Posted by on 31 Mar 2014. Filed under Politics, Top news. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

The Changing Face(s) of Slovak Politics

PM Fico, Pavol Paska and Marek Madaric after the disappointing result (c) Martin Domok - mdpix.sk

As President-elect Andrej Kiska prepares to take over the presidential office from incumbent President Ivan Gasparovic on 15 June, 2014, his victory over Prime Minister Robert Fico looks set to change the face of Slovak politics, with a large question mark hanging over the fate of the PM and his Smer-SD party.

Even before the second round of the elections on Saturday, which saw independent civil candidate Kiska smash the politically tried-and-tested PM Fico, rumours were coming out of the Smer-SD camp that whatever the outcome, a change was about to take place in the party, which enjoys a parliamentary majority.

Who knows what island Mr Fico himself will land on after shipwrecking himself by opting out as PM two years early for a post of far less significance, but one that had the lure of a lifetime of immunity and an easy ride from now on. His party colleagues are picking their words cautiously these days and putting on a brave face, but a wave of changes is coming, and not just for the Smer-SD party, which could now split into the factions that lie within.

With the parliamentary elections two years away, any seasoned politician knows that the time is ripe to set off on the election campaign. Ironically, the youngest candidate in the presidential race, Radoslav Prochadzka, saw that immediately, after coming third in the first round with an impressive 20%. He realised that he had a lot of backing from the people and so decided to capitalise on it by surrendering his MP mandate to set up his new political party.

PM Robert Fico (c) Martin Domok - mdpix.sk

Fico’s loss in the presidential elections to Mr Kiska paves the way for a new kind of politics, with new faces like Prochadzka’s taking over the political right, which has been fractured for years. There are rumours and speculations that current Speaker of the House, Pavol Paska, could be preparing to leave Smer-SD and take his chances, and his followers, but it is too early to tell and the wounds of Fico’s lost presidential election on Saturday are still too fresh to throw salt onto.

President-elect Andrej Kiska made his vision clear after his victory; that he wanted to put a human element back into Slovak politics and mediate more dialogue between government, opposition and the people. His victory, which saw him take over 59% of the vote, was thanks also to the Hungarian ethnic minority rallying, not so much in his support, but rather in defiance of Fico, who has shown to be a little insensitive to their needs.

For many, the defeat of the ever-popular Robert Fico opens a new chapter in Slovak politics, with President Kiska fighting on one side and the new parties and faces on the other, revving up for the general election in 2016. As for Prime Minister Fico, some opposition parties are calling for him to stand down, a scenario that could even prove advantageous for Fico. A government reshuffle could therefore be just around the corner.

Meanwhile, we say farewell to President Ivan Gasparovic, who has held the post for 10 years. Gasparovic is the last of the old guard from the Meciar era and his departure puts an end to yet another chapter, but he still has 10 weeks to sign whatever he wants and there is growing agitation that this transition period will be abused. Opposition parties KDH and SaS are calling for Gasparovic to sign only essential items, but he never listened to them before, instead bending almost systematically to the will of Robert Fico’s government.

8 Comments for “The Changing Face(s) of Slovak Politics”

  1. Dave C.

    I read Madaric has taken the bullet over Fico’s thrashing with potentially more sacrificial lambs being lined up for a special SMER party meeting in May. There may be more to this – rumours of potential splits within the party? Madaric could hardly go his own way while still vice/deputy chair of the party. Maybe some of BnMs lackies have noticed the leaks in SMER’s ship and are preparing to take to the boats before it goes down with all hands.

  2. James

    I’m not sure the right’s problem is only their egos. There are serious differences there between the social liberals/libertarians and the Catholics, which may even be wider than divisions between ‘left’ and ‘right’. The photoshop images in Plus 7 Dni after Radicova formed her government summed it up, with Figel appearing as a spliff-wielding drop-out and Sulik in papal regalia.

    At least put it this way – if egos don’t get in the right’s way, social ideology surely will. I don’t hold out any more hope for Prochazka et al than for any of their right-inclined ‘new politics’ predecessors – Rusko, Sulik etc etc.

    • George M

      Do yea know what Jimbo, I`m gonna agree with you …although their Social Ideology only ever gets in the way, when it suits their little grasp at some chance of power … Funny how these good Christians can shag each other silly as and when God suits them ??? These guys all seem to look at each other and say , well you want my undying support on a Bill or something, so what`s in this for me, but at point of contact, rather than back each other as a co-government and then hold that get out of jail card for the future .

      As for Prochazka, well he s dead in the water already as far as I am concerned …to turn up at a press gathering in support of Kissme and then say, well folks just vote for who you want, is totally Mr Wet and almost as a Mr Desperate not to be attached to the new President , just in case he messes up or has some dark secret in cupboard like a Police record .

  3. Mattej

    “Meanwhile, we say farewell to President Ivan Gasparovic, who has held the post for 10 years. Gasparovic is the last of the old guard from the Meciar era and his departure puts an end to yet another chapter”

    Clearly someone stayed at the party too long. 10 years!!! The Meciar era was/is a MESS. Time to take out the trash and bring in changes from the dreadful 1993 regime to present day. May SMEARed fall apart and finally, 21 years later put the old crap away for some new chances.

    • George M

      Wow Doorie Mattie , you should be News Reporter …..such wit, pun`s and palindromes ……either that, or on the London Theater Stage …sweeping it.

  4. Dave C.

    So there are internal divisions within SMER and it may split. Mmmmm …. don’t know how that would pan out, maybe four new parties. One group keen on giving jobs to their village mates, the drinking club, the clueless ones who have had to be told /signalled what to vote and presumably the out and out bandits. A fractionalised Left could be the best thing since sliced bread for Slovakia if the Right get their act together otherwise it could signal decades of disfunctional coalitions more keen on infighting than sorting the country’s problems.

  5. George M

    The problem is the Right Wing are full of ego`s all believing they could and should be PM …even they have been voter thrashed time and time again . Even Danny Dipstick has become a unelected cheerleader for Kissme , hanging on the coattails of his election victory . How long can Figel last as leader of the KDH and the actual SDKU and SaS party`s in parliament ?

    Fico will remain as PM as he is Smer`s best asset and worth a million votes at the next election …as for the right wing parties , well there are are 1.3 million votes up for grabs and victory, if they can put aside their ego`s ….not a hope in hell thou ?

  6. If he goes (which i doubt) who fills his shoes, like wise if he’d of won! who would we have from the stooges? klinkingnakers! Poketacheque ! better the devil we know.
    Every dog has its day, as they say! till then he’ll continue to dine, proverbially on Janosik’s liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

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