James Jay Carafano
The Slovakia Prime Minister quit and was replaced by caretaker as political crisis deepens. Here is our take, thanks to analyst Daniel Kochis.
What’s the bottom line? It’s a mess. The four- party coalition that was governing proved unwieldy and unable to get much across the finish line. This is not good. Slovakia is a swing-state in Central Europe. Good bilateral relations with the U.S. and constructive relations with its neighbors are in U.S. interests. Political instability makes these goals harder.
What happened? The main opposition SMER (center-left) deftly maneuvered earlier this year to force a referendum (which unsurprisingly didn’t even come close to attaining the 50 percent turnout needed to be valid). Still, the government collapsed when one of the four parties refused to back a new coalition after a no confidence vote. A couple caretaker governments in the meantime, including yet another PM just this week.
There are elections upcoming in the near future. SMER is leading in the polls, if they return, it could put aid to Ukraine in the crosshairs. Further, not out of the question, Slovakia changes trajectory and takes the approach of working with the Russians to secure energy.
Elections are still a ways off (Sept 30), new parties are likely to form, especially on the right, there may be enough juice for the right to cobble together enough seats to deny SMER the PM, but right now SMER looks most likely to regain office.