Slovakian democracy is young and has recent roots coming from the struggle of the 1989 revolution against the socialist dictatorship of the communist party. After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the first democratic elections were held in 1990 for Slovakia but it is still considered as a flawed democracy with 7.17 points in The Economist Intelligence Unit’s last report (2019).
Slovakia has a parliamentary, representative democratic, multi-party system so that governments are consist of coalitions because none of the parties get the majority of 150 seats alone. There are three significant issues Slovakian democracy facing. These are corruption, populism, and lack of involvement for more left-parties whereas extremist far-right is represented occurs since 2006 both in left and right coalitions. Robert Fico’s populist center-left SMER (Direction- Social Democracy) dominated the country from 2006 to 2018 when Fico resigns with the murder case of Jan Kuciak because he was investigating Italian mafia organizations that have possible ties with the Fico’s cabinet. This resulted in the victory of another populist approach, an anti-corruption movement led by Igor Matovic, leader of the OL’ANO (Ordinary People and Independent Personalities) on 29th of February 2020 Parliamentary Elections. The new government consists of a center-right coalition of “OL’ANO”, conservative “We Are Family”, liberal “Freedom and Solidarity” (SaS), and centrist “For the People”.
One well-known massive corruption allegation is the Gorilla files which discuss that the government is paid millions of euros as a bribe for the privatization deals during 2005-2006 when Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda and his center-right SDKÚ leaded coalition was in office. His center-right coalition lost the government in 2006 elections when their partner Christian Democracy Movement left the coalition because power shifts easily in Slovakia due to the coalition governments.
This time left view gets the office and Fico’s SMER won 50/150 of seats in the 2006 election and made an odd coalition in the sacrifice of having the government. The coalition government consisted of populist SMER, authoritarian People’s Party, and racist/nationalist right-wing Slovak National Party. The appearance of extremist/populist parties in government is a significant precursor of democratic erosion, which Slovakia is still facing. It is dangerous because Slovak National Party (SNS) leader Jan Slota publicly threatened the Roma and Hungarian minorities while Movement for a Democratic Slovakia-People’s Party (HZDS) leader Vladamir Meciar is known as gangsters. Although extremist parties took 5, not very useful, ministries from the Fico; SMER, as being the populist needed to satisfy their demands to have government. This coalition clearly threatened to curtail the civil liberties of minorities and creates the symptom of authoritarian suppression. Sadly, it’s not the only term Slovakia led extremists and fascists in the assembly. In the 2010 elections, SMER got the plurality of votes and Fico wanted to go alone rather than the odd coalition without nationalists but he was again with the nationalists in the 2016 elections and refugee crisis. This is a clear image of Fico’s non-ideological populism moves hand-to-hand with cronyism and corruption. In 2010, on the one hand, the allies of SMER were struggling. Fortunately, SNS barely passes the threshold which shows the drawback of people against nationalism and HZDS’s authoritarian leader Meciar kicked out of office. On the other hand, none of the right-wing parties wanted to collaborate with Fico so four opposing right parties claimed their victory by low percentages of votes but a majority in total. This political isolation of SMER from other parties caused the lack of more left parties in the assembly. So that, right-wing able to get the government and disable the highest voted party out of legislature via co-optation of the opposition as a precursor of the threats to vertical accountability. During the 2016 elections, the only left-party in the assembly was still SMER the but the country is mostly consisting of nationalist and conservative parties. Prime Minister Fico this time realized the rising nationalist potential and showed an anti-immigrant policy but lost the majority whereas far-right Slovak National Party and fascist leader Kotleba’s neo-Nazi People’s Party-Our Slovakia represented in the assembly with an increase in the votes.   PM Fico and his government not only used to a precursor of erosion for the refugee crisis by showing anti-migrant attitude but also discriminated Muslims as a threat. He proved that SMER’s political lining is a real populism that shapes depend on the current affairs. He is as bad as Kotleba because they only accepted the Christian refugees.
In 2019 newly established left-party Progressive Slovakia (PS) showed a tremendous victory by having the most seats in European Elections and their anti-corruption activist candidate Zuzana Caputova as the first woman president of Slovakia. PS is Slovakia’s international face both with the Presidency and European Parliament but has no involvement in the legislature. In 2020 Parliamentary Elections, PS-SPOLU is the 5th highest voted choice but because of striking change in the threshold from %5 to %7 applied to before-election coalitions; they couldn’t cross it. It is a tactical error made by PS but also a vulnerability in the system. It might be accepted as a symptom of the systematic reduction in election freedom and fairness because the level of representation and the popular vote doesn’t match with each other.
Additionally, the last elections showed that there is a rising reaction to corruption and people want clearer and transparent politics. Former Minister Kalinak and business oligarch Basternak, close allies of Fico, were charged with tax fraud and corruption. Even, Fico himself had to resign because of the murder of Jan Kuciak who investigate government ties with the mafia. Thus, Matovic’s OL’ANO ran on an anti-corruption platform which pulled off an anti-establishment victory against SMER. The new government has a large to-do list to re-establish democracy which cannot wait for Corona Virus Pandemic to end. They are trying to deal with the corruption cases from the old legislatures, politicians, and judiciary trying to clean up the courts. Giving an end to the Populist SMER’s governance, cleaning up courts, fight with corruption, and also the 4-year jail sentence for the use of Nazi symbols and hatred to extremist leader Kotleba; these are precursors of democratization by the new government.
So, what will happen to democracy in Slovakia be experienced in time, but the demographics show that Slovaks are generally more conservative to change. Maybe, corruption will not be the next case soon but there are new agendas like abortion, LGBT+ rights, and populism still has a seat in politics. 
 Democracy Index, 2019. The Economist Intelligence Unit. Retrieved from https://www.eiu.com/topic/democracy-index
 Murdered Slovak Reporter Sought to Expose Italian Organized Crime, M. Germanov, R. Perez-Pena, 2018-02-28, The New York Times
 The multi-million Euro Gorilla, NA, 2012-01-27, The Economist. Retrieved from https://www.economist.com/eastern-approaches/2012/01/27/the-multi-million-euro-gorilla
 Iffy and whiffy: Slovakia’s odd coalition, NA, 2016-08-10, The Economist. Retrieved from https://www.economist.com/europe/2006/08/10/iffy-and-whiffy
 “Slovakia’s leftish leader wins Pyrrhic victory as right claims majority”. Deutsche Welle. 13 June 2010. Retrieved from https://www.dw.com/en/slovakias-leftist-leader-wins-pyrrhic-victory-as-right-claims-majority/a-5679640
 “Coalition parties agree on ministries and SaS presiding over parliament”. The Slovak Spectator. 29 June 2010. Retrieved fromhttps://spectator.sme.sk/c/20036702/coalition-parties-agree-on-ministries-and-sas-presiding-over-parliament.html
 Marian Kotleba and the rise of Slovakia’s extreme right, R. Cameron, 2016-03-06, BBC News
 Slovakia’s Governing Party Loses Majority as Far Right Makes Gains, M. Germanova 2016-03-06 The New York Times
 “Slovak Election: PM Fico sees Muslim ‘threat’ “BBC News 4 March 2016.
 Migrants crisis: Slovakia ‘will only accept Christians’ BBC News 19 August 2015.
 Francelová, Nina Hrabovská. “PS/Spolu has submitted an election complaint. What are the odds the results might change?”. The Slovak Spectator. 12 March 2020. Retrieved from https://spectator.sme.sk/c/22356725/ps-spolu-filed-an-election-complaint.html
 Thousands of Slovaks protest corruption, demand ouster of PM Fico’s ally, T. Jancarikova, 2017-04-18, Reuters
 After the Virus, Fighting Corruption Tops Slovak To-Do List, M.G Sirotnikova, 2020-05-20, Balkan Insight
 Slovak Extremist Leader Marian Kotleba Sentenced To 4 Years in Jail, M.G Sirotnikova, 2020-11-13, Balkan Insight
 Right Power: Slovakia Mulls New Laws Limiting Abortion, M.G Sirotnikova, 2020-07-13, Balkan Insight
 No More Hate: LGBT+ Slovaks Hope Election Will Be Turning Point for Gay Community, U. Bacchi, 2019-03-29, Reuters