Slovakia forms a four party coalition

EPA/FILIP SINGER

Slovakian Prime Minister and Chairman of Direction – Social Democracy (SMER) party, Robert Fico, during a press conference after the announcement of election results, at the SMER party election headquarters in Bratislava, Slovakia, 06 March 2016.

Slovakia forms a four party coalition


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Roberto Fico will form a four-party coalition government, renewing his term in office. The new coalition is estimated to secure 82 seats in a 150-seat parliament. Following the March 5 elections, the constitution provides a 10-day deadline for the formation of a government. In principle, the agreement was concluded on Monday, March 14.

The incumbent Smer-SD of Prime Minister Fico will remain the senior coalition partner in an alliance with the ultra-nationalist Slovak National Party (SNS) and two center-right parties, Most-Híd and Sieť.

The agreement on programmatic priorities was concluded on Monday, March 14. On March 15, the four parties continued negotiating the allocation of ministerial portfolios and detailing the government program, aiming to sign a final agreement by Tuesday evening.

The understanding is that Smer-SD will appoint seven of the 15-member cabinet, SNS and Most-Híd three each and Sieť two. This roughly corresponds to their relative power in parliament.

The nominally social democratic SMER-SD secured 28,3% of the vote, compared to 44,4% in 2014; Fico can thus count to no more than 49 seats in a 150-seat parliament, compared to 83 in the previous elections. The pro-business and libertarian Freedom and Solidarity (SaS party) almost doubled its appeal from 6,4% in 2014 to 12,1% in 2016. The far right far-right, anti-Romani, anti-Hungarian, and euroskeptic Slovak National Party (SNP) returned to parliament with a strong 8,9%. The Hungarian minority party Most-Hid secured a 6,5%.

Smer-SD wants to hold on to the ministries of finance and foreign affairs. SNS should get the Ministry of Defense Ministry. Most-Híd wants a role in the economy and is looking for either the Ministry of the Economy or the Ministry of Transport.

High ranking members of Sieť have threatened to resign following negotiations with Smer, which in their view violates pre-election commitments. As a result, at least two Sieť MPs are expected to defect.

(TASR, Slovak Spectator, Bne Intel)

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