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 »