My concern remains at the insistence of the right to make hiring and firing extremely easy. This is something that most decent societies take a moderate position on. It rewards unscrupulous employers at a time of high unemployment, and SDKU should not underestimate how much this might help to send them to opposition once again... If they allow again employers to keep employees as temps forever...
The mixed bag of results from the election mean the following
- We are likely to get the first Slovak female PM, ms Radicova (pictured) given that the guy hugging her is the leader of the hungarian minority party, chances are that relations with Hungary are going to be vastly improved
- Robert Fico (PM) is still popular by a united left of centre. His party resembles PASOK in greece of the 1990es to 2001. Corrupt to a certain extent, enough to keep itself relevant, and keep the right on its toes.
- The right has won the election in the sense that the 4 parties that form the right (Christian non-democrats, Hungarians, Christian democrats, SAS neoliberals) are fairly moderate and would provide a welcome counterbalancing interregnum for Fico during which he can reconsider some of his extremist excesses (not so much in policy but in style).
- Most of the press is anti-Fico perhaps overly so. The left should be respected and the country needs a serious newspaper of the responsible left.
- Preliminary results of Slovakia’s general election, released Sunday by the Slovak Statistics Office, are likely to lead to the replacement of Prime Minister Robert Fico’s left-of-center cabinet with a business-friendly right-of-center coalition that will try to improve the country’s recently strained relations with Hungary. (However the Hungarian side seems to be on a nationalist crescento of its own making)
- The new ruling coalition will likely include politicians who represent Slovakia’s large Hungarian minority, potentially helping Slovakia mend fences with its southern neighbor.
- Although Mr. Fico’s Smer-Social Democrats party came first in Saturday’s elections, taking 34.8% of the vote, it won’t likely find suitable coalition partners in the 150-seat parliament.
- Preliminary results showed the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union, or SDKU, with 15.4% of the vote, followed by the liberal Freedom and Solidarity Party, or SaS, with 12.1%, the Christian Democratic Movement KDH with 8.5%, and the Hungarian minority party Most-HID with 8.1%. Final election results are expected late Sunday.
- The new parliament will thus be dominated by right-of-center parties led by the Christian Democratic SDKU, and the Hungarian minority party Most-HID. This coalition of four that will also include the Christian Democratic KDH and the liberal Freedom and Solidarity Party, and will hold a total of 79 parliament seats, compared with 62 seats to be held by Smer. The remaining nine mandates will be in the hands of the extremist Slovak Nationalist Party, or SNS (who's vote halved and nearly didn't make it to parliament!).
- The Freedom and Solidarity Party (SAS) was formed last year by Richard Sulik, an economist who designed the flat-rate tax system introduced by the previous SDKU-led governments that ruled in 1998-2006. Mr. Sulik’s party, supported by mostly young voters thanks to its Internet-centered campaign, will be a novice in the Slovak parliament. Its agenda that includes the decriminalization of cannabis use for medical purposes and registered partnerships for same-sex couples is likely to face strong headwinds in this conservative country.
- Nevertheless the solid result of Mr. Sulik’s party, the third-largest grouping after Smer and SDKU with 22 seats in the incoming parliament, showed voters’ discontent with the more established two junior partners in Mr. Fico’s outgoing leftist coalition cabinet.
- Slovakia will have the first woman PM! A very good signal to be sent abroad. The Christian Democrats SDKU led by, run by Iveta Radicova, a sociology professor and a former presidential candidate, has long opposed Slovakia’s current labor regulations introduced by the Smer-led cabinet, which stipulate minimum wage requirements and limit employers’ freedom to dismiss employees.
- Talking to reporters in a live television broadcast in the small hours of Sunday, Ms. Radicova, likely to become the first-ever female prime minister of Slovakia, sounded upbeat about her country’s prospects.
“We’ll again turn Slovakia into Europe’s tiger,” she said, referring to the country’s reputation during the double-digit economic growth period in 2007 and 2008.