March 2020

By Pero Jolevski

In the Slovak Republic...

Slovakia's February 29 parliamentary election resulted in a major victory for the anti-corruption political party, Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO), which took more than 25% of the total vote, replacing the ruling coalition led by the social democrat party, Direction (Smer-SD).

  • Background: Smer had been in power for over a decade but came under fire following the 2018 murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova, after Kuciak reported on tax evasion and fraud among Slovak business leaders.

  • Outlook: OĽaNO's leadership has agreed on a future government coalition to be comprised of three center-right parties hoping to form a ruling coalition with a 90-seat majority in the 150-seat parliament. As for ministerial posts, there has been little progress on which party will get which ministry and who will lead them.

In Slovenia...

On March 3, President Borut Pahor nominated a new prime minister, Janez Jansa, to lead the formation of a new government in Slovenia.

  • Background: The new prime minister is a center-right veteran leader of the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) and has twice served in the post in prior governments. The outgoing center-left prime minister had led a minority government, but resigned due to a lack of support for new legislation.

  • Outlook: The SDS previously won Slovenia’s 2018 parliamentary election, but other groups refused to cooperate due to concerns over anti-immigrant positions. The newly formed government has stated that its 2-year term will focus on "compromise solutions which all coalition partners agree on," namely deregulation of the economy and introduction of competition in education and healthcare.