Prime Minister of Slovakia
The Chairman of the Government of the Slovak Republic known as the Prime Minister, is the head of the Government of Slovakia. On paper he is the third highest constitutional official in Slovakia after the President of Slovakia and the Speaker of the National Council. In practice, he is the country's leading political figure; the office itself was created in 1969 and since there has been 14 prime ministers serving in the office. Since 1993, when independent Slovakia emerged, seven prime ministers have been serving in the office. On March 22, 2018, Peter Pellegrini became current prime minister; the office of Prime Minister was established in 1969 by the Constitutional Law of Federation. However, a similar office had existed from 1918 when various officials were presiding over executive bodies governing the Slovak part of Czechoslovakia or the Slovak state respectively. From 1993, when the independent Slovak Republic was established, there have been five persons to hold the office. From 2018 the current Prime Minister is Peter Pellegrini.
Since Slovakia is a parliamentary republic the Prime Minister is accountable to the National Council. The Slovak Constitution provides that upon the accession to the office each Prime Minister must gain and thereafter maintain the confidence of the Parliament; as soon as the Prime Minister loses the confidence, the President is obliged to dismiss him and designate a new Prime Minister or entrust the dismissed Prime Minister to act as a caretaker with limited powers. The Prime Minister is the most powerful office in state, since he commands and presides over the Government. Although it is not the Prime Minister but the President who appoints Ministers in Cabinet, the President appoints Ministers on the advice of the Prime Minister. Designated Prime Minister of Slovakia is an unofficial title for a person, entrusted by the President of the Slovak Republic with forming a new government and replacing the outgoing Prime Minister; this title, as well as the authorization of the president to entrust the designated PM, is not set by an act but is a legal or, more constitutional tradition.
According to this tradition, the President designates a person who has support of the majority of deputies in the National Council. Minister plenipotentiary for administration of Slovakia Vavro Šrobár Land President of Slovakia Ján Drobný Jozef Országh Julián Šimko Prime Ministers of the Autonomy Government of Slovakia Jozef Tiso Jozef Sivák Karol Sidor Prime Ministers of the First Slovak Republic Jozef Tiso Vojtech Tuka Štefan Tiso Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Karol Šmidke Gustáv Husák 1 January 1969 – 5 March 1990: called "Slovak Socialist Republic" within Czechoslovakia. Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Gustáv Husák Karol Bacílek Július Ďuriš Rudolf Strechaj Chairman of the Slovak National Council Rudolf Strechaj Jozef Lenárt Michal Chudík Prime Ministers of the Slovak Socialist Republic Štefan Sádovský: 2 January 1969 – 5 May 1969 Peter Colotka: 5 May 1969 – 12 October 1988 Ivan Knotek: 13 October 1988 – 22 June 1989 Pavel Hrivnák: 23 June 1989 – 8 December 1989 6 March 1990 – 31 December 1992: called "Slovak Republic" within Czechoslovakia.
Prime Ministers of the Slovak Republic From 1 January 1993 after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. List of Prime Ministers of Czechoslovakia List of Presidents of Slovakia List of Prime Ministers of the Slovak Socialist Republic
Slovakia the Slovak Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the west, the Czech Republic to the northwest. Slovakia's territory spans about 49,000 square kilometres and is mountainous; the population is over 5.4 million and consists of Slovaks. The capital and largest city is Bratislava, the second largest city is Košice; the official language is Slovak. The Slavs arrived in the territory of present-day Slovakia in the 6th centuries. In the 7th century, they played a significant role in the creation of Samo's Empire and in the 9th century established the Principality of Nitra, conquered by the Principality of Moravia to establish Great Moravia. In the 10th century, after the dissolution of Great Moravia, the territory was integrated into the Principality of Hungary, which would become the Kingdom of Hungary in 1000. In 1241 and 1242, much of the territory was destroyed by the Mongols during their invasion of Central and Eastern Europe.
The area was recovered thanks to Béla IV of Hungary who settled Germans which became an important ethnic group in the area in what are today parts of central and eastern Slovakia. After World War I and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Czechoslovak National Council established Czechoslovakia. A separate Slovak Republic existed during World War II as a totalitarian, clero-fascist one-party client state of Nazi Germany. At the end of World War II, Czechoslovakia was re-established as an independent country. A coup in 1948 ushered in a totalitarian one-party state under the Communist regime during whose rule the country existed as a satellite of the Soviet Union. Attempts for liberalization of communism in Czechoslovakia culminated in the Prague Spring, crushed by the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. In 1989, the Velvet Revolution ended the Communist rule in Czechoslovakia peacefully. Slovakia became an independent state on 1 January 1993 after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia, sometimes known as the Velvet Divorce.
Slovakia is a developed country, with a high-income advanced economy and a high Human Development Index, a high standard of living and performs favourably in measurements of civil liberties, press freedom, internet freedom, democratic governance and peacefulness. The country maintains a combination of market economy with a comprehensive social security system. Citizens of Slovakia are provided with universal health care, free education and one of the longest paid parental leave in the OECD; the country joined the European Union on 1 May 2004 and joined the Eurozone on 1 January 2009. Slovakia is a member of the Schengen Area, NATO, the United Nations, the OECD, the WTO, CERN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Visegrád Group. Although regional income inequality is high, 90% of citizens own their homes. In 2018, Slovak citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 179 countries and territories, ranking the Slovak passport 10th in the world; as part of Eurozone, Slovak legal tender is the world's 2nd-most-traded currency.
Slovakia is the world's largest per-capita car producer with a total of 1,040,000 cars manufactured in the country in 2016 alone and the 7th largest car producer in the European Union. The car industry represents 43% of Slovakia's industrial output, a quarter of its exports; the first written mention of name Slovakia is in 1586. It derives from the Czech word Slováky; the native name Slovensko derives from an older name of Slovaks Sloven what may indicate its origin before the 15th century. The original meaning was geographic, since Slovakia was a part of the multiethnic Kingdom of Hungary and did not form a separate administrative unit in this period. Radiocarbon dating puts the oldest surviving archaeological artefacts from Slovakia – found near Nové Mesto nad Váhom – at 270,000 BCE, in the Early Paleolithic era; these ancient tools, made by the Clactonian technique, bear witness to the ancient habitation of Slovakia. Other stone tools from the Middle Paleolithic era come from the Prévôt cave in Bojnice and from other nearby sites.
The most important discovery from that era is a Neanderthal cranium, discovered near Gánovce, a village in northern Slovakia. Archaeologists have found prehistoric human skeletons in the region, as well as numerous objects and vestiges of the Gravettian culture, principally in the river valleys of Nitra, Ipeľ, Váh and as far as the city of Žilina, near the foot of the Vihorlat and Tribeč mountains, as well as in the Myjava Mountains; the most well-known finds include the oldest female statue made of mammoth-bone, the famous Venus of Moravany. The statue was found in the 1940s in Moravany nad Váhom near Piešťany. Numerous necklaces made of shells from Cypraca thermophile gastropods of the Tertiary period have come from the sites of Zákovská, Podkovice and Radošina; these findings provide the most ancient evidence of commercial exchanges carried out between the Mediterranean and central Europe. The Bronze Age in the geographical territory of modern-day Slovakia went through three stages of development, stretching from 2000 to 800 BCE.
Major cultural and political development can be attributed to the significant growth in production of copper in central Slovakia and northwe
People's Party – Movement for a Democratic Slovakia
The People's Party – Movement for a Democratic Slovakia was a populist political party in Slovakia. The party was dissolved after it failed to secure any seats in the National Council in the 2012 elections, having lost them in the 2010 election; the party was in the government from 1992 to 1998, was the largest party from 1991 to 2006. Founded in 1991, its leader is Vladimír Mečiar, who, as Prime Minister, led Slovakia through the Velvet Divorce; the party has been a member of the Slovak government three times: twice as the leading partner with Mečiar as Prime Minister and from 2006 - 2010 as the junior partner under Robert Fico of Direction – Social Democracy. Founded in opposition to privatisation, the party's ideology has shifted with the only constants being Mečiar's leadership and a populism that alienated it from other parties in Slovakia and abroad. To overcome its previous reputation as a'pariah', the party has touted its support of European integration, it was a member of the integrationist European Democratic Party, despite not sharing the liberal ideology of that organisation.
The party was created as a Slovak nationalist faction of Public Against Violence, from which it seceded at an extraordinary VPN congress on 27 April 1991. Called'Movement for a Democratic Slovakia', it was led by Vladimír Mečiar, deposed as Slovak Prime Minister a month earlier, composed of the VPN's cabinet members; the HZDS claimed to represent Slovak national interest, demanded a more decentralised Czechoslovak confederation. On 7 May 1992, the HZDS voted for a declaration of independence, but this was defeated 73-57. At the first election in which it took part, on 5–6 June, the HZDS won an overwhelming victory, with 74 seats on the National Council: two short of an absolute majority. Mečiar was appointed Prime Minister on 24 June. Whereas the HZDS wanted a confederation, the Czech elections on the same day were won by Civic Democratic Party, which preferred a tighter federation. Recognising that these positions were irreconcilable, the National Council voted for Slovakia's Declaration of Independence by 113 votes to 24, Mečiar concluded formal negotiations over the dissolution of Czechoslovakia.
The party adopted a populist left-wing position economically, sought to slow the post-Soviet privatisation and liberalisation. In the first elections after independence, in late 1994, the HZDS retained its dominant position, winning 58 seats. Designating itself as a centre-left party, the party moved towards the mainstream right and, in March 2000, renamed itself the'People's Party – Movement for a Democratic Slovakia' to try to achieve membership of the European People's Party. However, lingering memories of former anti-Europeanism, conflicting rhetoric, the presence of three Slovak parties in the EPP prevented this; the ĽS-HZDS looked to the Euro-integrationist European Democratic Party, which it joined in 2009. The build-up to the 2002 election saw Mečiar exclude a number of prominent members from the party's list of candidates. Several of the excluded members, led by Ivan Gašparovič, split from the party and founded the titled Movement for Democracy; the new party won 3.3% of the vote, eating into the ĽS-HZDS's position, contributing to it winning only 36 seats.
By 2006, further divisions and splits had reduced it to only 21 MPs. In the parliamentary election of 17 June 2006, the party won 8.8% of the popular vote and 15 out of 150 seats. Two ĽS-HZDS ministers were sworn in with the Robert Fico government on July 4, 2006: Štefan Harabin. In the 2010 election the party lost all its seats, after its share of the vote halved to below the 5% threshold for entering parliament. Slovak politics Privatization in Tamara; the Encyclopaedia of Slovakia and the Slovaks: a concise encyclopaedia. Bratislava: Encyclopaedic Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. ISBN 978-80-224-0925-4. Bartl, Július. Slovak History: Chronology & Lexicon. Chicago: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers. ISBN 978-0-86516-444-4. Henderson, Karen. "The European Parliament election in Slovakia, 6 June 2009". European Parties Elections and Referendums Network. Szczerbiak, Aleks. Opposing Europe?: The Comparative Party Politics of Euroscepticism Volume 1: Case Studies and Country Surveys. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
P. 285. ISBN 978-0-19-925830-7. Official website
2004 Slovak presidential election
Presidential elections were held in Slovakia on 3 April 2004, with a second round on 17 April. Although former Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar received the most votes in the first round, he was defeated by Ivan Gašparovič in the run-off. Eduard Kukan, who had led the opinion polling prior to the elections, was eliminated in the first round, narrowly beaten into third place by Gašparovič. Gašparovič admitted that he had not expect to qualify for the second round, on first round election night he had gone home to sleep and only found out about his success when he was woken up by phone calls from friends. Incumbent president Rudolf Schuster finished fourth with just 7% of the vote, he subsequently retired from politics
Freedom and Solidarity
Freedom and Solidarity is a liberal and eurosceptic political party in Slovakia. The party was established in 2009 and is led by its founder, the economist Richard Sulík, who designed Slovakia's flat tax system. In the 2012 parliamentary election, the SaS lost half of its 22 seats in the National Council; the party held four positions in the government of Slovakia before the election. Besides advocating cultural and economic liberalism, the party is civil libertarian, including advocating liberalisation of drug laws and same-sex marriage. Freedom and Solidarity launched a campaign called'Referendum 2009' to hold a referendum on reforming and cutting the cost of politics; the party makes heavy use of the Internet: fighting the 2010 parliamentary election through Facebook and Twitter, with the party having 68,000'fans' on Facebook by the election. The party narrowly failed to cross the 5% threshold at the 2009 European elections, but came third, winning 22 seats, at the 2010 parliamentary election.
It became part of the four-party centre-right coalition government, holding four cabinet positions, with Richard Sulík elected the Speaker of the National Council. In the 2012 elections, the party suffered a major setback and lost half its seats. In the 2014 European elections the party returned a single Member of the European Parliament; the party is member of the Alliance of Reformists in Europe. Leader and MEP Richard Sulik, left the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group in the European Parliament to sit with the European Conservatives and Reformists on 2 October 2014. Richard Sulík was special adviser to two Ministers of Finance, Ivan Mikloš and Ján Počiatek, with whom he worked to simplify the tax system and implement Slovakia's 19% flat tax, he announced his intention to found Freedom and Solidarity on 10 October 2008, calling for a party dedicated to economic freedom and questioning the commitment of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – Democratic Party to that objective.
Analysts cited a lack of any liberal party in the country. After securing the 10,000 signatures required to found a party, SaS made its public debut in February 2009, ahead of the European election in June; the party set publicly declared goals of entering the National Council in 2010 and entering government in 2014. At SaS's founding congress in Bratislava on 28 February 2009, Richard Sulík was elected as Chairman, Jana Kiššová as General Manager. SaS selected economist Ján Oravec; the party supported the SDKÚ-DS candidate, Iveta Radičová, in the presidential election in March and April 2009. With others, Sulík was approached by Declan Ganley to join the Libertas.eu alliance of eurosceptic parties for the European elections, but turned down the invitation in order to remain independent. While he was a sceptic of the Lisbon Treaty, more a critic of European intransparency and bureaucracy, he didn't share the isolationist position of Libertas. In the elections, SaS received 4.71% of the votes: just missing the 5% threshold.
The SDKÚ-DS accused Freedom and Solidarity of unnecessarily furthering the fragmentation of the political right in Slovakia. In the 2009 regional elections, SaS won one seat, in Bratislava. In 2009, SaS promoted a referendum striving for major cuts to politicians' privileges; the demands include downsizing the Slovak parliament from 150 to 100 MPs, scrapping their immunity from criminal prosecution and limits to be placed on the public finances spent on government officials' cars. Furthermore, they demand that the radio and television market should be further liberalized, abolishing concessionary fees, public officials' right to comment and reply to media coverage should be removed from the press law. In January 2010, SaS announced that by the end of 2009 it had managed to collect the 350,000 signatures needed in order to call a referendum. SaS forwarded the signatures to the Slovak president Ivan Gašparovič, requesting him to schedule the referendum for the date of the National Council elections on 12 June 2010.
In March 2010, people reported Sulík to the police for the content of the manifesto for the 2010 parliamentary election, arguing that the party's manifesto commitment to legalisation of cannabis constituted the criminal offence of'spread of addiction'. This was thrown out by the prosecutors; the party's candidates were the most open about the state of their personal wealth. In the election to the National Council, SaS received 12.14%, coming third, won 22 seats. The party was the only one in opposition that took votes from Direction – Social Democracy, although it was estimated that more of its votes came from former SDKÚ-DS voters; the party entered into coalition negotiations with the three other centre-right parties: the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – Democratic Party, Christian Democratic Movement, Most–Híd. The parties agreed a common programme, allocated ministries, with the SaS controlling four ministries, as well as choosing the Speaker of the National Council. During the negotiations, Igor Matovič, one of the four MPs elected on the SaS list from the'Ordinary People' faction, alleged that he had been offered a bribe to destabilise the talks, prompting Sulík to make a formal complaint to the prosecutor.
On 29 June 2010, the President decided that the 2009 Referendum petition met the requirements, the vote will go ahead on 18 September 2010. Four of the six issues in the referendum are part of the agreed programme of the new coalition government. However, when the referendum was held in 2010, the turnout fell far below the 50% r
Regions of Slovakia
Since 1949, Slovakia has been divided into a number of kraje. Their number and functions have been changed several times. There are eight regions of Slovakia and they correspond to the EU's NUTS 3 level of local administrative units; each kraj consists of okresy. There are 79 Districts. After a period without kraje and without any equivalent, the kraje were reintroduced in 1996; as for administrative division, Slovakia has been subdivided into 8 kraje since 24 July 1996: Since 2002, Slovakia is divided into 8 samosprávne kraje, which are called by the Constitution vyššie územné celky, abbr. VÚC; the territory and borders of the self-governing regions are identical with the territory and borders of the kraje. Therefore, the word "kraj" can be replaced by "VÚC" or "samosprávny kraj" in each case in the above list; the main difference is that organs of samosprávne kraje are self-governance, with an elected chairperson and assembly, while the organs of kraje are appointed by the government. The term "Region" should not be confused with: the general term "region" as it is used for example in the articles List of traditional regions of Slovakia or List of tourism regions of Slovakia the 4 "regions" that correspond to the NUTS 2 level, i.e. groups of several kraje, used by the Eurostat for statistical purposes.
These are: Bratislavský kraj SK 01 – comprises only this single kraj Západné Slovensko SK 02 = Trnavský kraj + Trenčiansky kraj + Nitriansky kraj Stredné Slovensko SK 03 = Žilinský kraj + Banskobystrický kraj Východné Slovensko SK 04 = Prešovský kraj + Košický kraj Historically, Slovakia was not divided into kraje, but into counties. This was the case when present-day Slovakia was part of: Great Moravia the Kingdom of Hungary Czechoslovakia the WWII Slovak Republic In 1928–1939 Slovakia as a whole formed the administrative unit "Slovak land" within Czechoslovakia. Bratislavský kraj Banskobystrický kraj Košický kraj Nitriansky kraj Prešovský kraj Žilinský kraj Each kraj was named after its principal city. Stredoslovenský kraj Východoslovenský kraj Západoslovenský kraj Bratislava Note: The kraje were abolished from July 1, 1969 to December 28, 1970 and reintroduced then. List of traditional regions of Slovakia List of tourism regions of Slovakia Districts of Slovakia Counties of Slovakia Flags of Slovak Regions ISO 3166-2:SK EU-maps Former names of all Slovakia´s towns and villages prior IWW Nature and lanscsape of Eastern Slovakia in photo
2016 Slovak parliamentary election
Parliamentary elections were held in Slovakia on 5 March 2016 to elect the 150 members of the National Council. The ruling left-wing populist Direction – Social Democracy party remained the strongest party, but lost its majority; the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – Democratic Party which led the government between 2000–06 and 2010–12 was defeated failing to cross the electoral threshold and losing its representation in the National Council. The centre-right Christian Democratic Movement failed to cross the threshold for the first time since 1990, whilst the far-right nationalist Kotleba – People's Party Our Slovakia entered parliament for the first time; the 150 members of the National Council were elected by proportional representation in a single nationwide constituency with an electoral threshold of 5% for single parties, 7% for coalitions grouping at least two parties. The elections used the open list system, with seats allocated using the Hagenbach-Bischoff system. Voters were able to cast up to four preferential votes for candidates on the list of the party they voted for.
All participating parties had to register 90 days before election day and pay a deposit of €17,000, refunded to all parties gaining 2% or more of the vote. All Slovak citizens were allowed to vote except for convicted felons in prison, people declared ineligible to perform legal acts by court and citizens under 18 years of age. All citizens, who are 21 years of age or older and are permanent residents of Slovakia, were allowed to run as candidates except for prisoners, convicted felons and those declared ineligible to perform legal acts by court. Voters not present in their electoral district at the time of the elections were allowed to request a voting certificate, which allowed them to vote in any district regardless of their residency. Voters not in Slovakia on election day were allowed to request a postal vote. According to the Central Election Committee, approx. 20,000 Slovak citizens abroad have requested a postal vote - the deadline for requests passed on 15 January 2016. The election date was announced on 12 November 2015.
On 7 December 2015, the Ministry of Interior published a list of 23 parties that registered to take part in the elections. The backdrop of the campaign was centered on the European migrant crisis, with the governing SMER–SD taking an anti-migrant stance into the election. Teacher and nursing strikes occurring at the start of the year had a negative effect on public opinion. Eight parties passed the 5% threshold to win seats. Freedom and Solidarity became the second party with 21 seats and Ordinary People third with 19 seats. Both performed better than their predicted pre-election polls, by distancing themselves from the previous government; the Christian Democratic Movement performed poorly. They just failed to cross the 5 percent threshold required for parliamentary representation, for the first time since the establishment of an independent Slovakia in 1993; the far-right nationalist Slovak National Party and Kotleba – People's Party Our Slovakia parties entered parliament with 8.6 percent and 8.0 percent of the vote respectively.
According to an exit poll, dissatisfaction with corruption and social issues led many to vote for ĽSNS. Other parties who gained representation in parliament include Most–Híd, We Are Family, Network. Overall voter turnout was 59.8 percent. Twelve of the 150 MPs were elected due to preferential voting despite being placed further down their party list than the number of seats won by their party. On 7 March, President of Slovakia Andrej Kiska invited each elected party, with the exception of ĽSNS, for post-election talks. Fico was given the first opportunity by the President to form a stable coalition. All parties, except We Are Family, had refused to discuss the possibility of going into government with ĽSNS. An anti-fascist protest was held the same day in Bratislava against ĽSNS representation in parliament. On 17 March, incumbent Fico informed president Andrej Kiska that he would form a four-party government coalition, including Smer–SD, the Slovak National Party, Most–Híd and Network, which together held 85 of the 150 seats.
Slovak Election Data Project