Slovakia – Slovakia’s Prime Minister Eduard Heger announced on Sunday, 22 January, that the early parliamentary elections triggered by the motion of no confidence passed by the National Council last 15 December will be held on 30 September 2023. The National Council is the country’s unicameral parliament. Coincidentally or not, this announcement took place the day after a referendum initiated by the opposition.
The question put to Slovak voters last Saturday was as follows: “Do you agree that an early termination of the mandate of the National Council of the Slovak Republic should be made possible through a referendum or a motion of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, by amending the Constitution of the Slovak Republic?”
97.51 percent of those who took part in Saturday’s referendum voted in favour of amending the Constitution. However, the turnout was only 27.25 percent. According to the Slovak Constitution, at least half of registered voters have to take part in a referendum for it to be valid.
It is therefore only a half-victory for the two former Social Democratic prime ministers, Robert Fico (Smer-SD) and Peter Pellegrini (Hlas-SD), who had initiated the referendum, and they have been reproached by the leader of the Za ľudí party, Veronika Remišová, for wasting public funds for personal propaganda purposes:
“It should not be a tool for the election campaign of dishonest politicians who, every time they lose a proper election, do not hesitate to steal 10 million euros from the people in a referendum.
In comparison, instead of a referendum, every nurse could receive 500 euros in additional salary. Both Pellegrini and Fico are responsible for this wasted money.”