Last week’s elections may have been the end of an era in the Czech Republic. A populist incumbent billionaire prime minister was defeated, and moderate center-right parties have a clear parliamentary majority, but the handover of power may be stretched out by a president who is doing everything he can to help the outgoing government parties. Here is what happened, and what comes next.
A small swing had big consequences
Czech voting patterns changed only by a few percentage points in last weekend’s election. That was still enough to oust Prime Minister Andrej Babis, the billionaire-turned-politician who founded the ANO (“Yes”) party, which he keeps under tight personal control.… Seguir leyendo »
It’s still hurricane season in European party politics, with plenty of unpredictable results. In Slovakia, the winds blew hard Saturday — the governing parties took a big hit, with two smaller partners losing their representation in parliament entirely and Slovakia’s once-dominant Smer-Social Democracy party suffering major losses.
The clear winner was anti-corruption — not the radical right
Much of the international coverage prior to the election focused on assertions of widespread support for Marian Kotleba’s neo-fascist party. But Kotleba’s Our Slovakia party mustered just 8 percent of the vote. A decline in overall voting for nationalist parties and splintering of the nationalist vote meant Slovakia’s other two prominent nationalist parties failed to win any seats at all.… Seguir leyendo »
On March 16, Slovakia held the first round of voting for its largely ceremonial Slovak presidency, with 13 candidates competing for the slot. Even though the country’s real executive power lies with a prime minister, the presidential election reveals the mood and changing politics of Slovakia. Two candidates are left standing: an anti-corruption crusader and a candidate promoted by the ruling party, Smer. The pair will face-off in the March 30 second round. Here are five takeaways, showing the shape of politics in the country and wider region.
1. It’s not about populism, but about rejecting the elite
Many voters are fed up with the current government’s corruption and scandals.… Seguir leyendo »
Although it still feels like hurricane season in European party politics, some parties are clearly able to survive the storm. But winning the vote is just part of the battle.
Here’s what Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Slovenia tell us about anti-migration feelings, personality politics and other factors at play in European elections this year.
1) Anti-migration appeals work — to some extent
As expected, the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) won with 25 percent of the vote. Taking a cue from Hungarian leader Viktor Orban, SDS employed anti-migration rhetoric to great effect. Janez Jansa, the SDS leader for the past quarter-century, portrayed his party as the best defender of Slovenia from migrants and protector of the Slovenian way of life.… Seguir leyendo »
Czech party politics used to be fairly simple. But since 2010, its elections have repeatedly delivered instability and fragmentation. And this past Sunday’s voting shows 2017 is no exception.
As expected, Andrej Babiš’s party ANO won the Czech elections with nearly 30 percent of the vote. His victory has dominated the headlines in the United States and Europe, but the election also was striking for the collapse of the Social Democrats (ČSSD), the rise of new political forces and a fragmented Parliament with nine parties.
Why did the Social Democrats do so badly?
ČSSD’s share of the vote slumped to 7.3 percent, its worst performance since the early 1990s.… Seguir leyendo »