Freedom in the World
Freedom Rating (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Civil Liberties (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Political Rights (1 = best, 7 = worst)
The ruling populist Smer party won a plurality in June 2010 parliamentary elections, but the center-right Slovak Democratic and Christian Union–Democratic Party (SDKU-DS) formed a majority coalition with three smaller partners, and Iveta Radičováof the SDKU-DS became the country’s first female prime minister. Supreme Court president ŠtefanHarabin resisted efforts at judicial reform during the year and continued his attacks on the press, filing a $290,000 libel suit against Rádio Expres. Meanwhile, the Radičová’s government took steps to address corruption, including requiring that information related to state contracts be published online.
Czechoslovakia was created in 1918 amid the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Soviet forces helped establish a communist government after World War II.A series of peaceful anticommunist demonstrations in 1989 brought about the collapse of the communist regime, and open electionswere held the following year. After another round of elections in 1992, negotiations began on increased Slovak autonomy within the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic. This process led to a peaceful dissolution of the federation and the establishment of an independent Slovak Republic in 1993.
Slovakia is an electoral democracy. The presidential election in 2009 and parliamentary elections in 2010 were considered free and fair. Voters elect the president for up to two five-year terms and members of the 150-seat, unicameral National Council (parliament) for four-year terms. The prime minister is appointed by the president but must have majority support in the parliament to govern. Slovakia’s political party system is fragmented. The current governing parties are the SDKU-DS, the SaS, the KDH, and Most-Híd, while the opposition consists of Smer and the SNS.