Igor Matovič scored a decisive election win
Igor Matovič and his anti-corruption party OĽaNO scored a decisive election win:
OĽaNO 25.0% 53
Smer 18.3% 38
Sme rodina 8.2% 17
ĽSNS 8.0% 17
SaS 6.2% 13
Za ľudí 5.8% 12
OĽaNO, which polled just over 5% in November, had a strong campaign finish based on a credible anti-corruption message. One of the election surprises is the strong performance of Smer, which benefited from adopting the 13th pension shortly before the election. Robert Fico wants to stay on as party leader. Another surprise is that the PS/Spolu did not make it into parliament. As a two-party coalition, it needed 7% and received 6.97%. KDH did not make it to parliament again (4.7%) and Smer’s coalition partners did poorly―SNS (3.2%) and Most-Híd (2.1%). Media speculate Andrej Kiska could leave politics in the wake of the poor showing by his party Za ľudí. Parties that did not make it into parliament received 29% of the vote (13% in 2016). There will be no Hungarian party in Slovak parliament for the first time. Turnout came to 65.8%, up from 59.8% in 2016.
Igor Matovič says he will try to form a coalition with a Constitutional majority of 90 votes, i.e. getting Sme rodina, SaS and Za ľudí on board and having 95 votes. He wants to use the majority to change the rules for selecting the Special Prosecutor and enact security checks for judges. The number of conservative MPs rose considerably. Two of the ruling parties (OĽaNO and Sme rodina) are populist ones with little intention of making necessary but unpopular reforms.
One can only speculate about the new government’s program, but it seems likely it will abolish mandatory meal vouchers, give more powers to the Value for Money unit, state spending watchdog NKÚ and anti-trust authority PMÚ, as well as improve transparency of public companies. No tax cuts are expected, given the precarious condition of the state budget. Sme rodina insists on a debt-fueled 10-fold increase in public investments into highways and rails as well as on a massive construction of cheap rental housing, but remaining parties reject the idea.
The state will pay €74m over the coming four years to parties getting at least 3% of the vote. OĽaNO (€20.7m), Smer (€15.3m) and Sme rodina (€7.2m) will get the biggest slice.