Slovakia is facing the issues of corruption until 2018. On 15th of November 2018, ministers went to prison because of the bullet-in board scandal, for the first time in history. Right after that incident, a journalist named Jan Kuciak was murdered in February 2018 because he was investigating the corruption in the country. That murder followed by mass protests Following this incident of Jon Kovak the economy of the country was affected badly according to the Economist Intelligence Reports. Citizens were not happy with the previous cabinet formed under the power of center-left party SMER (Direction- Social Democracy) which has dominated the country for more than a decade.
On 29th February 2020, presidential elections were held in Slovakia. The new government is a coalition formed by four different parties. Igor Matovic is elected as the prime minister, a member of the Ordinary People Party. Ordinary People is a center-right party as same as the other parties in the coalition. The new center-right government is made up of four coalition parties: OLANO (Ordinary People and Independent Personalities), the anti-establishment party led by new Prime Minister Igor Matovic; the conservative We Are Family; the liberal Freedom and Solidarity (SaS); and the centrist For the People. The oath ceremony of Igor Matovic made history by the image of the cabinet members wearing protective masks and gloves in order to highlight the global COVID-19 crisis. That global health crisis created a challenge for the new coalition governments as the time they got the power. The former prime minister Zuzana Captuva stated that “No other government in Slovak history has ever started in such a complicated situation, “in her speech on March 19. While the new cabinet is fighting coronavirus, they have an additional purpose to maintain stability by overcoming corruption clean up the judiciary and protect the economy. The additional pressure on the prime minister was concerning on the minorities in the country. Matovic also stated he aims to create an ideology such as; “Slovakia where people from national minorities won’t be moved to the side just because their mothers taught them a different language”. Slovakia faced with increasing control of civil society in 2016 caused by the violation of the Rights of the Roman minority. One of the main problems of the country was ethnic profiling and discrimination. There we no equal opportunities in education or there were scandals such as Slovak hospitals holding Roma mothers against their will. Matovic did not forget to mention the biggest majority in his speech. He highlighted that issue by stating that he would strive for better education for the underprivileged Roma minority, and wanted the Roma, Hungarian and Ruthenian minorities to feel equal.
He is also trying to create a common language in order to communicate with his people. After the majority of votes were counted, he stated “We take the result as a request from people who want us to clean up Slovakia. To make Slovakia a just country, where the law applies to everybody regardless if he is rich or poor,” These discourses relate to one of the major necessities of democracy which is not abuse minority rights by the majority.
During the parliamentary elections a petition was launched by a group of civil activists. They stated their concern was about the erosion of democracy. The petition stated “We protest against fascists and individuals supporting dictatorships or illiberal regimes receiving public functions,” continued as “We view it as a continuation of a dangerous legitimization of powers and individuals, whose hidden interest is to destroy democracy. Another comment came from a Slovakian political analyst Meseznikov. He stated “It [LSNS] is clearly a fascist party and to even think about giving them some positions is completely wrong,” he said. “It shows there is a higher acceptance of this party.” That is clear evidence of the opposition losing power to the government. The country is facing a serious danger of corruption and if the cabinet will not be able to gain the trust of the other citizens, that would be nearly impossible to avoid upcoming protests in the country. On the other hand, Matovic refuses to scale the ideology of his party. He calls himself a social conservative and economic liberal but refuses to pin down OLANO on the left-right or liberal-conservative scale.
The new governments came to power with an anti-corruption cabinet. That cabinet is composed of 12 men and three women, the cabinet is full of political novices with no previous experience in power. The main promise of that coalition government is to overcome the issues about corruption that the country is facing. Igor Matovic declared the slogan of the party as “Let’s Beat the Mafia Together.” He is aware of the damage that Slovakia took from the murder of Jon Kovak. He clarified this argument by saying “I would like to send a positive signal,” adding that he did not want European partners to feel Slovakia was a corrupt place “where journalists and their fiancées are murdered just because someone unearthed corruption.”
It is clear that Matovic is aware of the corruption in the country and he will try to make a change about that situation. It seems like he would not disappoint his voters. On the other hand, making these kinds of changes can be difficult when the other part of the voters is completely thinking oppositely. The dangerous thing is opposition do not have a bit of trust for the new cabinet. That would be an experimental situation for the future of Slovakian democracy.