The time has been set, everyone is ready at the starting line, and they’re off! Political parties in Slovakia start revving up for the early elections in 2012, with some new parties now competing in the race as well.
Political parties that want to run in the parliamentary elections on 10 March 2012 have to be registered, have their candidates list compiled and their participation fees paid up by 11 December, after which the Central Election Committee will examine them and compile a list of those competing for votes.
The participation fee works out at over EUR 16,500 and parties have to get at least 2% of the electorate to be able to claim it back. No risk there for the larger well-established parties, but the freshly established minnows might find it harder.
They include the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities party of independent MP Igor Matovic (thrown out of the SaS party), the new party Nation and Justice (NAS) of veteran politician Anna Belousovova (thrown out of nationalist party SNS), and the party behind the 99% billboard campaign that is currently visible all over Slovakia, which was allegedly established (but not yet registered) by those formerly involved with the SDL party (did not make it into parliament in 2010). It is still at the stage of gathering the necessary number of signatures.