vláda národnej obete), also headed by Marián Čalfa. On 5–6 June 1992, the last elections in Czechoslovakia, the Czechoslovakian parliamentary election of 1992 took place. Čalfa's third government was disbanded on 2 July 1992, when it was replaced by the Caretaker Government of Jan Stráský (Czech: Vláda Jana Stráského, Slovak: Vláda Jana Stráského), headed by Jan Stráský. The caretaker government was disbanded on 31 December 1992 together with the dissolution of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic.

Due to federalism, immediately after the 1989 revolution, two national governments (one for the Czech Republic, one for Slovakia) were created as well under the federal Czechoslovak government. In Slovakia it was headed by Milan Čič and it was established on 12 December 1989 and disbanded on 26 June 1990. On 8–9 June 1990, the Slovak parliamentary election of 1990 took place together with the federal Czechoslovak elections. Čič's government was followed by the First Government of Vladimír Mečiar (1990-1991), Government of Ján Čarnogurský (1991-1992) and the Second Government of Vladimír Mečiar (1992-1994). On 5–6 June the Slovak parliamentary election of 1992 took place.

Legal system

The Constitution of the Slovak Republic was ratified 1 September 1992 and became effective 1 October 1992 (some parts 1 January 1993). It was amended in September 1998 to allow direct election of the president and again in February 2001 due to EU admission requirements. The civil law system is based on Austro-Hungarian codes. The legal code was modified to comply with the obligations of Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and to expunge the Marxist-Leninist legal theory. Slovakia accepts the compulsory International Court of Justice jurisdiction with reservations.

Executive branch

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
President Ivan Gašparovič Movement for Democracy 15 June 2004
Prime Minister Robert Fico Direction-Social Democracy 4 April 2012
President-elect Andrej Kiska Independent 15 June 2014

The president is the head of state and the formal head of the executive, though with very limited powers. The president is elected by direct, popular vote, under the two round system, for a five-year term.

Following National Council elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the president. Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister has to receive the majority in the parliament. From July 2006 till July 2010 the coalition consisted of Smer, SNS and HZDS. After the 2010 elections a coalition was formed by the former opposition parties SDKÚ, KDH and Most–Híd and newcomer SaS.

Legislative branch

Slovakia's sole constitutional and legislative body is the 150-seat unicameral National Council of the Slovak Republic. Delegates are elected for 4-year terms on the basis of proportional representation.

The National Council considers and approves the Constitution, constitutional statutes and other legal acts. It also approves the state budget. It elects some officials specified by law as well as the candidates for the position of a Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Slovak Republic and the Prosecutor General. Prior to their ratification, the parliament should approve all important international treaties. Moreover, it gives consent for dispatching of military forces outside of Slovakia's territory and for the presence of foreign military forces on the territory of the Slovak Republic.

Political parties and elections

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal, equal, and direct suffrage by secret ballot.

Presidential election: The president is elected by direct, popular vote, under the two round system, for a five-year term. Two rounds of the last election were held on March 21 and April 4, 2009 (next to be held 2014).

Parliamentary election: Members of the National Council of the Slovak Republic (Slovak: Národná rada Slovenskej Republiky), are elected directly for a 4-year term, under the proportional representation system. Like the Netherlands, the country is a single multi-member constituency. Voters may indicate their preferences within the semi-open list. The election threshold is 5%. Last elections were hold on June 12, 2010.

e • d  Summary of the 10 March 2012 Slovak National Council election results
Parties Votes % Total
seats
Before After ±
Direction – Social Democracy 1,134,280 44.41 62 83 Increase21
Christian Democratic Movement 225,361 8.82 15 16 Increase1
Ordinary People and Independent Personalities 218,537 8.55 0 16 Increase16
Most–Híd 176,088 6.89 14 13 Decrease1
Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – Democratic Party 155,744 6.09 28 11 Decrease17
Freedom and Solidarity 150,266 5.88 22 11 Decrease11
Slovak National Party 116,420 4.55 9 0 Decrease9
Party of the Hungarian Coalition 109,483 4.28 0 0 Steady0
People's Party – Movement for a Democratic Slovakia 23,772 0.93 0 0 Steady0
Others 243,775 9.6 0 0 Steady0
Total (turnout 59.11%) 2,553,726 100% 150 150 Steady0
Source: Statistics Bureau of Slovakia
e • d Summary of the 21 March and 4 April 2009 Slovak presidential election results
Candidates and nominating parties 1st round 2nd round
Votes % Votes %
Ivan Gašparovič (Smer, SNS, HZD) 876,061 46.71 1,234,787 55.53
Iveta Radičová (SDKÚ–DS, SMK, KDH, OKS) 713,735 38.05 988,808 44.47
František Mikloško (KDS) 101,573 5.42
Zuzana Martináková (SF) 96,035 5.12
Milan Melník (HZDS) 45,985 2.45
Dagmara Bollová 21,378 1.14
Milan Sidor (KSS) 20,862 1.11
Total (turnout 43.63% / 51.67%) 1,875,629 100.00 2,223,595 100.00
Sources: statistics.sk, volbysr.sk

Other election results:

-EU parliament, see European Parliament election, 2009 (Slovakia)
-Regions, see Slovak regional elections, 2005
-local authorities, see Slovak local authority election, 2002
-older elections, see Elections in Slovakia

Political parties: The Slovak political scene supports a wide spectrum of political parties including the communists (KSS) and the nationalists (SNS). New parties arise and old parties cease to exist or merge at a frequent rate. Major parties are members of the European political parties. Some parties have regional strongholds, for example SMK is supported mainly by the Hungarian minority living in southern Slovakia. Although the main political cleavage in the 1990s concerned the somewhat authoritarian policy of HZDS, the left-right conflict over economic reforms (principally between Direction - Social Democracy and Slovak Democratic and Christian Union - Democratic Party) has recently become the dominant power in Slovakia's politics.

Judicial branch

The country's highest appellate forum is the Supreme Court (Najvyšší súd), the judges of which are elected by the National Council; below that are regional, district, and military courts. In certain cases the law provides for decisions of tribunals of judges to be attended by lay judges from the citizenry. Slovakia also has the Constitutional Court of Slovakia (Ústavný súd Slovenskej Republiky), which rules on constitutional issues. The 13 members of this court are appointed by the president from a slate of candidates nominated by Parliament.

In 2002 Parliament passed legislation which created a Judicial Council. This 18-member council, composed of judges, law professors, and other legal experts, is now responsible for the nomination of judges. All judges except those of the Constitutional Court are appointed by the president from a list proposed by the Judicial Council. The Council also is responsible for appointing Disciplinary Senates in cases of judicial misconduct.

Minority politics

International organization participation

Slovakia is member of ACCT (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CE, CEI, CERN, European Audiovisual Observatory, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCclarification needed, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OASclarification needed (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNIDO, UNTSO, UPU, Visegrád Group, WCO, WEU (associate partner), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC

Political pressure groups and leaders

  • Federation of Employers' Associations of the Slovak Republic (Slovak: Asociácia zamestnávateľských zväzov a združení) (AZZZ) (President: Rastislav Machunka)
  • Association of Employers of Slovakia (AZS)
  • Association of Towns and Villages of Slovakia (Slovak: Združenie miest a obcí Slovenska) (ZMOS) (Chairman: Jozef Dvonč) - pressure group consisting of almost all Slovak towns.
  • Confederation of Trade Unions of the Slovak Republic (Slovak: Konfederácia odborových zväzov) (KOZ) (President: Miroslav Gazdík)
  • Club 500 (Slovak: Klub 500) (Chairman: Vladimír Soták) - union of Slovak companies employing more than 500 employees.
  • Metal Workers Unions (Slovak: Odborový zväz KOVO) (KOVO) (Chairman: Emil Machyna) - merged with OZ METALURG on 1. January 2010.
  • Republic Union of Employers (Slovak: Republiková únia zamestnávateľov) (RÚZ) (President: Marián Jusko)
  • Slovak Academy of Sciences (Slovak: Slovenská akadémia vied) (SAV) (Chairman: Jaromír Pastorek) - the highest scientific institution in Slovakia.
  • Slovak Merchant and Industrial Chamber (Slovak: Slovenská obchodná a priemyselná komora) (SOPK)
  • Union of Slovak Pensioners (Slovak: Jednota dôchodcov Slovenska) (Chairman: Kamil Vajnorský)
  • Slovenská živnostenská komora (Chairman: Vojtech Gottschall) (SŽK) - it was created by Law No. 126/1998 Z. z. from 12. December 1998.
  • Slovenský živnostenský zväz (Chairman: Čižmárik Stanislav) (SŽZ)
  • General Bishop's Office (Slovak: Generálny biskupský úrad) (Director: Dušan Vagaský)

See also

References








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