Slovak Elections: Parliament Hung, Drawn and Quartered
The results of the Slovak parliamentary elections produced enough surprises for the splintered right to dream of forming a multi-party coalition government and oust current Prime Minister Robert Fico and his Smer-SD party, which finds itself without enough allies in parliament to get the majority it would need.
Parliament will welcome (apparently not) also the extreme right LSNS party of controversial Marian Kotleba, as well as the return of the Slovak National Party. Eight parties got into parliament on the votes of just 59.82% of the eligible electorate. Meanwhile, the ever-present Christian democrats of KDH fell short of the 5% parliamentary threshold (4.94%).
Despite winning the elections outright with 28.28% and 49 seats in the 150-seat parliament, the Smer-SD party looks unable to form a government, leaving the way open to 5 right-wing parties to take the helm. This broad coalition would be led by second place SAS party with party leader Richard Sulik in line potentially to become the new prime minister.
The SAS party almost doubled its forecast result, raking in 12.09% of the vote and 21 seats, followed by the OLaNO-NOVA party of Igor Matovic with 11.02% and 19 seats. They could be joined by Sme Rodina (6.62%, 11 seats), Most-Hid (6.5%, 11 seats) and Siet (5.6%, 10 seats) parties, which combined would have just 72 seats, 3 short of a majority.
The opposition bench in such an event would be occupied by the Smer-SD party, the Slovak National Party (8.64%) and the LSNS party (8.04%), which proved to be the biggest shock of the elections, after rocketing into parliament on a discontent young demographic. The nationalists return to parliament under Andrej Danko, who is personally proud of resuscitating the party to come fourth in the elections outright.
The Sme Rodina party of entrepreneur Boris Kollar managed to rally the support of 6.62% of the vote, with the Most-Hid party of Bela Bugar and the Siet party of Radoslav Prochadzka most disappointed with the results, despite getting into parliament and possibly forming government. Many put their demise down to their declared willingness to negotiate with Smer-SD.
Such a potential five-party coalition could prove difficult to maintain, especially if the strong figureheads of the five parties clash. The opposition bench would make this task all the harder, given its composition and the combined force of Smer-SD and SNS, which together hold 64 of the 150 parliamentary seats. There is therefore already talk of instability and strong potential of early elections.
Radoslav Prochadzka with the Siet party and Bela Bugar’s Most-Hid party did not rule out talks with Fico’s Smer-SD, so PM Fico will have first crack at the whip. Kotleba-LSNS could also theoretically help Fico retain power, but hardly likely as Smer party leaders are already lamenting the presence of ‘fascists’ in parliament and everyone has ruled out co-operation with them.
With most potential constellations all but ruled out, the days and negotiations ahead will prove interesting for sure. Either way, it is almost a hung parliament and one that could in the months to come quite easily also become drawn and quartered.