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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Slovaks vote for the change of power

The murder of journalist Jan Kuciak two years ago changed Slovakia. And now the political maps have been redistributed. Initial forecasts indicate that the opposition will face a landslide victory.

The protest party OLANO of the entrepreneur Igor Matovic is by far the strongest political force in Slovakia. Post-election surveys by television stations see the center-right party in more than 25 percent of the vote. The 46-year-old Matovic had campaigned against corruption in the election campaign and positioned himself as a counterpart to the established parties. The abbreviation OLANO stands for “normal people and independent personalities”. Four years ago, the collection movement was 11 percent.

Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini’s Social Democrats (Smer-SD) suffer heavy losses and land at 14.9 or 13.9 percent (2016: 28.3 percent) depending on the poll. His previous coalition partners, the Slovak National Party (SNS) and the Hungarian minority Most-Hid, are unlikely to miss the five-percent hurdle for entry into the National Council, the unicameral parliament in Bratislava.

Igor Matovic: campaign for “ordinary people”

It is also eagerly awaited that the ultra-right party LSNS, which is campaigning against Roma and migrants, will demand Slovakia’s exit from NATO and is hostile to the EU. According to the forecast, it comes to 8.3 percent.

Voter turnout is likely to have been above average, exact election results are expected on Sunday afternoon. 

The government was punished for the Kuciak murder

It was the first parliamentary election since the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiance Martina Kusnirova exactly two years ago. The cold-blooded act had led to large-scale demonstrations against felt and corruption. The Smer-SD was expected to be punished for the murder, the alleged mastermind of which had contacts to the highest government circles. According to the forecasts, this has now come true.

Memories of Jan Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova

Slovakia was part of Czechoslovakia until 1993, has been a member of the EU and NATO since 2004 and joined the euro area in early 2009. It has around 5.4 million inhabitants. The young state is doing well economically. The small country at the foot of the High Tatras is often referred to as “major automobile power” with 200 cars produced per 1000 inhabitants. Among other things, the Volkswagen Group operates a large plant in the capital, Bratislava.

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Jasbir Singh
Jasbir Singh
Studied humanities in Punjab. Trying to understand Indian Politics. Writing about Technology, Education, Brands, Business, and much more. Contributor at The Eastern Herald, author at Salam News Punjab.

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